Death of the Neon

by String Machine

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  • T-Shirt/Apparel + Digital Album

    "Death of the Neon" long sleeve shirt, printed on Gildan DryBlend (50% Cotton, 50% polyester). Vegas Gold ink. Graphic by Austin Uram

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    Printed on Bella-Canvas. Design by Austin Uram.

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  • Lyric booklet, includes pictures of recording process. Designed by David Beck, photos by David McCandless, Emily Bennett-DiLullo, & Emery Meyer.

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  • Ticket + Digital Album

    SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 1st: String Machine is playing with As Cities Burn, All Get Out, & Many Rooms at Crafthouse Stage & Grille (PITTSBURGH, PA)

    Your tickets will be left on WILLCALL at the venue on the day of the show.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Death of the Neon via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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about

"Soaring ethereal rhythms and melodies, and the doomed tenderness of where hope and hopelessness dance among the faded soon-to-be ruins of ill-maintained state highways tearing through rural and postindustrial landscapes. The soil here isn’t as fertile as it once was, but sometimes a collective of voices breaks through the frostline. For those who see no future, the future is wide open. This is the landscape from which String Machine emerged. Some of their neighbors are farmers, still pulling what they can from the earth, but more often than not selling off parcels of land to developers who bulldoze off the topsoil, name their housing plan Pasture Place or some such insult, and name the streets after the wildflowers that used to grow there. Those who inhabit these plans live separately from those who live in older, more rural confines. A simple socioeconomic separation. Further along we see the post-industrial wasteland, now operating at a fraction of its capacity, employing contractors and employment agencies and any such measure to ensure they pay the lowest possible wage, avoid providing benefits, and maintain a workforce that can be scrapped as quickly as the barrels of slag stored in the back lot. There is a city to the south. To get there we drive through this romantic memory of family farms and some distant 1970’s era vision of self-liberation through labor and industry, through towns long since conquered by opiates. For String Machine, the decision was simple: reject this life they inherited, move ahead fearlessly with the lessons each of them has learned among the frozen ruins of rural western Pennsylvania (northern Pittsburgh, PA).

Originally a solo project, David Beck enlisted a number of friends to help him see his vision through. Soon enough those musicians shared his vision, and String Machine grew into a collective, shared project. They released Threads from the Youth Fossil in 2017. A beautiful debut, really, but perhaps it’s best to speak of this album, Death of the Neon, as their collective debut. Their first conscious effort to make an album as a band, it came with a lengthy period of having to discover how to creatively work as a unit of 7 people. After a busy stretch of playing countless shows and embarking on mini-tours, they self-isolated into their rural Saxonburg home studio, remaining reclusive until they had an album they were collectively happy with.

Through the strength of 7 incredibly talented individuals, Death of the Neon experiments with layers of musicality, emotionality, fragility, and an inimitable ability to render avant-garde imagery into relatable terms. The listener feels empowered, yet invited into the band’s personal vulnerabilities. It would be easy enough to make an attempt at some pointless term of categorization: psychedelic folk, indie rock, post-folk, or if this were the 90s they would probably be dumped into that “alternative” catch-all. But to experience String Machine, either live or on Death of the Neon, is to enter a unique musical world, a world where a wall of sound provides joy while wondering if joy is possible, lays bare the musicians’ wounds while soothing yours, and gives us something synesthetic – these aren’t just songs for your ears; they will resonate throughout your entire body." -Jeffrey Schrader

credits

released August 2, 2019

String Machine is:

David Beck
Dylan Kersten
Laurel Wain
Nic Temple
Mike Law
Ian Compton
Katie Morrow

Recorded at Loud Audio Workshop (Mike’s basement) & various other locations
Mixed & Mastered by Jake Hanner
Produced by David Beck
Engineered by David Beck & Mike Law
All lyrics by David Beck, except for track 4 (Beck, Kersten) & track 5 (Beck, Wain)
“Death of the Neon Pt. 1, 2, & 3” features vocals from Angelo Fiaretti & the Insurance Agency for Highway Safety

Album art by Gold Mombi (Katie Gould)
“Death of the Neon” graphic designed by Austin Uram
All promotional photos by David McCandless
…an Earthwalk Collective production

Big thanks to the Law family, Hyphen Lynn, Monica Myers, Emery Meyer, Ralph DiLullo, Anthony Peduzzi, the Beck family, Jeffrey Schrader, Bryce Brucker (& his family), Cody & Jamie, Abby Dekrai, Emily Bennett, Michael Simile, David McCandless, Austin Uram, Katie Gould, Jake Hanner, Connor Swiss, Nick Blum, Tim Fitzgerald, Stuart Lewis, the Earthwalk Collective, and everyone who has supported us along the way.

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about

String Machine Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

String Machine is an experimental folk project from Pittsburgh PA.


email: earthwalkcontact@gmail.com

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Track Name: Engine / It's Time
summer was over
when the water
in my leaky radiator
froze over
the coolant lines in my car
i’m stranded
in the cold, post show
in november

but only if my phone wasn’t dead,
I could see if my band
was featured in someone’s
Instagram story
I could bide my time
’til the morning
reliving my thirty seconds of glory

& i’m thinking how
friends treat friends differently
if i’m an engine to you,
i have no use if i overheat.

wound up in rubber bands,
insurance coverages,
online presences,
you can drop from any ceiling
and not feel any feeling.
egg drop
Track Name: Eight Legged Dog
it all ages in blue,
with breathless flicks of lint,
pulled from the seams
of your pocket.

& it forms into lung,
to breath you in.
like a cobweb,
& you’re callused by the wind.

while the eight legged dog
is coming along,
to ruin your grain.

so i’m forgiven,
i’m sap kid
who thickened his blood
to syrup


& now my exoskeleton
that bandages my soft margins
is too thick to escape
it’s too thick to penetrate

& the transmigration spoke
won’t carry me along
but it’s coming to carry you along.

while the eight legged dog
is coming along
to ruin your grain.
Track Name: Old Mack
four steel stitches in my face,
old mack was a piece of shit dog.
not all hounds go to heaven,
but i don’t know where the bad ones go,
but i’m all smiles
that the teeth didn’t go thru my throat.

i’ve got it tied tight around my face,
blanket soul keeps the sap in my head
not all dogs will bite again
but they don’t want to take the chance,
they wanna put that old mutt down.

& I haven’t slept well in days
happy birthday to my best friend bryce
lets put uh make up on my scars today
and go see manson at star lake
and hope we wake up the same.
Track Name: Rattle on the Spoke
what they give they take away,
well i’ve been looking out.
fun has a karma,
everything’s great
then everything’s okay.

i’m only a rattle on the spoke,
deflated lung,
rhythmic in its cough,
stepped on like bubble wrap
never to gasp again.

cotton wake & plastic,
with an infomercial smile.
i’ve left the TV on for far too long
now it’s all gone now.

i’m only a rattle on the spoke,
deflated lung,
rhythmic in its cough,
stepped on like bubble wrap
never to gasp again.

i’m only alone in my head,
blanket soul on my breath.
Track Name: No Holiday / Excite Again
it’s like they leave me out
just to leave me in
but wedge me out
when i try to wedge me in
twas holiday with friends
but now i feel no holiday again

i’ll pretend its fun
to pretend with everyone.

so many calls on my birthday,
couldn't answer
but could feel vibrate
screen is shattered
looks like spiderwebs
i wont let it take my day
leave work early, fake family emergency
i feel no holiday again.

i’ll pretend its fun
to pretend with everyone.

you say, i don’t do much
you say, i don’t say much

merry go round the sun
you spun barbwire into a crown
so vultures
wouldn’t be scratchin’
their talons
into your halo!
but how can i
excite you again
if i can’t even
excite myself again
excite again
excite again
when my head feels
great but in a numb way
my head feels great
but in a dumb way
Track Name: Death of the Neon (Pt. 1, 2, & 3)
there are ghosts in the air
dissolving in the breeze
shifting thru the idle & exhaust
floating thru the high breams like fog

yeah, its the death of the neon.

our cars are trying to kill us
but we cannot afford to disarm them.
baby, i’m kimchi marinating in motor oil
god will trim the soft margins
for the broil of an eon.

yeah, its the death of the neon.

god
will not
eat you raw.
she’s the breeze,
that’ll set you free.
Track Name: Mara (In The Breeze)
she brews tea,
loose leaf
& in the breeze we’re alright to be
shattered like an ornament
that fell like a fruit from the tree

where she won’t attach or detach or climb
thru silk threads within rib cage
hoping to find more than

shallow tones & requiems.
jaggers pick her back
for the insects to spin their web.

oh and what a garden to harvest
in strands of neutral brain cells
that pop & inflate.
little barbwires of trigger word
induce the woke dream
of lost nostalgia.

& in the breeze we’re alright to be.
Track Name: Pit of the Peach
thru high & low,
one day you’ll be torn from the limb
you’ll plummet on down,
shed your skin.

but it’ll be okay,
you’ll transmigrate,
when the springtime dawn
nudges you awake.

its not everyday you can
be peeled clean
with the bruising in your pulp
decomposing from the
pit of the peach.

friend of mine,
one day you’ll be torn from vine,
& where you point your flashlight,
i’ll point mine.

& despite our indifference
of where we go after this,
i’ll still care where you’ll flutter
when your heart sputters
gives minerals to the weeds.

its not everyday you can
be peeled clean
with the bruising in your pulp
decomposing from the
pit of the peach.
Track Name: Comforts from the Cobweb
i’m falling behind you
i can’t seem to keep that shit straight.
hey, we’re at the brink,
another awakening.

& i’m chewing on
my cuticles to keep me up,
they’re sweeter
than i can remember.

well its so much joy,
so much excitement,
that it’ll be hard
to excite again.


the feed used to bleed,
into statuses i had seen before,
but now i can’t seem to control,
the habit when i am bored.

but i’m hanging on for another year,
i only listen to what i want to hear.
comfort from the cobweb,
just waiting for the insect to come around.

well its so much joy,
so much excitement,
that it’ll be hard
to excite again.

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