Counterfeit Arcade

by Shayfer James

supported by
Nicklas Wallén
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Nicklas Wallén This is an excellent album, haunting and beastly yet delicate and well thought out. It's wickedly wonderful in every way, and though James' style: extremely calm but with this underlying constantly building unrelenting force (which beautifully erupts in songs like "Battle Cry" and "Godspeed") can feel a bit strange to listen do a first time, he uses that tension to great effect and makes listening to this album an excellent experience. All this accompanied with just delicious lyrics. I love it! Favorite track: L.V.S. (Your Lady Waits).
Davy (zOz) Thwaites
Davy (zOz) Thwaites thumbnail
Davy (zOz) Thwaites Great voice, great melodies, great lyrics. Can't ask for more. A new favourite. Favorite track: Have A Seat, Misery.
Alucard3598
Alucard3598 thumbnail
Alucard3598 Very edgy dark-pop music. Love this album. <3 Favorite track: For The Departed.
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about

"New & Noteworthy Alternative" - iTunes Store

“John Vanderslice meets Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros” -Pra - Never Learned To Swim

"...poetic compositions, which ride turbulent waves of melodious verses, backed by a storm of intricate instrumentals (“Battle Cry,” “Diggin’ Up Hatchets”), with a pair minimalistic testimonial type-tracks mixed in amongst the bunch (“Peace,” “Have A Seat Misery”). However, the cream of this crop rose to the top in “Weight Of The World,” the leading number to one of SIMGE’s favorite albums of the year" - Speak Into My Good Eye

"the songs are a welcome dark wave that takes the listener in unexpected directions and unexpected realms of emotion" - whatstrending.tv (InDMusic)

"dark and funky piano arrangement lets you know that this wired situation is one that James thinks is quite dire" - MTVHive

"everything you could possibly want in an album" - Don't Forget the Earplugs

On his new album Counterfeit Arcade, Shayfer James warns, “There's a mean storm comin’.” There most certainly is. Mr. James' second album swaggers with danceable dark anthems, harrowing ballads, and experiments in chaos. The piano-driven follow-up to last year's The Owl & The Elephant (lauded by WNYC and IndieFeed), Counterfeit Arcade lures listeners onto a tightrope spun from guts and gin, strung above a pit of contagious melodies and grandiose arrangements. This album will fit drunkenly on your playlist with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Tim Burton soundtracks, The Avett Brothers, and Man Man.

The lead track “Weight Of The World” is a seething summary of neofeudalism, while the aggressively sensual “Villainous Thing” recounts a raucous affair at a Parisian brothel. Shayfer’s eulogy for his grandfather and mentor “L.V.S.” stops the heart with a majestic a cappella movement, and “Peace” is a frightening aural illustration of James' frequent nightmares.

Recorded with his live band featuring Dusty Bones (drums), Jeremy Gillespie (bass), Dante Edmont (organ), and various special guest performers, Counterfeit Arcade captures an element of spontaneity and emotional fire that was previously only available in live settings. Mr. James’ umistakable vocal performances shift erratically from soothing beauty to
guttural fury. With a voice made of gravel, silk, and venom, no one sounds like Shayfer James.

credits

released November 29, 2011

All Stories Written and Arranged by Shayfer James 2011. Strike Line Media. All Rights Reserved
www.shayferjames.com
www.facebook.com/shayferjamesmusic
www.twitter.com/shayferjames
info@shayferjames.com

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all rights reserved
Track Name: Weight Of The World
The last man standing
in our sinister charade
beneath the crumbling arches
of our counterfeit arcade
He nobly knelt before us
He sang our savior's chorus
We left him spinning bloody plates
Upon his broken blade
 
(chorus)
That's just the weight of the world
We do what we must to get by
That's just the weight of the world
The weak and the weary will never survive
That's just the weight of the world
We do what we must to stay alive
That's just the weight of the world
We'll all be the weak and the weary some time
 
One woman whistling a wounded lullaby
And preaching pain to every
unsuspecting passerby
We knew her well before this
She promised portraits of us
We cut her throat
While she waiting
for the paint to dry
 
(chorus)
 
And in the distance we’ll here melancholy moans
The long forgotten have a habit of collecting loans
 
(chorus)
Track Name: For The Departed
Just a moment dear
I hear someone at the door
And the beating of a heart
that I hid beneath the floor
They've come for me love
Save yourself
I am far beyond repair
They will bury me alive
but I'm not inclined to care
I am too far gone now

So dry your eyes and count to ten
they'll have me on the pyre by then
forget the man I used to be
you'll move a long more easily

A moment dear
I hear someone in the hall
and the plundering of promises
we hung up on the wall
They've come for us love
Save yourself I am bitter to the bone
And I'm growing rather fond 
of the wandering alone
I am too far gone now

So dry your eyes and count to ten
they'll have me on the pyre by then
forget the man I used to be
you'll move a long more easily

Now I must finish what I started
I'll write a symphony for the departed
I have no time for second chances
so I survive on bourbon, blood, and backward glances

The scene begins
Your cries become the wind
A desperate plea best left unheard
Then my contrived goodbye
A poet's pantomime
A drunken jester's final words

Just a moment dear
I hear someone at the door
And the beating of a heart that I hid beneath 
They've come for me love

Now I must finish what I started
I'll write a symphony for the departed
I have no time for second chances
so I survive on bourbon, blood, and backward glances

Dry your eyes and count to ten
They’ll have me on the pyre by then
Track Name: Where We Belong
There's a mean storm comin'
Strong enough to cut you down
There's a war been wagin'
Better get the children underground
I know we're far beyond the point of no return
Let's say we light a fire and be the first to burn

Do you recall the day when we went wrong?
Time is flyin', ease you're weary mind we'll be alone
Where the skies are grey, where we belong
Time is flyin', ease you're weary mind we'll be alone
Where we belong

There's a freight train comin'
Barrelin' around the bend
There's a red light flashin
Ladies and gentlemen this is the end
I do believe that we've a lesson left to learn
So take your seats your salutations and your turn

Do you recall the day when we went wrong?
Time is flyin', ease you're weary mind we'll be alone
Where the skies are grey, where we belong
Time is flyin', ease you're weary mind we'll be alone
Where we belong

And on the way to our salvation
we'll be making plans 
to overthrow the king
and pick apart the promised lands

Do you recall the day when we went wrong?
Time is flyin', ease you're weary mind we'll be alone
Where the skies are grey, where we belong
Time is flyin', ease you're weary mind we'll be alone
Where we belong
Track Name: L.V.S. (Your Lady Waits)
Oh mighty warrior
Oh fervent counselor
Of palest eye you were
and cautious care

Upon this Autumn more
your laughter lingers on
where ever you have gone
I'll see ya there

Oooh, the mountains bow before ya
Oooh, the clouds are open wide
Oooh, your lady waitin' for ya
Oooh, and we my friend will meet again

Oh gentle guardian
Oh perfect paladin
Cheeks of of a cheshire grin
and wisdom warm

Upon this Autumn more
your laughter lingers on
where ever you have gone
We'll se ya there

Oooh, the mountains bow before ya
Oooh, the clouds are open wide
Oooh, your lady waitin for ya
Oooh, and we my friend will meet again

Oooh, the mountains bow before ya
Oooh, the clouds are open wide
Oooh, your lady waitin for ya
Oooh, and we my friend will meet again
Sometime
Track Name: Villainous Thing
Welcome.
Won't you come inside?
Oh i fear the passing year did not deserve you
By some devious design 
Suddenly you're very near as I prefer you
Soaked and shivered from the rain
you have always been a delicate disaster
Fine in fire and of frame
me and you are overdue for fiendish laughter

(Chorus)
Oh dear, let me see those smokey eyes
You're a villainous thing and we can't have you living a lie Oh dear, let's remove those pretty clothes
You're a villainous thing and I don't think anyone knows

Waste no worry for the world
Let it be a tragedy of love and glory
while they wait by gates of pearl
we'll be building palaces in purgatory

(Chorus)

You’ll find no ever after here
It’s clear that isn’t what you came for
I’ll be your puckish puppeteer
On this delightful little detour

(Chorus)
Track Name: Battle Cry
I stumbled out into the cold
Below a thoughtless moon
I saw the phantoms of my friends
but they were gone too soon
then from the trees my enemies
began to shout and shriek
Until a silence overwhelmed them
And I began to speak
 
Hear my battle cry
hear that mighty sound
They've come before and many more
will try to strike me down
Hear my battle cry
hear that mighty roar
and if you make it out alive
The devil will be waiting by your door
 
I met a stranger on my way
to here from god knows where
he won my lover in a dirty game of solitaire
He stole my crown and placed it crookedly upon his head
He turned around, I took him down, and this is what I said
 
Hear my battle cry
hear that mighty sound
They've come before and many more
will try to strike me down
Hear my battle cry
hear that mighty roar
and if you make it out alive
The devil will be waiting by your door
 
You'll sacrifice the truth to justify your sins
but I don't need an excuse to let the darkness in
You'll sacrifice the truth to justify your sins
but I don't need an excuse to let the darkness in
 
Hear my battle cry
hear that mighty sound
They've come before and many more
will try to strike me down
Hear my battle cry
hear that mighty roar
and if you make it out alive
The devil will be waiting by your door
Track Name: Peace
I'd rather live alone than live a lie
I will never deserve peace
There’s trouble in my bones, a frigid tide
I will never deserve peace
I spoke to the ghost on my way to asleep 
But the boards in the floor called my footsteps a thief
Oh the road to his cliff was clay red and stone grey
And the air tasted ashes, the air tasted ashes
I'd rather live alone than live a lie
I will never deserve peace
There’s trouble in my bones, a frigid tide
I will never deserve peace
I will never deserve peace
I will never deserve peace
Track Name: Diggin' Up Hatchets
We’re Diggin Up Hatchets today
and sharpening the blades
in case, a stitch of hope remains
in this hell that we’ve raised

Hey! We’re witnessing the waking of the dead
we’ll ripping all the wires from our heads
we’re pumping all the poison from our veins
and scrubbing out these wicked stains

We’re burying mercy and grace
in unmarked shallow graves
Today, the piper must be be paid
for the tune that he played

Let us pause and be thankful for this evening
and the fact that we are breathing
maybe living has a meaning after all
there’s a plan for us lunatics and liars
we have faulty gears and wires
they can’t save us but they’ll do the best they can
Track Name: Under The Willow
Lover lover weep for me no more
I’ve been right here under the willow
Mother, mother I think I found my soul
while I was hiding under the willow
I’ve been the portrait of despair
despite this hat and badge I wear
I’ve been a captive and a coward
But Thunder, Thunder shook me to the core
while I was hiding under the willow
Father, father punish me no more
I met a wise man under the willow
Lover, Lover look for me no more
I’ve been right here under the willow
I’ve been a bastard and a fool
rewritten nearly every rule
but I believe I’m worth redemption
cause thunder, thunder shook me to the core
while I was sleeping under the willow.
Track Name: Godspeed
Funny how it’s easier to see
the forest for the trees, when winter steals the leaves
There’s many ways to hide a heart that bleeds
but I prefer the ease of rolling up my sleeves
You’ve got some nerve to be coming around with that smile on your face
and your feet on the ground
I used to be someone that you could believe
but it’s been a while, been a while
You’ve got some nerve to be coming around with that card up your sleeve
and those thorns in your crown
I used to be someone you could believe
Been a while, been a whole

Good luck godspeed, I know I’ll see you again.

Funny how the night is not as long, when you depend upon
the dark before the dawn
There’s many ways to right a thing that’s wrong
You smile, you move along
but I prefer a song

You’ve got some nerve to be coming around with that smile on your face
and your feet on the ground
I used to be someone that you could believe
but it’s been a while, been a while
You’ve got some nerve to be coming around with that card up your sleeve
and those thorns in your crown
I used to be someone you could believe
Been a while, been a whole

Good luck godspeed, I know I’ll see you again.
Let me not make mazes with words
let me be perfectly clear
let me not make mazes with words
get yourself, get the hell, get yourself out of here

Good luck godspeed, I know I’ll see you again.
I’ll always call you a friend indeed.
Track Name: Have A Seat, Misery
Produced by Shayfer James and Mike Ferretti