the gifted children - always stay sweet

Release date: October 14, 2008

'always stay sweet' is the the second full-length, and already the 9th (yes, we said 9th!), overall release for the gifted children in 2008... 

From a 70-second pop anthem for the underdog ("the straw brigade") to a cello-filled ode to dying in plane crashes ("the dancehall atlantic") to a chamber-music-meets-Aphex Twin rumination on muses to the beautiful noise of the title track, 'always stay sweet' is another highlight in their prolific body of work. 

For those who like comparisons, think Guided by Voices communing with Broken Social Scene and Red House Painters and you're partly there.

aaron boucher - drumset on 1, 10 & 12; shouts on 10
brett dreyer - tenor saxophones on 1 & 9
tim grimaldi - tambourine on 1; drumset on 2 & 4; shakers on 3; hi-hat on 9
nick hall - hi-hat on 1; drumset on 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 & 11
katherine jacobs - cellos on 3, 5, 6, 8 & 9
tadd masterson - clarinets on 6
jim sahr - harmony voice on 1
justin sheehan - harmony voice on 1, 4, 7 & 12; drum loop on 12
jeff suszczynski - guitars on 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 & 12; voices on 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 & 11; piano on 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 & 11; shakers on 3; bass on 5; keyboard on 9; drum program on 9 & 12; xylophone on 10; harmonicas on 11
pam swarts - voice on 3, 5, 8 & 9; keyboard on 9; clarinet on 9
bill trautman - bass on 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11 & 12; guitar on 4, 7 & 12; voices on 4, 7 & 12; drum program on 4; whistling on 7; keyboard on 12

all songs written by jeff suszczynski (cp 2008, bmi), except:
4, 7 & 12 by bill trautman (cp 2008, bmi).

produced by the gifted children.

recording: august 2004 - august 2008 on md8 in the gamble room and spurrier gym (rochester, ny), on mac at 26 oehman (cheektowaga, ny), and on pc at bad wallpaper (rochester, ny) and boucher's place (rochester, ny).

mixing and mastering: june-july 2008 at bad wallpaper (rochester, ny).

photography: front cover by; back cover by ;

layout/design: brett dreyer/the gifted children

Lyrics and individual track credits:

01 the straw brigade

your listerine teeth
our broken-armed love
you, chiseled by facelift
it’s our job to clap when you speak
and complain at every roadside
we’re counting cars
should be angling towards meaning
instead coughing in your exhaust plume
endured rival chants for so long
we finally built a campfire for all the lonely hearts
breathe and you’ll put it out
we’re fanning flames, it’s almost life

aaron boucher – drumsets
brett dreyer – tenor saxophones
tim grimaldi – tambourine
nick hall – hi-hat
jim sahr – harmony voice
justin sheehan – harmony voices
jeff suszczynski – guitars, voices
bill trautman – bass

02 how important the local creek

bring on the carcass weather
let's get lost and never leave
flush the poison, rebuild skin
how important the local creek

find me in your drafty attic
dust me off so i can breathe
bathe me in the cool, clear water
how important the local creek

freeze me in your ancient canyon
bruise me with your turning cheek
watch the pieces floating onward
how important the local creek

bring on the carcass weather
let's get lost and never leave
flush the poison, rebuild skin
how important the local creek

tim grimaldi – drumset
jeff suszczynski – guitars, voices
bill trautman - bass

03 the dancehall atlantic

down your darkened corridors who dances?
they await you, they hear your echoed footsteps
waves from planes destined for the dancehall atlantic
angel voice in chambers
and who are we but albatross?

my car hits ghosts at intersections
the humidity of a hundred summers is in us
the matchbook crumbles with no fire
and i’m waiting alone without you

tim grimaldi – shakers
nick hall – drumset
katherine jacobs – cellos
jeff suszczynski – guitars, voices, pianos, shakers
pam swarts – harmony voice
bill trautman – bass

04 ankle socks

i’m feeling pretty out there
i’m waiting for a new pair
but the shoes never fit
when you buy them separately

and you confuse me
with all the dexterity of an opposable thumb

tim grimaldi – drumset
nick hall – electronic drumset
justin sheehan – harmony voice
jeff suszczynski – pianos
bill trautman - guitar, bass, voices, drum program

05 always stay sweet

your summer haze got the best of me again
it's crippling and it takes me by surprise every time
windblown downstate to your city
and i'll be leaving too soon again

we of shakespearean near misses
just meet for dinner and say goodbye

here comes the coda now:
it's been a year since we last spoke
you've probably been everywhere but not with me
wherever you are i hope you always stay sweet

nick hall – drumset
katherine jacobs – cello
jeff suszczynski – guitars, bass, pianos, voices
pam swarts – voices

06 a forest

your kind attention, please
everything plastic wins
when we break apart there is no maybe
the bridge collapses under exodus
we shrink with cold and crack
next year - weeds to fill the gaps

when you feel the faint come, push harder
blindfold me, spin me around
start me in some new direction
stop following the same old sounds

katherine jacobs – cellos
tadd masterson – clarinets
jeff suszczynski – guitars, voices

07 the genius of me

i’m in no mood for conversation
so sit there and watch me implode
i’ll turn into some sort of small black hole
and pull in all the things you wish we were
and i’ll stay here, try to figure out
why there’s never any mustard
but there’s always salt to rub in my wounds

nick hall – drumset
justin sheehan – harmony voice
bill trautman – bass, keyboards, guitars, voices, whistling

08 grandmaster ennui

you always looked prettier in oil slicks
but you brought cubic measurement and ruined the mystery
i don’t want your case studies sterile and bone dry
your ven diagram love letters have grown tired
explain your lack of motivation in three sentences or less:
“life ends. life ends. life ends.”

nick hall – drumset
katherine jacobs – cellos
jeff suszczynski – guitars, voices, piano
pam swarts – harmony voice
bill trautman – bass

09 meeting the great bliss queen

come softly to me
you the something missing
you the shard of glass
you the strange angel
pretend we're longtime lovers
haunt me haunt me – do it again

brett dreyer – tenor saxophone
tim grimaldi – hi-hat
katherine jacobs – cello
jeff suszczynski – keyboards, drum program, piano, voice
pam swarts – keyboard, clarinet, harmony voice

10 left behind desecration

left behind desecration:
they will find you in the station

aaron boucher – drumset, shouts
jeff suszczynski – acoustic guitar, voices, xylophone
bill trautman – bass

11 king of all nosebleeds

yes, you are the martyr
yes, we are the thieves
we’re mere slaves to fashion
but you serve destiny
for all your timeclock service rendered
we crown thee ‘king of all nosebleeds’

nick hall – drumset
jeff suszczynski – guitars, voices, keyboards, harmonicas, pianos
bill trautman – bass

12 smalltalk champion

and it’s all coming down to this...

aaron boucher – drumset
justin sheehan – harmony voice, drum loop
jeff suszczynski – guitars, drum program
bill trautman – guitars, keyboard, bass, voice