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Our Undivided Attention

by Benchmarks

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    CD of 'Our Undivided Attention', Artwork by Joe Maiocco

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1.
This Year 01:20
every morning, when I wake up it's the same old thing I'm always waiting for the Summer I'm waiting for Spring I can't stay awake in daylight and God knows I can't sleep at night I'm tired of this room it's always just like the last one always less of a home and more like a place to crash so can I stay the night at your place 'til the weekend or the Winter ends and I know next year things will be better
2.
Frames 03:54
an ocean with no shore a hallway full of locked doors no water or walls could launch a discourse a vacancy in place and time a song from 1999 was it years long ago, or was it last night? I can remember all the photographs on my bedroom wall but I can't find the people in the frames in there at all but it's alright so won't you stay with me and help me find a way out 'cause I can't be alone now won't you stay with me and help me find a way out help me find a way out those places in my head are gone hardwood floors and front lawns now, I'm trying to get right the things I got wrong I'm the last song in a hazy bar I'm a lost dog chasing cars running 'round in circles 'til it gets dark I think I'm destined to forever come up just a little short If I can't find the feeling or the time that this deserves but it's alright I'll be alright so won't you stay with me and help me find a way out 'cause I can't be alone now won't you stay with me and help me find a way out help me find a way out I'm always stuck in daytime traffic in my mind trying to find a better route because I'm just a bit behind how can I expect to give away my Undivided Attention when I can't escape myself so won't you stay with me and help me find a way out 'cause I can't be alone now won't you stay with me and help me find a way out help me find a way out
3.
sharks and minnows one, two, three I'm at the bottom of the deep end and I need to breathe but I can't get myself to move there's four on top and five on the side and if I make a move now I can make it home alive but I'm too afraid to choose they're coming straight for me they're not coming for me at all am I making progress? or is the other side getting farther every year? am I calling distress? can I make it or should I just get out of here? my friends, they say I'm not so far away but my mother, she says that I need to be safe and I don't think that they're wrong because the five on the side are just trying to look cool and the four on top are getting out of the pool did I wait too long? they're coming straight for me they're not coming for me at all am I making progress? or is the other side getting farther every year? am I calling distress? can I make it or should I just get out of here? sharks and minnows one, two three I'm at the edge of the water just kicking my feet and I wish I could get back in am I making progress? or is the other side getting farther every year? am I calling distress? can I make it or should I just get out of here?
4.
Let You Down 03:33
I took a walk into the city I took a walk to see the places that we dwell between the cracks in the sidewalks our houses kind of look more like hotels 'cause all our front yards have fences and all our windows have secure fit iron bars we like to say "love thy neighbor" but we really don't wanna try that hard I'm tired of the houses that we're building tearing all our neighbors to the ground and I don't wanna deconstruct our city and I don't wanna let nobody down I wanna help you find your last dog I wanna go and see my friends band play downtown don't wanna life here just indifferent I wanna be better than I am now so I will make a life in my house and you will go ahead and make a life in yours but if we're good to each other maybe we can at least unlock our doors I'm tired of the houses that we're building tearing all our neighbors to the ground and I don't wanna deconstruct our city and I don't wanna let nobody down let's take a walk into the city let's take a walk into the city show me the way into the city I'm tired of the houses that we're building tearing all our neighbors to the ground and I don't wanna deconstruct our city and I don't wanna let nobody down
5.
she was smoking cigarettes behind the coat check between the London Fogs and the Steve McQueens she was over it, over it, over it he was getting high with the magazines say you'll never say you'll never go he stumbled over and he picked up his ticket she was washing X's off the back of her hands he was over it, over it, over it and said, "come with me while we still can" it's all sheets and noise for these girls and boys they just keep hanging on keep trying to find something to love but it don't get no easier just pushing at each other pulling at each other she was creeping through the bedroom doorway he was pretending he was still asleep they were over it, over it, over it another souvenir that they can't keep it's all sheets and noise for these girls and boys they just keep hanging on keep trying to find something to love but it don't get no easier just pushing at each other pulling at each other so say you'll never go
6.
well there's a man across the river in a midtown bar and he says he's got a job for me he says he'll give me the cash up front he says "I know it ain't pretty, but the money's on the table if it ain't you, it's someone else" I say, "what makes you think this is something I want?" he says, "cause you’re a thief, an assassin a hired gun you get your hands real dirty over someone else’s blood there ain’t no shame in hustling but there sure as hell ain’t pride for thieves and assassins until you dry up or you die now I’m falling asleep in the passenger seat of a van somewhere south of Tampa still got five hours till the show and I turn to my partner, whisper under my breath, “man, how did we end up here?” he says, “We had no place else to go” he says, "cause we're thieves and assasins a hired gun we get you hands real dirty over someone else’s blood there ain’t no shame in hustling but there sure as hell ain’t pride for thieves and assassins until we dry up or we die and it’s one more beer on the house two dollars at the door three hours till we get paid then it’s four on the motel floor at least we’ve got each other but that ain’t saying much because if we find something better we’ll leave this damn thing in the dust now I’m staring out the window at a series of white lines all starting to blur into one might as well be a runaway train and if I make it back home before it does me in I’ll still have to pay the rent I’ll probably cross that river again because I’m a thief and assassin I’m a hired gun I get my hands real dirty over someone else’s blood and there ain’t no shame in hustling but there sure as hell ain’t pride for thieves and assassins til I dry up or I die
7.
my father told me son there will be times when you won't get your way the die won't roll, the chips won't fall the cookie it just disintegrates I could read the subtext it was written on his face when I was younger I could lie in bed and sleep until daylight but now I lie awake instead eyes wide and staring at the lines on the page and in my skin what was once can never be again bubbling up and sinking in it's getting underneath my skin losing light but saving face I'm running marathons in place I'll grow old and learn the art of gracefully falling apart and standing still with dignity while branches are cut from my tree
8.
I never thought too much about the future guess I figured it was coming either way but now it's giving me hypertension 'cause the future doesn't seem so far away I never thought too much about potential I guess I figured that I'd meet mine someday but now I see it from across a crowded room and I can't think of anything to say handshake deals and trading favors trusting the kindness of strangers didn't seem like such a crime back then borrowed time and borrowed cars arms and hearts and electric guitars just promise you'll see this to the end I don't believe in dream interpretation but if I did I would have stayed inside today 'cause last night someone was throwing punches and I was catching them with my face I never put a lot of stock in soulmates it always sounded like a bad excuse to me but I believe in love and work and patience and searching for that one person who agrees writing songs on paper napkins just do your best and see what happens and when I die don't pour one out for me 'cause you'll know I gave it everything
9.
I'm in Chicago and the Birds are in Cleveland and I haven't seen a full game on TV all season it's OK 'cause I get updates on my phone the same ones I get from my friends so I feel less alone well it's pack your bags put your luggage in the car and I'll call you when I get there wherever we are it's highways in August and airports at Christmas it's calling up friends who say "sorry man, just missed us" it's these places I go and the things I bring home it's chasing these places and things that I'll never quite become well it's empty your pockets have your boarding pass in hand and it's take off your belt and shoes and it's rearrange your plans it's words left unsaid and bills left unpaid it's friends left for dead and beds left unmade it's talks about money and discussing religion it's disappointing my friends and my seasonal depression it's the war on TV and the news as it happens it's writing these songs on airport paper napkins it's coming back home to unopened letters surviving the winter if we stick it out together 'cause there's grass to be grown and there's baseball weather it's less than a hundred days till pitchers and catchers let's raise one more glass to the darkness and sing one more tiny prayer that we make it till spring and it's tray tables up put your seats back upright and it's buckle up your seatbelts and it's have a nice flight
10.
someone open a window, it's ninety-nine degrees and we can't afford to keep the AC on another sixteen hour day, another past due bill to pay and soon as it comes in the money's gone but when we were kids we spent our whole lives waiting for summer take me out tonight and pick up the heat I can't take these days for granted I won't make these wasted days I can't take these days for granted I won't make these wasted days am I going through the motions, just trying to catch my breath? praying that I make it out alive fighting the urge to just give up, to get out of town, to get grown up and move out to the suburbs and wait to die but when we were kids we'd stay out all night holding off the morning but the daylight still broke through
11.
Next Year 03:31
my hands clench the wheel, my breath fills the air as I drive around town seeking my next fare champagne stains in the backseat and the smell of bad perfume Happy New Year's baby, I hope I get home soon I take the lonely boy to the east side because he's trying to forget her I take the drunk kids to Midtown because they don't know any better I take the shiny new couple to Broadway so that they can see the lights if I could I'd take you out of this place if I could just make it home tonight and I know next year things will be better and everybody wants to go home and everybody needs to go home and everybody gets to go home but not me and I know next year things will be better every morning when I wake up it's the same old thing I'm always waiting for the summer, I'm waiting for spring I can't stay awake in daylight and God knows I can't sleep at night I'm tired of this room, it's always just like the last one always less of a home and more like a place to crash so can I stay the night at your place till the weekend or the winter ends I know next year things will be better

about

"Our Undivided Attention, the forthcoming album from Nashville-based rock band Benchmarks, delivers 43 solid minutes of utterly sincere, hook-laden rock and roll that are sure to please both new and old fans of the band. Mixed by Jay Maas (Defeater, Transit, Polar Bear Club, Make Do And Mend), the album represents a creative milestone for the band in both songwriting and production value. Our Undivided Attention follows The American Night EP, which was positively reviewed by fans and critics and received radio play on local Nashville rock station 102.9 The Buzz as well as Sirius XM channel The Loft."

credits

released March 24, 2017

Music written by Todd Farrell Jr. and Jack Whitis.
Lyrics written by Todd Farrell Jr. except “Days are Slow” and “I Never Thought” by Jack Whitis.
Drums performed by Sean Bennett.
Background vocals on “Girls and Boys” performed by Whitney Skirvin.

Produced by Jack Whitis and Todd Farrell Jr.
Recorded by Jack Whitis and Todd Farrell Jr. at Bedbug Studios in Kingston Springs, TN.
Mixed by Jay Maas at Getaway Recording in Haverhill, MA.
Mastered by Mike Montgomery at Candyland Recording Studio in Dayton, KY.
Artwork by Joe Maiocco.
Photo by Melissa Brawner.
Special thanks to Jason Kyle Saetveit, Allan Hall, Nick McIntyre, Lemmy Saylor, Stuart Whitis, and Andy George.

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Benchmarks Nashville, Tennessee

Lots of guitars.

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