What We Say We Are

by Tyler Sjöström

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Daniel Bryant
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Daniel Bryant Very down to earth. (Haha, Grand Canyon). Both fresh and original, creative and picturesque. I feel like I got smacked by the River of Awesome Music and drowned, no complaints. Keep making music. You have many happy fans. Favorite track: Red River.
Merritt Howard II
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Merritt Howard II amazing. just amazing Favorite track: Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
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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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Track Name: Red River
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
Track Name: Hammock
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
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
Track Name: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
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
Track Name: Hands & Knees
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
Track Name: Brother
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
Track Name: Let Them
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
Track Name: Rescind My Fear
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