Not as Bad as It Seems

by Soft Walls

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Released 7 February 2020. 300 copies. Black vinyl. Reverse board print. Split label release between Full Contact and Part Time Records.

    DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU ARE IN THE WORLD, YOU MAY GET CHEAPER SHIPPING ORDERING DIRECT FROM THE LABELS:

    FULL CONTACT (Ektro Records, Finland)
    ektrorecords.com/product/soft-walls-not-as-bad-as-it-seems-lp-pre-order/

    PART TIME (Denmark)
    softwalls-pt.bandcamp.com

    Includes unlimited streaming of Not as Bad as It Seems via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
Do you ever get the feeling That you don’t know what you’re doing You disappear into nothing Swear that I lived it It was just a dream Felt kind of foolish Upset and naive I couldn’t see beyond this haze of grief Unable to see in front of me Slipping back into the sea Oh! You are not what you thought You never go to anything anymore But is that really who you think you are Just pay it no mind Misperception It had me lying down on the floor But it doesn’t really matter now though It doesn’t really matter at all Getting back up from a sudden fall It’s 6am and I’m wide awake and calm “I think I’ve lived through it all!” I’m trying to be more positive
2.
Stare at the barren page Set up the empty slate It is the notion that I can’t create Feeling confused What do I do Had my hands in my pockets for so long not sure if they’ll move It should be easy for me It should be easy for you Is it okay for me to do nothing What do I do I just don’t feel it anymore Procrastination You really got me It is the golden age Recorded time-waste Every target can afford to wait Forever to-do “I’ll see you soon” I am so busy doing nothing I can barely move Fire up the pit! Throw all the work in it If what I do is nothing Then what do I do I just don’t feel it anymore Procrastination You really got me
3.
Late Dreamer 01:30
4.
Counting up All the things you can stack up It is calm It’s calm What if it isn’t how you imagined Something unsaid Rolled between finger and thumb As thin as a thread
5.
Ex-King 00:57
Take one last bow The king without a crown Silhouetted, tail between my legs I turn and click my heels Cartwheel away What does it mean to you Did it really mean anything The tapes have been erased Delete my history The tapes have been erased
6.
Disconnect from the pressure Try to be unseen Have so much time on your hands Do you feel relieved Or do you not know how to (ful)fil Compulsive needs Enduring a minute of thought Feels like an hour to me No personal connection Avoiding situations
7.
Looper 02:52
8.
Nostalgia symphonies A lack of empathy Defending nothing Forever looking in Isolation Taking it all
9.
Coffee 03:07
I was walking alone And I got myself a coffee Headed down to the water I was happy You say I think my cup’s half empty And I know this can be tiresome I am really going to try To be better Not as bad as it seems When you get some distance from it Not a length I’m able to swim I’ll take a step too far and then I’m in Staring back at your dog You can really get to know it Open up your heart And throw your arms around it I know I sink in it too easily But you’ll talk me back out of it I have named that good boy And I feel much better Not as bad as it seems When you get some distance from it Not a length I’m able to swim I’ll take a step too far and then I’m in

about

Soft Walls' 3rd album; 'Not as Bad as It Seems' was a long time coming. Rabid enthusiasm, ground down by the slog of getting through a week. Falling out of love with what you felt defined you. Losing more than you thought you could lose. It's hard to keep going when you don't know why you're doing it. Yet still, Dan Reeves, the sole proprietor of Soft Walls (also guitarist in Cold Pumas and former overseer of the Faux Discx label) kept going. Just, very slowly. The race is over, but the tortoise is still determined to get over the line. What else is there to do?

'Not as Bad...' is part self-critique, and part self-help. Our author throws his shortcomings in a pit, climbs down, and tries to figure a way out of this particular hole. The result is Soft Walls' most direct, concise, and (dare to whisper it) honest record to date. 9 tracks of self-reflective sauce, reduced down to a rich ragu.

It's the closest Reeves has got to his sonic utopia. Years of tinkering with pieces of cheap equipment, that feed his beloved 8-track cassette tape machine, finally paying off. Blown out and turned up to its master's satisfaction. The guitars are cranked. The drum machine is cranked. The tambourine is cranked. Everything is cranked. It’s all in the red, crackling and alive. Compositionally there's a little less 'vibe' and a little more action than last time around, 2014’s well-embraced ‘No Time’. Songs are chopped short, guitar lines either blaze or stick to the note, nothing is there that shouldn’t be. The drum machine sound is real nice. 'Not as Bad as it Seems' is exactly one walk to work in duration. Enough time to get lost in thought, but short and sweet enough that you wish it wasn’t over just yet.

The record rips through multiple looks in it’s short run-time. From FM motorik guitar rock, via high gain proto-punk, to looped ragas and lo-fidelity, wistful ballads. It’s all bathed in the record’s warm tape glow, resulting in a satisfyingly cohesive journey.

credits

released June 21, 2019

Written, performed, recorded and mixed by Dan Reeves.
Mastered by Mark Jasper.
Cover photo by Lindsay Corstorphine.

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