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What Comes After

by Racing Heart

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about

The second album of music by Mathias H. Tjønn as Racing Heart, "What Comes After" is a political record trying to be personal rather than preachy.

Produced by Hanne Hukkelberg (a renowned artist in her own right), the album is a stark departure from Racing Heart's debut record in both style and substance. Instead of looking inwards, we look outwards. Instead of being folk-based, we aim to meld acoustic instruments and synthesized sounds. This album has sharp edges.

Genre-wise, "What Comes After" is an experimental pop album, inspired by musicians such as David Sylvian, Winston Tong, and John Foxx.

Aided greatly by the creativity of musician Jenny Hval who contributes both lyrics and vocals, the songs are propelled by the drums and programming of Martin Langlie (Susanne Sundfør, Pantha du Prince, Valkyrien Allstars).

Recorded at Engfelt & Forsgren studio in Oslo and mixed both there and in New York by engineer Aki Nishimura (Elliot Scheiner, Tony Visconti) from Avatar Studios, NYC.

credits

released September 16, 2016

All songs and lyrics written by Mathias Hatleskog Tjønn, except where noted. Arranged by Mathias H. Tjønn and Hanne Hukkelberg, except where noted

Published by Mikkismakkis Music Publishing - ASCAP
(c) & (p) 2016 Misra Records

Background vocals, voice synthesizer, omnichord and synthesizer: Hanne Hukkelberg
Lead and background vocals: Jenny Hval
Drums, drum programming, percussion, body percussion and synthesizer: Martin Langlie
Cello: Kaja F. Pettersen
Clarinet, bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet: Kristine Tjøgersen
Lead and background vocals, autoharp, omnichord, guitar, glass, piano, hammond organ, harmonium and synthesizer: Mathias H. Tjønn

Produced by Hanne Hukkelberg

Recorded by Akihiro Nishimura at Engfelt & Forsgren in Oslo, with additional recording by Julian Tulip at The Sleeproom in New York
Mixed at by Akihiro Nishimura at Engfelt & Forsgren and Moultrie Studio in New York
Mastered by Morgan Nicolaysen at Propeller Recordings in Oslo

Album cover designed by Bendik Kaltenborn

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about

Racing Heart Oslo, Norway

Racing Heart makes music that is both complex and catchy, with lyrics that are not afraid of taking on bigger issues in a personal way. Helped by some of the best and most noteworthy musicians from both Norway and the US, such as Jenny Hval, Hanne Hukkelberg and previously members of The War on Drugs, St. Vincent and Sufjan Steven’s band, these songs aim to mean something to you. ... more

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Track Name: Flogging a Dead Horse
Flogging a Dead Horse

Have, have you read the writing
on the boardroom wall?

You can forget about
flogging that dead horse
no, we're propping it up
pooling together
sharing the load
offering billions
make it rise from the dead

Like Christ on the third day
conveniently come back to aid with your purchase

Arm the angry young men
with machine guns
fill out that shopping list
give the have-nots a just cause
push the market rate up
make it ascend to the heavens

Like Christ after forty nights
make-believe just tastes so much sweeter

And let's do it all again
repeat from the start

Let's do it all again
repeat from the start
Track Name: That Doubt Returns
That Doubt Returns

Putting down the phone
after you hung up
or before
why can't I recall?

That doubt returns
I'll grow tired of you
or you'll grow tired
these days I sleep alone

II: All this grey is still just black and white :II

Words turn fluorescent on the page
there comes that slow wailing again

You said that I don't dream
but I feel the worth of things
feel it slipping
feel it slipping
as we try to buy our way out of this
as we teach ourselves
to compromise

II: All this grey is still just black and white :II

II: Words turn fluorescent on the page
there comes that slow wailing again :II
Track Name: Bargaining Chip
Bargaining Chip

A sound like none before
will that be my redeeming feat
my bargaining chip

These are the limits of
all I hunger for
to be at peace and purposeful in life
the world will know

What can I hope to prove
and to whom
the bargain being new sounds
so I’ll be seen

Will the world care?
Track Name: New Economy
New Economy

I’m dreaming
I commodify myself
it’s a glorious dream
I am everything
Track Name: Letters from the Compound
Letters from the Compound

Time stains my fingers
like lead from broken pencils
fall short of expectations
fall on bended knee

Is this, is this the life I've chosen
is this, is this the house I’ve built

I stay up and watch you
my mood-swings
hinge on your private moments
that door must be barred shut
or I will break through

Is this, is this the life I've chosen
is this, is this the house I’ve built
In this place of seclusion
I’m kept from taking charge
But I know the solution
I know your face by now

Nights pulse, nights pulse with frozen moments
is this, is this the life I’ve built
gloved hand, gloved hand
grips the baton
hides bitten-down fingernails
Track Name: Sleep with my Fists Clenched Tight
Sleep with my Fists Clenched Tight

They talk to me, talk about marching
forward motion
diseases cured
improved standards of living

I speak to them, I speak of essence
lands taken over, religions smashed
ways are wiped out

Sever the chains that binds me to you
fall deeper and deeper
fading from view

They throw facts at my face
mileages of roads and railroad tracks
I mention millions of men torn from their gods, their lives
from life, from the dance
I said

Sever the chains that binds me to you
fall deeper and deeper
fading from view

II: We have been taught to tremble
we have been taught to kneel :II

Sever the chains that binds me to you
fall deeper and deeper
fading from view

Sever the chains that binds me to you
They balance the books
fall deeper and deeper
fading from view
I sleep with my fists clenched tight
Track Name: A Prayer from Our Leaders
A Prayer from Our Leaders

Some days the ocean rises
seeps in through beneath the door
a steady, building undercurrent
leaving watermarks on my office walls
soaks the Rolodex

Years upon years of personal toil, professional triumphs
Wife says I'm married to the job
While they are born anywhere, anyhow
keep dying anywhere, from anything

II: And the great world spins :II
as I feel my bones shrink

Still I know truth
I know these are amoral times
I see they've lost their way
I'll lift them to our God on High

I know truth
I know these are amoral times
I see they've lost their way
but I'll lift them to our God on High

I know truth
Track Name: New Economy (Slight Return)
New Economy (Slight Return)

I’m dreaming
I commodify myself
it’s a glorious dream
I am everything
to everyone
I am everything
to everyone
I am everything
Track Name: Badlands
Badlands

We dance in the desert
your hi-beams trailing us like hungry spotlights
you said; If I could write a song about how I feel right now
it would surely be a hit

Nothing could stop us
for the longest while
for the longest while

I don't trust people
and why should I
the way thing have been?
they keep on wanting what's best
but all they get is what's coming
he got what came for him

Nothing could stop us
for the longest while
for the longest while

All those things I trample on to stay alive
beat into the ground

no-one can blame me
no-one can blame me
I turned and looked away

Nothing could stop us
for the longest while
for the longest while

II: Nothing happened, everything was happening
life is a millstone
grinding and sharpening :II
Track Name: Squaring the Circle
Squaring the Circle

An agent of change in troubled times.
at the center authority, in the provinces none
but the periphery is never further away than the pull of a trigger

I am that gun
point and shoot

A new force within new parameters
squaring the circle, cutting through land
nobody talking in an unauthorized way
no-one to tell me resistance is futile
no black and grey to cover up where these bullets fly
squaring the circle, culling the herd

I am that gun
point and shoot
out shooting twigs and grass
out shooting twigs and grass and dust
out shooting twigs and grass and dust and us

I am that gun
point and shoot
aiming at my own body

Silence. We wait by the church steps
wait for him to exit
rifles in our hands
we’re holding the arms of God

Must not let the waiting game get to me
the waiting, the waiting,
ashen cross on his forehead,
a divinely sanctioned crosshair
a ribbon sash

I am that gun
point and shoot
flying through twigs and grass and dust

II: I am that gun
point and shoot
a ribbon sash :II

II: I am that gun
point and shoot
aiming at my own body
I am that gun
point and shoot
flying out like the hands of God :II
Track Name: What Comes After
What Comes After

I saw you stand in the fire
flames lick and lap at your breasts
couldn't help but wonder
if you won't burn
who'll be next?

We push you onstage or to the frontlines
the prize a pedestal
to knock you down from

Watch the sins of our fathers
sear right off your soul
but this is the sin I make my own
this is the sin I make my own

II: Singing your virtues while your body grows cold :II

The question is what comes after
le marchand de la mort est mort
we’ll never answer for what comes after