by Marker Starling

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Saint Aardvark The groove. Oh my god, the groove comes straight out of the 70s: horns, strings, percussion, and on top of it all the organ and Mantler's/Marker Starling's cool, dry vocals. Favorite track: In Stride.
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released May 10, 2010

Produced by Zack G at Buenos Bandits Sound
Tracks 5 & 7 produced by Jeremy Greenspan at Pistachio Studio
Tracks 8 & 11 produced by Leon Taheny at Angle's Up Studio

Written by Chris A. Cummings
All songs SOCAN

Brass arrangements on tracks 2 & 10 by Owen Pallett
Flute & string arrangements by Chris A. Cummings
Additional arrangement advice: Sam Allison and Matias Rozenberg
Mastered by George Graves at Lacquer Channel

Paintings by Jana Gontscharuk
Design by Jan Lankisch

Recorded between June 2006 - March 2009 in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

A different version of Fresh and Fair was released on Play Records in 1997 - my heartfelt appreciation to Peter Jarvis and Melleny Melody of Play Records

Mount Shasta was commissioned by Oliver Husain for the live performance and film Mount Shasta (2008)

Thanks to:
everyone who played
Sam Allison
Ryan Carley
Zack G
Jana Gontscharuk
Jeremy Greenspan
Richard Guy
Oliver Husain
Michelle Kaminer
Jan Lankisch
Nicholas Pagee
Owen Pallett
Josh Peace
Ambrose Roche
Lina Rodriguez
Matias Rozenberg
Matt Smith
Tom Steinle
Leon Tahney
Cab Williamson

Sheesham and Lotus appear courtesy of Sepiaphone Records


all rights reserved



Mantler Toronto, Ontario

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Track Name: Fortune Smiled Again
Through the air
Burning softly
As the rain
From that sky
All the hopes
That you gave
Like a light
Climbing through the tide
Carried on the breath
Of that mountainside
We are fields
Empty to be filled
We are fields

All the trials and the triumphs
To let go or hold on to
Chances came then were gone
Never taken
But like a spree
Note by note, you ran through them
Like a spree
Tell yourself you outgrew them

Hurt is aching
Try to face it
Brace against it
Vanished gestures
Hollow volleys
Bitter tributes
To your folly
Words you had to speak
Straws you had to grasp

Ways you thought you were
Ways you tried to be
Running deeper
Slipping steeper
In the marrow
Compass arrow
Blinded eyes again
Better medicine
Hopes and ashes
It was in you
Given into
Silent burning

All the falls and the rises
Disappointments, surprises
The endeavours, travails of your lifetime
And now I see
Is it true - I have spent them?
Now I see
It is true - I have less left

Spun in golden thread
Fortune smiled again
From that sky
Ever beckoning
Turn now
Twist in the wind
Never pinned
Track Name: Childman
That's what you am

It has its up and downs
Leave a line on your face
When you smile
Or laugh or frown
It wasn't made for you
You must try, leave a line
In the place
Where you were to yourself true

You're the one who makes it impossible
You're the one
Puts up your own obstacle
You blind yourself, cut your losses and grieve
The death of what's alive
The letter not received

That's what you am

You couldn't see
You could only look
The words you said came from the copybook
The words you bought and sold
Had them down cold
But what you wrote in your name
Cannot be played the same

You know you can't afford to be late
The price is higher the longer you wait
But if you try
You'll see twice as much
With your eyes open all the way
You'll turn a deeper touch
Cloud crowd
You can't even it out
You will stand up when
You know you can

You know you're not really so innocent
You can't say you always had good intent
And the powers of the bad
They did what they could
To make you do only the things
That felt good
Track Name: Also Close The Rainbow
Life is not a game
You can play back again
And all those beautiful strokes
Remember how they went
You try now to depict them
Once again

With measured steps
You walk the final test
No regrets
But will you stand up and be counted
Tow the line
Some go insane or go blind
Obeying innocent
Deceitful cryptic signs
Believing true
The bald-faced lie
Cold metal flavour straight
They used to show the way
But curveballs dashed against the glass
Of all their storied claims

Forget-me-nots and nicknames
They sold us grief
With cloying words and killing phrases
But beneath we saw the letters turn to violets
On a meadow-page

A fortune fair
Forgive my sentimental despair
Its echo-touch will trouble me
Not overmuch
Its poison press engraved in me a maze
Hung deep with flowers of defeat
Whose hue exhumed a long-gone play

I beg you grant me this chance to make it through
The hard-earned bars that comfort also close the rainbow
Track Name: Fresh And Fair
At the end of what you thought was just a stop in the clock
Found out you got older than you thought
At the end of what you thought of as a great somnambulant game
All you found among the remains was a few frames

On the other side was an angel sea
On the distant shore it was never to be
Teeming with the thoughts slipped out of reach
Fell away like the sand to the distant beach

'Cause though you might forget it for awhile
You can get it back when you need it
Try to keep it for a little while
Try to keep it on your mind
You can get it back

Though you might forget it for awhile
You can get it back when you need it
Try to keep it for a little while
Bright sparkle turning in your mind
Silence might dull the light
And strike the line
In the meantime

You laid devastation waste
Felt like getting a taste for it
Another time, another place
But you couldn't get away
From your own face
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

Say yeah yeah yeah
'Cause you'll never ever know for sure
If it's fresh and fair or clear and pure
You'll never know if it's really true
Until you play it through
And let it all come out
That's the only way you'll ever know what it's about

You'll never know for sure
If it's fresh and fair or clear and pure
You'll never be without your little doubt
Track Name: Author
Like a face bears a noble expression
It's not the words you love
It's the voice of the author
It's not the story spoken
But the impression furnished
In dusky theatres of old
In auditoriums dark with age
The speeches actors would unfold
The poems fluttering from the stage

Garlands of love
Daggers of hate
Waistcoats and gloves
Prop-pieces of eight
Fiery hues
For burning at stake
Better pay your union dues
They'll write a part for you
Sound out the words
Shore up the rhymes
Practice the moves
Know your marks and your cue-times
Plates in the floor
Rotate you through walls
Who says you can't do it all?
Grab a few moments now

Curtains will become your drapes
Catching all your good mistakes
Choices to discard or keep
But don't play us cheap

Brackets will enclose your name
Fix your sights and take your aim
Through the footlit breach
You strive to reach
Giving back his own to each

I'm in the crowd
I'm in the stands
Raising my voice
Clapping my hands
Masterful work
Success is assured
I'll type my 300 words
Track Name: Breaking Past The Day
Starting for the door
Pushing back the roaring tide
Falling through the floor
Of a broken trick of pride

Because you've come to see
The waves that break will go on breaking past the day
You've played your final play
With gestures new and strange
You reach to touch the brand new leaves that turn and pall
Between the spring and fall
You read between the lines
You see it all between the moments of each day
What speech can never say

Somewhere outside of time
You'll find the rhyme to strike the chord whose sounded song
Will rend the right from wrong

Stamping at the flames
Of an all-destroying fire
Tamping down the hum
Of an all-enclosing wire

And yet we'll surely last
The river sons and ocean daughters of our hopes
Will keep us off the ropes
With each succeeding wave
Do we grow stronger or more weak than those before
Who struggled to the shore?
Track Name: Crying At The Movies
It's easier to cry in the movies
Than it is in real life
People hide their eyes in the movies
Like the actors say their lines

Dark flow the tears that the laughter choked
In a torrent gone for broke
Fast flow the thoughts that the day withheld
The the letters failed to spell
Crook an ear to a sigh
Take a tear for a ride

I'm just crying at the movies
I'm just crying at the movies
Crying at the drying of the eyes
The sovereign sigh of sighs
I'm just crying at the movies

It's lonelier to cry in a crowded street
Than it is to cry alone
People pass you by
They don't meet your eye
They pretend they've never known

Dark run the streets that the sunshine fled
In the canyon, voices spread
Help spell the words that you long to speak
The advice you long to seek

Put a match to the fire
Let the tears flow entire
I'm still crying at the movies
I'm still
I'm still crying, crying, crying, crying
Crying at the...
Track Name: Maiden Name
This cry like a lighthouse we'll send
Like a lighthouse we'll send
Each night like a song without end
Like a song without end

We're tethered to a faded aim
To a faded aim
We're severed from a maiden name
From a maiden name

This cry like a lighthouse we'll send
Like a lighthouse we'll send
Track Name: In Stride
You pay to play from day to day
From ports of call their voices fall
But the ship passes over
Ever striving, never to stay
At every stage, at every age
It's hard to turn the page

At every pass, retry your class
For every stroke, you're rich but broke
All the traps and the trappings
Ever endless to every end
For every turn, for every burn
It cuts, it breaks, it stays
You keep with care

That ember rare
You shield it close

Against the foes
More than a pledge
A promise kept
The book is writ
It's you who lives it
You feel the pain
Don't take the blame
The fear is free
Strength costs a fee
And forces waned
Can be regained
You shine a path
And that's how I knew that

You'd take it in stride
I always knew that you'd take it in stride
No matter the cards you're dealt
The blows you're dealt
Never mind, you would take them in your stride
You'd take it in stride
I knew that you'd take it in stride
Shot through with the rays of your hope
All our days
For all places and times
You would take it
You would take it
You would take it
You would take it all
In stride
In stride
In stride
Track Name: Mount Shasta
Drifting in a daze
Sun-soaked scatters
Writing off the page
Hopes in tatters
Locked up tight and nothing's getting to me
All the same I can't help feeling doomy
Man the battle stations for the fight
Knowing that this time
We might be right

Time slowly
Swims under
Pinpoints of light
Tide draw the shore nearer
Life-forming light
And you
You start new
Begin again

Inward glimmer
Spiral sparkle dancing
Framed in falling dusk and pitted shadow
Steeped in sugar
Lunar pool reflections
Ripples lace the pace of cryptic contours
Pylon, fill the sky
Long-questing sentry
Piling on what questions seek to answer
Pound for pound
Forgotten, overtaken
Dazzle garland darkness

Stella starlight
Twilight boon companion
Seven skies of roaring borealis
Guardian of April
Keep the summer eyes
Of isles' light tranquil
Sharpen all the dull
Discarded fragments
Naming all the nameless
Forms and figures
Freshening the faded
Jade of embers
Fastening the clasp of loneliness
Blazing through the glades of late December
Hearken back the maps of undone stations
Shield the heavens' bright escaping silver
Feathers scale the skies
With trails of mercy

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