Starlings Unadorned (A Collection Of Acoustic Versions, Demos & Previously Unreleased Songs)

by Matthew Ryan / Strays Don't Sleep

supported by
Nick Green
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Nick Green Was in my 2017 top ten- so these acoustic versions very welcome Favorite track: Summer Never Ends (Unadorned).
Michael Pitt
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Michael Pitt Such a beautiful version of this song. Favorite track: Summer Never Ends (Unadorned).
Joseph Maiocco
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Joseph Maiocco "The punks have sold us out
They’re all pop stars now
The heart’s a ruthless plow
And hungry too
I’m hungry too" Favorite track: Peace, Love & Murder (Demo).
Jae Senn
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Jae Senn Every acoustic version is as amazing as their original versions in Hustle Up Starlings, but I choose "Bastard" because ironically, it sounds so sublime and melancholic with a sense of loss and longing as if it's a love song, when the final chorus is about a bastard stealing your car and won't get far! Favorite track: Bastard (Unadorned).
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1.
Battle Born He took it straight in the teeth To find out what was underneath You’re still alive even if you can’t breathe Ah Joe, you’re a hero to me Hey Lu, I’m in love with you Your kind of work and that lean for a truth What else were you gonna do? Hey Lu, I’m in love with you And all the crowds They call so loud For hollow clowns And their useless sentiments It’s all so bent Who’s paying the rent? Aw Paul, why’d you disappear? Was there something ringing in your ear? Or did you just grow tired of tears? Aw Paul, why’d you disappear? Disenchantment is a ruthless bomb But it never stopped Chrissie or Tom You could be something, Anyone! Battle born when the daylight comes And all the crowds They call so loud For hollow clowns And their useless sentiments It’s all so bent Who’s paying the rent? On a dark lit night In the throes of another fight I heard a song made me feel alright Made me wanna explode into light I don’t know if there’s more than this A loud guitar, some comfort or a kiss All I know is that it’s the shape of a fist And it’s pounding inside your ribs Until the wheels come off No matter the hurt or the cost Screaming hope in the land of the lost Oh oh ’till the wheels come off
2.
Run Rabbit Run Something's wrong You know there is Don't let your hearts Go out like this Ah fuck this place it's a trap Always putting blades In your back And it goes on and on and on Don't get stuck just run rabbit run Work 9 to 9 Just to get by Even still, ain't it good  Just to be alive? Ahh but when it’s dark I lie awake And feel like something big’s crushing me Or going away And it goes on and on and on Don't look back just run rabbit run Oh my heart The death and dust Of no man's land Be it brave or dumb Let the white heat come    Oh revelry, just take my hand Something's wrong You know there is Don't let your heart Go out like this Ah fuck this place it's a trap Always pulling blades From your back And it goes on and on and on Don't get stuck just run rabbit run Don't look back just run rabbit run
3.
Hustle Up Starlings Hustle up, Starlings The dark is coming The night's tuning up And dusk is humming I smile at strangers And I talk to myself My thoughts are lonely Lonelier than hell We met in a record store In 1991 She was studying to be a big girl I was trying to be someone We had us some boys And we laughed a lot  But these days I'm just trying to remember What it is that we forgot I love the rain in the summertime The way her hand would fall slow in mine I loved her dress pressed against my skin The way the night would let a warm light in Now everyday is numbered And so are the words The hymn of a shadow boxer Is to only hit where it hurts Now there's no silence That's quieter than this  The things we love will one day disappear First slow and then so quick I love the snow when the winter comes When loud guitars are pushed around by drums I love that memory has more grace than me The things I recall are lit with a blinding beauty I love a song that doesn't care what you want Like winter birds that never felt inclined to chase the sun I've loved a woman with everything I have And I pray to god I’ll give her more good than bad Hustle up, Starlings The bats are coming The night's tuning up And dusk is humming
4.
I Just Died Like An Aviator Everything sucks As bad as it gets It all fell apart again God, I'm a wreck Rock n Roll My oh my The same thing that makes you live Can bury you alive And we fall so easily I just died Like an aviator With my heart on my sleeve And somebody said "Look that bum!" Since the sound of monuments It's all heartless and dumb I'm pouring a drink And smoking a smoke Our guts are born in that fiery trench Between hurt and hope And we fall so easily I just died Like an aviator With my heart on my sleeve Don't die, don't disappear... I swear to god we need you here
5.
It’s A Delicate Waltz Don't wanna hear your voice Don't wanna see your car Don't wanna have to explain Don't wanna fall apart Maybe I was mad sometimes Maybe I’m cursed my love Maybe it was gonna be fine Maybe my aim just sucks But I'm a loser now All my days are plows The cuts, the bruises The shorter fuses I'm a loser now  We smoked our cigarettes  Outside the silver store We moved like thunderheads  Across the floor Under a glittering sky I swear I meant no harm I wish I could lean back in time To my lover's arms But I'm a loser now All my days are plows The cuts, the bruises The shorter fuses I'm a loser now It's a delicate waltz…
6.
Bastard Don't say That you'll stay Cause I know That you'll go I know it's hard For you To be true Yeah I know you… Won't stay Such a dreadful Human being I couldn't believe What I was seeing You crashed the car In my head And on you went To whatever was next For god's sake stay… Away I swear to god I cross my heart I'm feeling better  Now that we're apart The debt is paid The devil too I'd rather die A lonesome fool Than to be with you… It’s true That bastard wrecked my car That bastard won't get far
7.
Summer Never Ends Bright streets Red lips Summer skin A sloppy kiss Blonde hair Your cinnamon Makes me feel Like I could win The traffic slows below The silver water A small bird brought a song To where I caught her If you want me You can find me Where summer never ends Night falls The warm coast I watch you swim I pull you close And all the heat In every star The sticky stuff Between two hearts She smiles and says I've never been so happy I'm no one's thing to own but you could have me If you want me You can find me Where summer never ends If you want me You can find me Where summer never ends… I got lost You got lost I got found You got found I didn’t want You didn’t want We didn’t want To drown
8.
Lonesome Flare Don't be afraid My lonesome flare If you feel lost it only means You're almost there Find a girl And fall in love If it breaks your heart then you'll know What it was The world is cruel But it's beautiful too It's not that hard to understand Just look at me and you Talk to me I'm still here One day you'll part with everything But me my dear Talk to me No sorrow, No Sorrow... Don't be afraid My lonesome flare If you feel lost it only means You're almost there And talk to me I'm still here One day you'll part with everything But me my dear No sorrow, No sorrow...
9.
Close Your Eyes It took a week full of Mondays And every Monday it rained I fought the law and the dull And got nothing but pain I got twisted up and low A little insane I watched everything I love Just circle the drain Close your eyes Then you'll see It was all Just a dream I bought a car in Wilmington I said goodbye to my friends I said "Things will be different when I see you again" Well we hugged and talked, The smallest talk It started raining in the rear-view as they shuffled off Close your eyes Then you'll see It was all Just a dream Now there's a lot of bodies By the side of the road Careful who's driving You don't wanna be a ghost Now it won't always be easy But it won't always be hard Just listen to the cracks In your broken heart And close your eyes Then you'll see It was all Just a dream It took a week full of Mondays And every Monday it rained I fought the law and the dull And got nothing but pain Yeah home is where the hurt is So I’m writing this down Don’t think I didn’t love you I just didn’t wanna drown
10.
Suffer No More Candy looks down She says I don't know what to do I swallowed every word And none of it was true And every cut And every wound And every prayer In every room This time's too hard And the end couldn't come too soon Don't wanna suffer no more Don't wanna suffer no more Tommy stood there With a giant tear in his eye To break down or complain Well he really wasn't the type He never read a book by Marx But he knew by now the end was tied to the start Don't wanna suffer no more And all we want today Is something like a fair shake And all we want tomorrow Is a ladder that won't fall away Or be thrown away Don't wanna suffer no more Don't wanna suffer no more Don't wanna suffer no more
11.
Oh Despair! Cue violins And lonely streets And those silver hills Where we don't meet Ah that's the sound of a heart Saying oh oh oh… I want you so… Bad Oh oh oh… I want you so… Bad Oh despair My trusted friend It's you and me Once again You know the song E minor comes In waves of violet From just one side Yeah that's the sound of a heart Saying oh oh oh… I want you so… Bad Oh oh oh… I want you so… Bad I crossed my heart I swear I'm a wreck I thought we might Intersect Now if I'm dark It's all your fault A good time was had By none at all I'm at your door I'm in your bed It comes in stereo It's in my head Yeah that's the sound of a heart That's the sound of a heart Saying oh oh oh… I want you so… Bad Oh oh oh… I want you so… Bad I crossed my heart I'm a wreck I thought we might Intersect... But I was wrong
12.
Peace, Love & Murder What’s so funny About peace and love? Peace and love, and murder? Everyone I know Is feeling took They don’t know where to turn Or where to look This sorrow weighs a ton But we could be the ones this time The adverts everywhere The constant flood You’ve never been so lonesome It can’t be good Am I the only one that wonders what my thoughts could be? The punks have sold us out They’re all pop stars now The heart’s a ruthless plow And hungry too I’m hungry too We feel it in our guts There’s something wrong The madness here is viral We sing along To anthems just so dumb Mute the fireworks and drums And there’s nothing there Sometimes it rains for days Sometimes there’s bombs We’re whistling past the graveyards While car alarms are swirling up like dirt Some dry and die of thirst while others drown The punks have sold us out They’re all pop stars now The heart’s a ruthless plow And hungry too I’m hungry too Now what’s so funny About peace and love? Peace and love, and murder? The empires of the mind There’s no refuge That hard won bloody peace Was just a truce The monsters live within We fight, sometimes we win But it’s not enough The punks have sold us out They’re all pop stars now The heart’s a ruthless plow And hungry too I’m hungry too Now what’s so funny About peace and love? Peace and love And murder? Written by Matthew Ryan Plastic Violin / BMI 2018

about

Starlings Unadorned is a 12 track collection of cinematic acoustic versions of selected songs from Hustle Up Starlings. It also contains some previously unreleased demos and songs.

Often after you finish a new album, you have to sit down and re-learn the songs on your acoustic because of all the flourishes and skin a band brings to them in the studio. What you're hearing here is the result of that process. Starlings Unadorned also contains some songs and demos that had yet to find a home. They just felt right here and seemed to expand the story. I hope you enjoy that little peek into my demoing process.

I'm releasing this now to help my band and I tour with The Gaslight Anthem in the UK and Europe this summer without the stress of finances hanging over us. We are fully independent and DIY, and the costs of doing international shows in a humane fashion can be overwhelming, if not prohibitive. We love the guys in The Gaslight Anthem and we really love that they are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their beautiful breakout album, The '59 Sound, with a bunch of shows this year.

I had planned on releasing Starlings Unadorned later this year but felt that now would be the time to share it with you so we could put whatever income you guys gifted us with to good use on this upcoming tour with Gaslight.

We've set the price for Starlings Unadorned at $10 / Or Pay More If You Want. For people to actually pay for music these days (which so many of you reading this do...) is an act of love. But please don't feel you have to pay more than $10. It's simply a way for you to contribute more if you feel compelled to.

And as always, if you're inclined, please share news of this release via your socials and with friends.

Alright... Alright.

Thank you, Guys. Thank you for continuing to welcome my work into your lives.

Always.

It means the world to all of us,

Matthew Ryan

credits

released March 7, 2018

All noises you'll hear here were created, played and recorded by Matthew Ryan except the bass guitar on "Lonesome Flare," which was played by Allen James.

Starlings Unadorned was Mastered by Hans DeKline Mastering.

The picture of Brian Bequette and me was taken at The Hi Fi in Indianapolis, IN by Dave Beckman.

The cover art was created and designed by Joe Maiocco.

All the songs were written by Matthew Ryan.

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Matthew Ryan / Strays Don't Sleep Nashville, Tennessee

Matthew Ryan is experiencing a renaissance. It began with Boxers then Hustle Up Starlings in 2017.

In addition to solo efforts, Ryan is a member of Strays Don't Sleep along with Neilson Hubbard. They create minimalist ambient folk music, new Strays music is coming soon.

Devotedly independent Ryan continues to grow a sprawling career that's now rich with a long list of beautiful albums and songs.
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