Young Familiar

by Christians & Lions

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released October 4, 2019

Recorded and mixed at Pink Noise in Massachusetts by Dan Thorn
Mastered at Big Nice Studio in Rhode Island by Bradford Krieger
Art, design, and layout by James Weinberg

Melodies and lyrics written by Benjamin Potrykus,
except “Something On Your Mind” by Dino Valenti (as performed by Karen Dalton).

Ben Potrykus - Vocals, guitar, organ, synth banjo, saw, programming
Chris Barrett - Trumpet, euphonium
Chris D’Amore - Upright bass
Chris Mara - Drums, percussion
Dan Thorn - Keys
Erica Sutherland - Vocals
Fiona Wood - Violin
Gregory Tellier - Electric guitar solo
James Weinberg - Accordion
Miriam Lee - Viola
Sara Honeywell - Trombone

Thank you so much for making this happen. See you next decade!




Christians & Lions Providence, Rhode Island

New England DIY dreamfolk collective founded in 2004. Benjamin Potrykus (Bent Shapes, Receiving End of Sirens, etc), Matt Sisto, Chris Mara, and Chris Barrett are joined by Fiona Wood, Chris D'Amore, James Weinberg, and Sara Honeywell.


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Track Name: Changeling
I was named while I slept
so consider it void.
I was a self-loathing fighter,
a good American boy

But don't bother telling me
nothing, I've grown
all feral and forgetful,
full of hot, fitful hopes

I think it started in school;
they taught me ignorance of privilege,
we were a nation at war
that didn't seem to know the difference

But when I heard them talk like battles
could be 'won,' I'd laugh,
"You don't actually expect me
to believe shit like that?"

From then on no classroom
was gonna cage my resentment
i could cast my aspersions
or shoulder burdens/withhold judgement

I saw messiahs, pariahs,
greedslayers, and scabs
but I couldn't come home
till I'd learned how to grab

So I grasped that the Promised Land
is too often promised
by men who would seek, then steal,
then hold office

and that nothing is ever
gonna get very far
till we smother the Old Guard
and put no one in charge

And that until our skulls part
like some flower in bloom
we will rush to get a part
of what power and doom

we can muster
it must be enough, enough
or we're fucked--it's disgusting
but all we know of love.
Track Name: Tell the Keeper
Turnspit dogs
beneath the feast
Goaded into roasting
fellow beasts

Wanna think we gotta;
jumping over coals thrown at our feet
Oh, they got the numbers, at times
But don’t forget that we still have our teeth

Learned this back
when we were curtailed kids
Held responsible
for what we did

If we knew now what we knew then,
I’m sure that we’d be better men
But until we regress there’s no progress,
‘cos we’re all id.

Who will tell the keeper?

Who will tell the keeper?
So we hoard resources
in a mad dash
Fingers crossed
behind our wounded backs

Parlor pinks kitchen sink
think piece theories on what we lack
Glib admonition, shit for ammunition,
convictions strong
as a spent match

Who will tell the keeper?
Who will tell the keeper?
Track Name: Is To As Are To
Is to as are to
centers don’t hold
Dead hand signal from a
dweller on the threshold

What is Patience Worth?
Fetch once flesh? Hypnic jerk?

Fistful of cemetery dirt?

Trust and belief
come crying at the back door
Milk will run out
and they won’t come a-round no more

Divine, scry, and dowse
Or let the tabby drowse

Blinking wisdom out the house

I will know good deed from sin
On the day my plague comes in
Track Name: Professional Medium
A professional medium drew me close
Said “at the very least, try not to be the most
The leader of the pack eats it and dies;
Stay on toward the middle and strategize”

I said, “well, I don’t want much--”
he stopped me there
“You don’t want to want much--
You’ve made that clear”

Oh, oh, is that right?
Oh--what had he seen
on the inside?

Diagnosed young with immense potential
hunger insatiable yet deferential
Loss leading achiever, better value intents
But now who’s the winner of our free content?

I still wannabe some rare creature
Reaching past featureless effete crowd-pleaser,
cog-in-the-machine, or coquettish clock teaser
Anachronistic hack’s sacreligious fever

And Oh, oh, is that wrong?
Oh oh to put in a song?

Oh, whether it was harmless camp
From another also-ran
Or some bad actor, wasn’t certain

But I know, I’m a little extra and
I’ll probably wonder where I stand
With no direction till curtain
Track Name: Lucky Ghost
When it feels you’re not on my side
It’s like I might as well have died

Years ‘fore you opened your eyes
Oh darling for the first time

I would wait, torn up by a want
For someone I could only haunt

Days into decades crawl by
While I am watching your life

You couldn’t want a kiss
From someone you don’t know to miss

I keep my phantom limbs far
From wherever we are

Can’t know if you’ll be left between
Here and there from what I have seen

Cursed to wish joy for your heart
Though it may keep us apart

If you crossed to the other side
Not to’ve known I had lived or died

I’d still say my fortune was clear
So lucky to have loved you while you’re here
Track Name: City of Sunken Bells
I woke up in a city of
sunken bells
Where hard souls full of hubris
Softshoe from hell to hell
Sucked the day residue
from my fingertip
but how I got here I can’t tell

I found work as a faith healer
Batting cleanup for
the local firing squad

But the luckiest of my charges
were the ones halfway to heaven
Before the devil knew they’d gone

Tried telling these people “there’s another way”
Only to hear them say
“hundreds of
deeply flawed people can’t be wrong”

My words seemed taken light
Till I was taken in the night
To see my boss

Regretted to inform me so
But he was gonna have to not let me go
And sorry for my loss

Wasn’t sure just what he meant
Till in walked my replacement
Justice blind, my welcome old
Handed me
an old blindfold
Track Name: Palekh
I was born a breeze,
and you, a breath
“Let us stay vapor,” we’d plead
‘Till someone see’d us to this tense
We awoke as newborns

Each a writhing ball of light
We were instruments of vision
Beyond certain frequencies
Despite all the vibrations
But I shake and age just to exist
(To renew what peace we had forfeit)

So we all shapeshift
or go apeshit soon enough
I’m proof--POOF--I’m breeze, you’re breath
Stumbling towards birth, flowers bloom in reverse

Big, twilight sleep in the dirt
Like meeting the meet I’ll meet
as I leave my body on this earth

We were colonists by proxy
All the sidewalks were enemies
And the noon sun beat us like a ghost
Burnin in a bad dream
But I tossed some prophecy on those streets

You were there
With flowers in your hair
And your pupils grew
like you were lucid or in love

And when the wine took my legs
Your touch took my breath
For it was wasted on anything
I’d said or done before or since
And if you didn’t, now you’ll see
That I was you and you were me
Track Name: The Swailing
Like household pets with broken necks,
their bodies dance ‘round their heads
while I dream in infinities, the space between

dumb terror and the door rolls over itself,
halves its body, breaks its back,
drags its weight inches--inches at a time,

like no time. I've got time.
I’ll find time.

Holy ghosts stir up raw decrypt
our root, stalks and leaves. Feeding family trees
in poor soil with blood, memories,

and faith—an unfixed concept
but still, perched just out of sight
We’ll comb the undergrowth by [the] swailing fire[‘s] light

And not breathe
nor speak
Close our eyes so we can see
We’ll see
Track Name: Tender Offer
A shout
in a holler
for a hill
to die on

At the chip
on a shoulder
That I used
To cry on

tender offer

the old oak
missing leaves
tried to put a grip
of stitches in me

Your eyes searched mine
for something I might know
I knew nothing;
just as well

grew from that
sick puppy
to a mama wolf
whelping only runts

And I don’t know anymore
if you love me
or a memory
I’ve not recalled in [for] months

But my
tender offer
Still stands
Tender offer

gone pioneering
come as a thief
Is it any less endearing:
When a heathen takes his leave
Track Name: Something On Your Mind
Yesterday, any way you made it was just fine
So you turned your days into night-time
Didn't you know, you can't make it without ever even trying?
And something's on your mind, isn't it?

Let these times show you that you're breaking up the lines
Leaving all your dreams too far behind
Didn't you see, you can't make it without ever even trying?
And something's on your mind

Maybe another day you'll want to feel another way, you can't stop crying
You haven't got a thing to say, you feel you want to run away
There's no use trying, anyway

I've seen the writing on the wall
Who cannot maintain will always fall
Well, you know, you can't make it without ever even trying
Something's on your mind, isn't it?

Tell the truth now, isn't it?
Something's on your mind, isn't it?
Something's on your mind
Track Name: Names of the Hare
No fear of a vengeful god
drives faith into my chest
to stave in the cage that cradles my heart
and tame what remains of the mess
So tell me I’m blessed…

Names of the Hare
Names of the Hare

Call me what you will
but I’m not so entitled
the monikers’ fiction
its scripture/verse is holy libel

define and conquer
every creeping thing

resigned to the shelter
of tagging, releasing

Names of the Hare,
invoked as dispersant
when you cast your spell
how can you tell
if it’s working?
Track Name: Wild Shade
Winged things;
prizes or pests
Fastened to death
with the pins in our chests

Posed with a shell;
we both fell from the nest
To spend death
as our life’s palimpsest

Verse 2:
Spitted things
they dropped among leaves
or buried beneath
(didn’t know we were seeds)

Kernels of truth
Assuming the lead
Slowly fed
by our foes’ entropy

Hand-made examples
Warnings to send
Dry skin studies and
jarred wet specimens

Cast out the garden;
“lost” to the wind
Ways are found and held,
spring up from within

Wild shades
Ageless, unmoved
Will pour from the bodies
That we all once used

Resurrection men
can claim the refuse
If we fight
We still win when we lose

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