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Teatime With Conqueror Worm

by Headless Relatives

Intro 00:40
No Quarter 03:59
The high today is 104 Incongruous weather for our little cold war The air outside is sluggish and moist But we'd both hightail it out there if we really had the choice But these walls Are impervious borders And we both Have our marching orders No quarter given And none received None received The bulb blew out in the bathroom light Neither one of us will fix it out of stubbornness or spite We both refuse to be the first to speak And the tension ratchets up with every passing week You throw away My grocery store fliers And I let a little air Out of your tires But we hold fire Staring each other down Each other down All our friends can see something is wrong But we don our masks and act like we still get along And I know you're trying to gauge their sympathies But I'm employing my own clandestine strategy And when one of us finally Crosses that line in the sand I guess we'll find out Who really has the upper hand And our plans Will be tested at last Tested at last I see the sweat Beading on your brow And the only question Remaining now Is who'll break down And fire the first shot The first shot
I'm alone in the kitchen Putting dishes away And trying desperately To keep my feelings tucked away I focus all my attention On each plate, knife, or glass And keep up the pretense That this turmoil will pass And I can feel it in my chest Ready for its big reveal Sometimes I forget What it is I have concealed I feel a burning in my eyes From the tears I'm holding in I know it's over When the rupture begins I can't stop the trembling But I refuse to stop I know I'll collapse As soon as my defenses drop And I can feel it in my chest Struggling to be free And I know my effort's doomed Because it's stronger than me And when I finally give up the fight And it bursts into the light I end up shaking down on all fours And when my defenses break You come to me and you take My trembling hand in yours And I know that this flood will pass And you know it too But days like these remind me That I'd be lost without you
Sand reaches out to throttle every horizon Armored in gold by the sun which hangs over our heads Side by side we fight for every step forward A battle for every inch that we tread Our red eyes strain for a glimpse of the land that was promised Where at last we'll be free, we'll be safe But with every passing day I'm more convinced That the land that we've seen in dreams is just a myth Dark water paws at us roaring in triumph Patiently waiting for the last of our strength to give out Salt stings our eyes and crusts in our hair And we're mad with thirst in this watery drought But somewhere past the waves that bombard us Is a clear secluded bay and an island of plenty But I'm increasingly certain Every day That try as we might the current will drag us away
Torn into pieces Spread out on the floor And I can hardly remember What this picture looked like before But I know something is missing Some central part I can't restore it So I need to start At the beginning again Figure it out from the beginning again Trace it back to the beginning again Figure out who I am Tattered shreds come together To form something new But the scars of the lost thing Begin to bleed through There's never a clean slate No fixing the cracks It's always painful Every time I go back To the beginning again To build it back up from the beginning again To face the emptiness of the beginning again To figure out who I am
Digression 04:12
The sun was going down The sky flushed and clear of clouds The trees were silhouettes Rising somber from the ground A gold tint to the air Brought a strange sense of unease I got a sudden impulse And I fell down to my knees And for a moment there was stillness As I stared down at the ground Then all the pain that I'd been hoarding Burst forth as anguished sound The sky had shed its radiant colors When I got back to my feet I walked back through the door No less incomplete
It was a chill October morning I distinctly remember it was 38 degrees 'Cause I laughed when you said We were six degrees separated from our first freeze Your cheeks were red I could barely feel my hands And the morning light was streaming Through the thin spots in our plans You kissed me without warning Your pure desperation it was blistering and bright But I could sense the precipice Lurking just beyond the limits of my sight But I held on To your gloved hands And the morning light was dazzling It was more than I could stand
Pastry Song 03:36
It's time to begin Gather everything into a ball Roll it out nice and thin 'Til I can almost read the writing on the wall I build it up Delicate layer upon layer Will it all measure up Once I've laid everything bare It's the final turn now My last chance to make something of worth When the curtain comes down Will I experience transcendent rebirth Or will I find That all of my joy has leaked out And left nothing behind But this dry husk of sadness and doubt
Suddenly the tone has shifted Hidden things have come into view The light has a new sense of menace Casting harsh shadows around you And I was not prepared For this transition Was everything that came before Just a lie of omission And I know, I know It was just a trick of the eyes The sheen that lay over the world To diffuse this light Every angle draws my eye Irresistibly toward you But the whole scene seems unsettlingly askew
I've cleared all my daily reminders I know I can't forget My eyes scan across the dresser I haven't cleared it yet I have nowhere to go And nothing I need to do The world spins on Even devoid of you And when the silence overwhelms me I grab a coffee down the street Small talk and guileless smiles From everyone I meet The sun is shining in the sky Laughter rings across the square And the joy I feel around me Is more than I can bear I can feel your absence As I twist my wedding ring Life goes on And that's the most horrifying thing


I started writing the songs on this album not long after finishing up 2018's North American Birdsong. These songs concern death, loss, and other endings. The writing process was particularly emotional for me, and, while I am very excited to be working on some new material as a duo, I think it's fitting that this album should be the last full album recorded as a completely solo effort.

Teatime With Conqueror Worm is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother Carolyn.


released May 29, 2020

All songs written, performed, and recorded by S. A. Biskind




Headless Relatives Troy, New York

Headless Relatives play songs. These songs feature desperate individuals, bittersweet memories, and ancient Egyptian gods. Some of these songs can be found here.

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