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What We Say We Are

by Tyler Sjöström

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Red River 04:21
Red River You stole my heart again Red River You stole my soul again Set it in the soil It’s basking in the moon Not a shiver You warm the cliffs & stone You deliver Life to these dried up bones Islands in the fog They’re basking in the moon Your waters flow Down the Gulf of Mexico The Appalachian Through the whole damn Southern nation You take it slow Just enough to let the snow Melt below The mountain
Hammock 03:18
One day I’ll live out of tree Live out on branches You’ll just see The squirrel & robin my neighbors there The times we’ll spend The times we’ll share We’ll laugh at people walking home Where cold hard pavement bears their bones They’ve built their boxes big & small Now clamber on back to your human stall Swing swing Rise and fall The trees they bend & sway Sing oo-de-lally Oo-de-lally-ay Hammock all day And they feel the urge to contain indoors Yet I feel my insides yearn for more More than ceilings, chairs & floors The windows beckon me outdoors And the birds they’ll call me by name They’ll chirp & chirp & I’ll sustain A note alongside Wild & true A wondrous chorus if you only knew
Oh to find me drunk is cliché I’ve perfected the drunken stupor these days I’ve raided the cellar for straight bourbon whiskey Just to make my life slightly tipsy And oh I find it easy to go to your feet, your throne When I’m halfway gone Cursed be the feet that take me To the place where love seems easy How could I fathom Oh how could I believe That I could earn a heart That I could deceive And oh, my eyes burn red in my drowsy head And it’s just enough to keep me I line my throat with gold & let the words spew out They sound pretty to me It’ll sound pretty no doubt It’s in my bones It’s in my blood ya know It won’t kill my body It’ll kill my soul I line my throat with gold & let the words spew out They sound clever to me It’ll sound witty no doubt It’s in my bones It’s in my blood ya know What won’t kill my body Won’t kill my soul
I blow the wind under wings of feathered friends I push them skyward I move the fields like the seas you watch & love I move them for you Run from the shore now Kick up your heels & join the trees Bask in the heat how Lovely to dirty hands & knees I churn the streams Rivers run Pebbles flow I let the leaves fall I green the grass Brown the dirt Set fire to the sky I frost the mountains Run from the shore now Kick up your heels & join the trees Bask in the heat how Love leads to to dirty hands & knees Wade in the water now Sit by the fire & burn worries Be quick & leave now You’ve been too long without your things Without your things
Brother 02:32
Oh, my eyes they don’t remember Me ears, they’re full of clay Me arms can barely hold you From the work toiled today Oh yes, me hearts been grown callous Me tears they're dried and gone You say you are my brother But I believe you’re wrong Oh yes, you say you are my brother But I believe your wrong Oh, you’ve taken long returning You were lost but now you’re found You’re swollen with humility Or is it pride, you’ve found And now you offer charity Or a debt I can’t repay You’ve called me a thief A liar to betray Oh yes, you say your are my brother But I say nay So curse the sun for burning my brow But I don’t believe anything you say right now So curse the sun for burning my brow But I don’t believe anything you say right now No, I don’t believe anything you say right now
Let Them 04:02
There are several ways before you You can choose any path But you find yourself in circles Entrenched in your fears Your past And though our lives crack & splinter There shines an ether’s beam And just as the Spring is worth the Winter We find our future And the rain started coming And the people They watched you spin around And you said I I don’t care about it Let them watch me dance Let them watch me Well here they dole out mercy And here they dole out grace But when the time comes to collect them They never seem to recognize your face You are broken You are dull Cracked & useless Yet you use your all Burdened heav’ly and yet so light You ask Use this shell of man tonight
And the forest was burned And the creatures then did learn That we couldn’t live together like this So each turned its face & fled Into wilderness And the people began to weep When they saw their friends take flight & leap Out into darkness And in the graves The dead raised their voices to say We disapprove today But you and I We’ll go out together We’ll ride out together We’ll go out together right now I’ll rescind my fear & come alive I’m not alone Shear the dead Old skin & bear the bone I’m not alone Allow the sun to burn my skeleton Return to fields Hold the warmth inside my broken home I’m not alone


released September 30, 2014


Music & Lyrics by Tyler Sjöström

Produced by Mark Sommerville
Engineered & mixed by Mark Sommerville
Mastered by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering, Los Angeles, CA
String arrangements by Andrew Gerlicher
Additional engineering by Kevin Rose & Kyle Ahlstrom
Recorded at Backthird Audio, Aurora, IL & Groovemaster Recording, Chicago, IL

Design by Lauren Meranda & Tyler Sjöström
Photography by Lauren Meranda & Megan Cody

Tyler Sjöström: vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano, harmonium, glockenspiel
Eric Anderson: mandolin, banjo, hammer dulcimer
Aaron Hoekstra: background vocals
Andrew Parks: background vocals
Jake Gordon: upright bass
Ian Simkins: seed-filled drums, percussion
Mark Sommerville: electric guitar, whistle, gang vocals, percussion

Strings: Lee Wilkinson, Daniel Widler, Mei-Mey Segura, Katie Heise

Additional gang vocals & percussion: Tricia Kaufman, Luanne & Timothy Sjostrom, Ryan Sjostrom, Kathryn Persson, Megan Cody, Joellyn Hoekstra, Ryan Wheatley, Lauren Lehman


Duplication without written permission is prohibited by international law.

Write to Tyler Sjöström at info@tylersjostrom.com.


all rights reserved



Tyler Sjöström Chicago, Illinois

Music wrought by the love of the wild & the pursuit of truth, spun as cognitive word vomit with the frills of folk.

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