Billow Green

by Names for Sounds

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released June 30, 2014

All songs written, recorded and mixed by Names, except for "The Exception to the Rule" written by Names and Casey Barth

Michael Armstrong - Trombone
Luke Damrosch - Percussion
Ken Field - Alto Saxophone, Alto Flute
Calin Peters - Cello

Nick Zammuto - Mastering

Emma Mällinen - Album Design

Thank you to all of the incredible musicians, my family, zammutosound, Emma Mällinen, Casey Barth, Chris Rubeo, Matt Paley, and everyone else who helped make this record possible.


all rights reserved



Names for Sounds Amsterdam, Netherlands

Names for Sounds is an exploratory music project

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Track Name: Cicadence
Sotto speaking leaves hush up the trees
Anticipation, withdraw all defenses
Stand down, they'll be here any minute now

For you a flower, silent fruit and seed
is all the offspring you would need

But buzzing bodies here to breed
upon your blushing limbs they feed

Inhale the air, stoma's open width
Draw in, strip carbon from the mix

Slap, a heavy bead bends your bough
The clicking tones, an everynote
Inhale the air, stoma's open width
Draw in, strip carbon from the mix
Slap, a heavy bead bends your bough
The swarm is just beginning now

Surviving complication, grace
A generation finds its place
Track Name: The Rule
Press out what you've made for me
Fermenting juice and poison seed
Boxes perched on aching knee
Sugar Maple, Apple Tree

Orchard's order, planted rows
Soil turned on rusted hoe
Swollen branches, bending bough
Cider's bead upon my brow
Track Name: Teacher
I was told I'd be swallowed whole
and be dancing in your branches
I had heard that mum's the word
for all the wishes you have granted

I was taught it was all for naught
all human needs supplanted
Take this seed, carry it with me
our rule is evenhanded

Buried deed, trust all we need
growing as time commanded
That one day we'd be covered in shade
on this barren earth we've planted
Track Name: Diatom
Diatom, how you've grown!
I'm another son who's left home
You're dusting off the ancient tome
It's the words that stick - made my bones

How can it be that you made me
while your other child is a growing tree?
You'd say: Bilateral Symmetry?
Just another idea you got from me

What do you see above the deep?
The bright cascading stars
In harmony pelagically?
Sun-veined coursing sea

But on you'd roam, you'd left a note:
Return home, dark, remote
Track Name: The Long and Short of It
I saw the other man, he looked the same as me
He chipped the stone and built a home
Down there below the trees

Hey you, looking down at me
Surely you can plainly see this is how it's meant to be
A flapping mouth and straightened knee?
The use is hard to see

And he said: All friends come in
Homo georgicus
All friends come in
Track Name: Unwound
The tea is brewed bitter
You are lock-jawed and shiver
At the thought of another wet winter

The favor's in the entryway
They come but never stay
Conveyor belt carries them away

We'll cook on the ashes of fallen birch branches
Wet wood smolders and sparking bark flashes

When do we fall in line to the well-ordered march of time?
Touching your fingertips to your peach and persimmon lips:

Stay on footfall
Watch me grow seed
Track Name: The Exception to the Rule
Phase One:
Sun, light the bright moon
Pull tide, a black sheet
Tuck the Earth to sleep

Phase Two:
The exception to the rule
Stone tooth, proud and able
Facing South, froths at the mouth

Phase Three:
A scaling, growing green
Swollen root cracks the granite
Helio and gravitrope
Track Name: Status Quo Ante Bellum
You can't get into it

Heifers scream at tanner's blade
A lining fit for kings we've made
Belching black and trading states
At last, machines providing shade

So turn the key and make it last
Cranking over, speeding past
Far horizon's lure and trap
Always further, iron eyes cast

You can't get into it

So build it higher, stronger, wider
But only if your conscience finds her
Near your naked, burning tire
Smoking hot enough to blind her

But put your feet down on the ground
A trodden rhythm, easily found
And with your bones I bet you'll pound
The same as ancients would as now

And you can't get into it
Track Name: Floe
(Such a pretty thing)
Track Name: Sunbeam
Sunbeam boils my skin
This is happening because
the old guard is sleeping deeply at his post

On my watch, we pushed it off further down the road
to the other town, another home

There's that greedy din, all for taking in the work of ages
and we're just shaking off the dust

Way up: Saturn
We are pattern

We'll be looking down at sustaining ground
sure to find there somewhere something better

Some conditioning clock unwinds the spring
and then the time's up, shipped out, to some star we read about

Way up: Saturn
We are pattern
Track Name: Undefined
Mine my body for dust
Soil covered in musty brine

Call down barking the mad, wild call of the dogs
Down on dirt and their luck

A cold Earth, frozen within
Plate tectonics wear thin
Mountains are islands and then

So mine my body for ice and, trusting that I traded water for wine
There'll be none to find
I'll be undefined
Track Name: A Collision
(I want to be a man at peace)