Middletown

by July For Kings

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1.
03:59
Follow the river down into a sea of sound We could have been two suns sending out waves like drums everything we become space and shooting stars time is all we are put your pain aside and dive across there's nothing to fear here fear is loss don't give me no give me no say just send me out give me away peel back the hardened ground follow the layers down we could have been two eyes animals tell no lies everything good must... put your pain aside and dive across there's nothing to fear here fear is loss don't give me no give me no say just send me out give me away don't give me no give me no choice just send me out into the void put your pain aside and dive across there's nothing to fear here fear is loss don't give me no give me no say just send me out give me away don't give me no give me no choice just send me out into the void just send me out just just send me out don't give me no give me no say just send me out give me away don't give me no give me no choice just send me out into the void
2.
i see the colors they swirl around you i set a network of stars in your eyes i'm going back to the place where i found you i'm gonna make a hole in the universe so i can be with you here on earth when the sun comes up i will go oh, ah it's like a tunnel or a hidden wire even our bodies are made up of waves i'm going back to the place where i found i'm gonna make a hole in the universe so i can be with you here on earth when the sun comes up i will go oh, ah when the light in your closet shines just reach your hand in and feel for mine when the sun comes up i will go i don't like to sleep without you i don't like to breathe without you every atom will ricochet and spell your name i fall on my knees without you i fall on my knees i'm gonna make a hole in the universe so i can be with you here on earth i'm gonna make a hole in the universe so i can be with you here on earth when the sun comes up i will go oh, ah when the light in your closet shines just reach your hand in and feel for mine when the sun comes up i will go
3.
04:13
sun rays turning to stars in your hair at warp speed i'm traveling always pretending not to care just another beautiful summer makes the long days longer when you're not there when i stand up i can stand up with you then i fall to pieces when i look into your eyes i'm reeling don't leave me hanging on don't leave me hanging how can i get to you like a top spinning around i just wanna fall down rain drops turning to stars on the ground to nowhere i'm traveling sidewalks map out your states and your town just another interstate trampled but the whole world is not enough when you're not around when i stand up i can stand up with you then i fall to pieces when i look into your eyes i'm reeling don't leave me hanging on don't leave me hanging on how can i get to you like a top spinning around i just wanna fall down i wanna fall into your almond eyes let me drown i wanna fall but can i make you mind are you coming around are you coming around are you coming around to me i look into your eyes i'm reeling don't leave me hanging on don't leave me hanging on how can i get to you like a top spinning around i just wanna fall down i look into your eyes i'm reeling don't leave me hanging on don't leave me hanging on how can i get to you like a top spinning around i just wanna fall down i look into your eyes i'm reeling don't leave me hanging on don't leave me hanging on how can i get to you like a top spinning around i just wanna fall down like a top spinning around i just wanna fall down
4.
04:34
for ten a.m. i set my clock crawl into bed and wait for the day to stop stop sleeping alone again tonight i search for a trace of you here on this pillow-side side the beauty in the world can cut you for every boy or girl that shut you down a field the run the rain the bottle a song was sung i open the throttle and fly i am a kite and the strong survive to sail out on the wind without a note i cut the rope this is not the end the sun comes through the window like the gaze of god sunny day sky sky a key appears like a lightning night i search for a trace of you here by this fireside the beauty in the world can cut you for every boy or girl that shut you down a field the run the rain the bottle a song was sung i open the throttle and fly i am a kite and the strong survive to sail out on the wind without a note i cut the rope this is not the end it's 2:58 i'm still lying here awake i can't close my eyes without seeing our fate i thought i could decide to shrug and be fine but our love was licorice not totally sweet sometimes delicious then salt like the sea i am a kite and the strong survive to sail out on the wind i am a kite and the strong survive to sail out on the wind without a note i cut the rope this is not the end this is not the end i am a kite and the strong survive to sail out on the wind this is not
5.
02:55
lonely orchid I'm a sphinx and I can fly Hovering around you I'm lost until I found you my sprite I was born will die to taste your taste i will search for you all night i'm far away but still alive in the morning when you wake you open up and radiate river fantastic search for geometric stones nothing sacred is plastic in your eyes i find a home oh i've changed my pattern i've changed my pace i will search for you all night i'm far away but still alive in the morning when you wake you open up and radiate i keep searching i keep searching, babe i keep pointing toward your light lonely orchid i'm a sphinx and i can fly i will search for you all night i'm far away but still alive in the morning when you wake you open up and radiate i will search for you all night i'm far away but still alive in the morning when you wake you open up and radiate
6.
03:25
i'm on the road i'm going nowhere there's nothing else that i can do we light a fire for the girl with red hair and we walk like we're just passing through we count the days in Middletown is there a world we haven't found the black sky won't keep us down is there a world we haven't found we're on the roof she's looking listless the orange clouds are hanging low she's in the mood but will we resist when the time is right i think you'll know we count the days in Middletown is there a world we haven't found the black sky won't keep us down is there a world we haven't found there used to be a store here a place where we could disappear hard pack of camel cigarettes our parents hadn't caught us yet your dad would work a steel job go to church and make a deal with god a song would be our ticket out we count the days in Middletown is there a world we haven't found the black sky won't keep us down is there a world we haven't found we count the days in Middletown is there a world we haven't found the black sky won't keep us down is there a world we haven't found we count the days in Middletown is there a world we haven't found is there a world we haven't found we count the days in Middletown is there a world in Middletown we haven't found we count the days in Middletown
7.
03:54
drop the bones and make your stand if this means life we pull an answer from the sand and it's okay if you don't know what you'll become if we have to fade we'll fade out in the sun just pull this string unraveling kings we sew our own wings i trade my lines i trade my time for cities made of steel i try and dive while the sea's still alive keep my head down and pull back on the shovel new power in my hands crush it up, crush it up, crush it up to feed the future all the goddesses of death are dead one more time we pull a feather from her head like our fathers did we cut your heart away to place it on the scale and find out how you're made string by string unraveling kings we sew our own wings i trade my lines i trade my time for cities made of steel i try and dive while the sea's still alive keep my head down and pull back on the shovel new power in my hands crush it up, crush it up, crush it up to feed the future beat an ancient drum tombs and guns unbury your keys send the army in i've got a strong wind inside of me i trade my lines i trade my time for cities made of steel i try and dive while the sea's still alive keep my head down and pull back on the trigger new power in my hands i'm gonna crush it up, crush it up, crush it up i trade my lines i trade my time for cities made of steel i try and dive while the sea's still alive keep my head down and pull back on the shovel new power in my hands i'm gonna crush it up, crush it up, crush it up yeah i'm gonna crush it up, crush it up, crush it up to feed the future
8.
03:49
I could be a sound wave sailing slowly cross your lips on the ocean of your breath i could float like this there's gonna be a lot of times when the world just wants to fight you i'd like to make it easier but you've got to let me stand beside you stand beside you oh you, you're the only one for me when you're leaning off the edge and you don't know if you need me i'm gonna love you more i'm gonna make you see me when you say you wanna fall i'll set 'ya down easy gonna wrap my arms around you until i get you to believe me to believe me what do i have to do to make you understand me the more you let me love you the better i am oh you, you're the only one for me when you're leaning off the edge and you don't know if you need me i'm gonna love you more i'm gonna make you see me when you say you wanna fall i'll set 'ya down easy gonna wrap my arms around you until i get you to believe me to believe me you're the only one for me, for me i won't give up on you babe i won't give up on you now i won't give up on you babe i won't give up on you now i won't give up on you you, you're the only one for me you, you're the only one for me you, you're the only one for me you, you're the only one for me you're the only one
9.
04:11
i'm waiting in the dark for eagles taking flight the morning will be here soon and we can reunite i'm tired i'm tired of trying of trying how high how high must i climb you can X-ray my heart and my mind if you find a secret keep it every word was true i'd tear my eyes out but there's there's nothing good enough for you how high how high must i climb legions that were sent they crumbled at my feet you're a factory of malcontent and i'm a trophy you don't need i'm tired i'm tired of caring of caring how high how high must i climb you can X-ray my heart and my mind if you find a secret keep it every word was true i'd tear my eyes out but there's there's nothing good enough for you how high how high must i climb yeah how high how high must i climb how high how high must i climb you can X-ray my heart and my mind if you find a secret keep it every word was true i'd tear my eyes out but there's there's nothing good enough for you how high how high must i climb
10.
04:13
if we're not made of what we do how can we be made real this sandy shoreline is no place to feel memories and fingerprints a spark is not a flame get out your knife and make a better game this much i know we've come to far to fall this much i find inside you when i call get back to life get back to life this place nearly tore you apart you've lingered on for far too long bleeding from cellophane hearts put the key in and make it run don't break here before you've won get back to life get back to life powerless and withering branches become nerves they wrap around you tightly turning lines to curves make any offer i can play a sound is not a song there's no stakes in living unless you don't belong this much i know you're in too far to fall this much i find inside you when i call get back to life get back to life this place nearly tore you apart you've lingered on for far too long bleeding from cellophane hearts put the key in and make it run don't break here before you've won get back to life get back to life get back to life get back to life this place nearly tore you apart you've lingered on for far too long bleeding from cellophane hearts put the key in and make it run don't break here before you've won get back to life get back to life bleeding from cellophane hearts put the key in and make it run this place nearly tore you apart you've lingered on for far too long bleeding from cellophane hearts put the key in and make it run don't break here before you've won get back to life get back to life there's something to win tonight get back to life get back to life
11.
04:51
tarantula on a Texas playground in your hand was gentle Panama the bright white sand and the ocean we get so sentimental ooh ooh ooh ooh golden frogs we caught in the jungle's edges just before extinction we moved away and we lived on air-force bases saw the runway blinking it grows in waves like sea foam life was crammed in our heads ooh the stories we tell ooh like god cast a spell ooh on your magic life ooh and this is what it feels like from 405 to 411 you see the sky you see the sun it's you and i tarantula on a Texas playground what is transcendental ooh like god cast a spell ooh on your magic life ooh and this is what it feels like ooh like god cast a spell ooh on your magic life ooh and this is what it feels like

about

Middletown is July For Kings first album in over five years, and has been described by the band as a return to JFK's signature sound, complete with crushing distorted guitars, melodic hooks and vignettes of American midwestern life. Songwriter and lead vocalist Joe Hedges elaborates, "this album is really for the fans. As we have grown in different directions as individuals, July For Kings as an entity retained a power and importance for a lot of people, and this album is a way of respecting that for ourselves and for listeners."

While the album's recording was essentially a Cincinnati-area DIY effort with long-time collaborator Eric Stewart, guitarist/recording engineer John McGuire oversaw the completion and mixing of the record as executive producer, bringing in two Los Angeles-based mixing engineers Michael James (L7, Hole, Jane's Addiction) and Paul Pavao (Breaking Benjamin, Marilyn Manson). John McGuire, a University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Conservatory of Music graduate, also mixed several songs at his own studio J Mac Studios in Cincinnati, and Toledo-based Jeff Harris of Mad Sam Studios mixed one of the album's ballads "Kite", which features original JFK member T Miller on cello.

The carefully balanced post-grunge and pop sensibilities of Middletown, grounded by Hedges' consistently thoughtful and personal lyrics mean the record has more in common with JFK's 2001 MCA debut SWIM than any other July For Kings or Joe Hedges effort. Hedges explains, "the songs were all written over a period of several months so I think they stick together pretty well. We were really deliberate about making a record that was big but could still be sensitive. I've always enjoyed albums that are dynamic, that show a range of human emotions."

The power-pop inspired track six is about Middletown, Ohio, the album's namesake and the high school stomping grounds of Hedges and drummer Dan McQuinn (who also contributed some production to the record). "Middletown is a pretty typical small town. I always liked the connotations of the name, Middle-Town as in middle of America, middle of the road, etc. The city has some economic problems like any other rust belt city, but also is home to some extremely hard-working and generous people." Hedges and McQuinn met in Middletown, OH as kids and "used to watch each other's high school bands perform Tool covers. The song is just about growing up there--playing music, driving cars, attempting to talk to girls".

Other tracks range from aggressive nearly-metal "Climb" and "Back to Life" to acoustic ballads like "Believe Me" and "Tarantula". The album somehow holds together, despite five years of recording, ten studios and a wide range of stories and moods. While the record is guitar-heavy, there are some much appreciated moments of cello, piano and even trumpet to keep listeners engaged while adding some musicality.

Longtime July For Kings fans will undoubtedly relish this effort. This album may also be a gateway for new fans and younger audiences to appreciate the wall-of-guitars sound that reigned before flannel gave way to plaid and earnest Alternative became ironic indie. For those of us who never lost interest in music that was at once powerful and humble, you may now eat your heart out in Middletown--if just for July.

credits

released July 14, 2015

Executive Producer John McGuire
Produced by July For Kings and Eric Stewart
Additional production by John McGuire and Dan McQuinn
All lyrics and music by Joe Hedges, Machines & Dreams (BMI)
Recorded by John McGuire at J-Mac Studios in Cincinnati, OH and by
Eric Stewart at The Stewdio in Middletown, OH
Tracks 1, 6 and 9 mixed by Paul Pavao in Los Angeles, CA
Tracks 2 and 3 mixed by Michael James at IndieProMix in Los Angeles, CA
Track 4 mixed by Jeff Harris at Mad Sam Studios in Toledo, OH
Tracks 5 and 7 mixed by John McGuire at J-Mac Studios in Cincinnati, OH
Tracks 8, 10 and 11 mixed by Michael James at IndieProMix in Los Angeles, CA with additional mixing by John McGuire at J-Mac Studios in Cincinnati, OH
Mastered by Dave Davis of The All Night Party in Cincinnati, OH

Additional recording on tracks 1, 3 and 10 by Eric Stewart at Refraze Recording Studio in Dayton, OH. Additional recording on Tracks 1, 3 and 6 by Eric Stewart at Downtown Recording in Louisville, KY. Additional recording on Track 10 by Ryan Marcotte at Blackwater Sound in Loveland, OH. Additional recording on tracks 2, 4 and 8 by Rob Nadler at Fat Track Studio in Cincinnati, OH. Additional recording by Dan McQuinn at Poolside Sound in Covington, KY.

Guitars by Joe Hedges and John McGuire
Drums by Dan McQuinn
Bass by Aaron Thomas except track 8 by Drew Phillips
Backing vocals by Dan McQuinn and Joe Hedges
Additional backing vocals on tracks 5, 6 and 11 by John McGuireBacking vocals and additional guitar on track 10 by Aaron Thomas
Cello on track 4 by Travis Wong Miller
Trumpet on track 8 and organ on track 3 by Jason Easter
Piano on track 8 by John McGuire
Loops on track 10 by Dan McQuinn
Additional instrumentation by Eric Stewart, Dan McQuinn and John McGuire
Art direction by Jiemei Lin and Joe Hedges
Cover photo by Joe Hedges
Back cover photo and insert photo by Jiemei Lin
Studio photos by John McGuire

July For Kings is:

Joe Hedges - Vocals, Guitars
John McGuire - Guitar, Backing vocals
Dan McQuinn - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Brian Ives - Bass

Thank you to our families, friends and supporters over the years, especially these people who have made the production of this album possible: Jiemei Lin, Brandon and Holly Marusa, Bob and Carol Ives, Rebecca Hedges, Sean Tracey, Lisa Bone, Doug Howell, Markus Kleiner, Keith Wallace, Kirstin Fallang, Amber McDonough, Kevin Chuck, Peter Weber, Jaden Sempsrott, Jesse Vela, Jon Price, Timothy Henson, Nick Miller, Nicole Brown, Jonathan O’Sullivan, Karen and Geno Stewart, Hannah Farrell, Bryan Russel, Eric Tuffandsam at Moonlight Studios, Catherine Garber, Jason Smithers and Clark Tucker.

This album was resuscitated once by Eric Stewart and again by Aaron Thomas, John McGuire of jmacstudios.com and Michael James at indiepromix.com. Thank you all for your patience and encouragement.

www.julyforkings.com

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July For Kings Cincinnati, Ohio

A rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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