.​.​.​Or Else, Suicide

by City of the Asleep

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This is the first of four EPs that started life as a single album. Each one has 5 tracks, and each EP focuses on a particular musical aesthetic. This one has a harsh industrial feel. All of these songs were conceived at various stages of recovery after a suicide attempt, which was followed by the chaotic disintegration of a relationship and a complete restructuring of my life. It's rare for me to write music with lyrics, let alone music this personal, but truth be told I'm a long way from out of the woods as of this release and I can't seem to stop writing.


released April 5, 2016




City of the Asleep Seattle, Washington

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Track Name: Flakes of Ghost
I am lying in wait
Waiting for the lies
That I’ve told to wear off
As the penance is paid

For being a ghost
In a city of bleeding hearts
Now my heart bleeds
In a city of ghosts

Every smile a window
Into a world of maybe
Or maybe not
There’s no way to know

Except to dive in to
This flickering light
The heart is a shutter
Battered by wind

Blowing off the sea
Of millions of could-be’s
That never are will-be’s
But maybe they will be?

I have done this before
I have seen it from the other side
Now I pound on the door
There was not even a good-bye

This ache is an echo
Of what seemed so perfect
So charming and beautiful
But destined for failure

I can’t find the balance
The world that lies between
The ghosts and the bleeding hearts
Where lives the love of my dreams.

I’m so sick of these ghosts!
I’m sick of being one too.
Track Name: The Incredible Shrinking World
In this moment I am
Sending echoes out
To the limits of a
Shrinking border
Getting smaller as I
Lose my focus
On the world beyond

There was once a time
I remember fondly
Of neverending
Now the doors are closing
Telomeres are shrinking
Imagination dulling
This is getting old.

I am so connected
But so incomplete
I don’t get the feelings
All I do is watch
Then a surge of feedback
Shrinks the sphere I see
My mind becomes a mask
Who I think I want to
Be, I don’t know
(silent x1)
I don’t know

I can feel it shrinking
I can feel it getting smaller
I can feel it shrinking
I can feel it disappear
Track Name: Now I Have Everything
If this is my purpose, what does it mean
That I have forgotten, how I got here?
Do I even know, where I am standing?
I’ve built up repetition, around a stagnant pool
my line hangs in the water, waiting for a hopeless bite

How I have grown! This must be progress.
Who would have known? Now I have everything.
Is that the truth? I might be missing
Something so crucial I cannot conceive it

Everything that ever was
written in my history
draws a border in my heart
cutting off my future

In light of my darkest time,
A shadow appears, brilliant against this
backdrop of pyrrhic victories;
Outlines the stain of failed confusion
Track Name: Exploding Head Syndrome
The silence is feeding me
As I walk through the echoless
Halls of the solitary
With my eyes cast down

A swarm of buzzing flies
zaps through my synapses
Then my head explodes
Struggle through a strangled scream

The darkness is bleeding me
With tiny midnight teeth
A bleary paranoia
The seeds of a nightmare

The lights excite the glass
A river of faces
I’m searching for a stranger
I haven’t even dreamed of

The urgency is fading
My heart is treading water
In a sea of opiates
How long can it float

The stars are burning through me
I sleepwalk through deserted streets
In a town with no name
Just streetlights and a steady breeze

Trapped in a video
Beamed through the ether
Bouncing between galaxies
Aimed toward the heat death of the universe.
Track Name: I'm a Mess
I am in it now.
I cannot bear the strain of
This unending question
Of what comes next.
This is now,
but the present never satisfies…
Always something lacking.
Echoes from the past, visions of the future,
And I’m caught between.
I can’t stand the tension.
So I drink away
Everything but this moment
I am slowly dying
Repetition slowly choking me
Is this what I’m made for?
Is this worth continuing?

I’m a mess.

Neither awake nor asleep I’m lost in a daze locked out of a past that doesn’t exist with nothing but a future that keeps eluding me, i chased a dream through landscapes ancient and otherworldly, arriving precisely at the moment of departure in the world’s greatest feat of misdirection, granted everything I ever asked for but nothing at all like I imagined it, and if it was fate that brought me here I’ve turned a blind eye for too long at the abyss, the sleep of reason weaned off the milk of nonsense and absurdity and cast into the great maw of fear, standing on the shoulders of the dead and gaining no height, no perspective but feeling brittle bones crunch beneath my feet as the echoes of the perpetual “WHY?” conspire to delete this dream world; in the city of the asleep I may be awake but I am asleep in the city of the awake, burdened by the weight of my finity…here I am, the product of empiricism and a dead fern, wandering the mountains of the mind in search of DOOM, hours behind the past but days ahead of the future, a position only possible when time is a rectangle…a lone voice in the ether directs me to a box of gnives, I cut off my own ears but can still hear the sound of desolation, the mute voices of the ghosts of halfland beckoning me to return, but I am fixated here by the concept of transfinity, the hope that my salvation lies in that which is impossible to conceive, backing away from enlightenment with a desperate wish that my understanding proves to be woefully inadequate…I’m a MESS