Spiritual Successor

by Branton G

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I wrote all of these songs in 2011 and 2012. At that time I was a joyless, desperate teenager seeking out inspiration, hope, and a false approximation of love. All that I did in life was run from my problems and run towards some temporary fix that I knew would never last. I made a huge muck of a mess for myself and for the many others that I did wrong. But I was far from oblivious because I knew just what I was doing. Still, I stumbled along the riverbed and ran wild through the woods. Every chance I had I made music that was soaked in my venomous angst. I wrote lyrics that strained to rhyme and stilt up my pitiful, pessimistic view of my life. Using this mode of weak songwriting I authored many, many meandering folk songs of unquestionably low quality. But it's because I dislike these songs so much that I decided to make this album.

At the time, I created so much that I could never finish anything. It just accumulated endlessly. Consequently these songs have never had the home that I intended for them. Also due, in part, to one particular night in April 2013 that I deleted everything that I'd ever started. Several years later I chanced upon the digital remains of the abandoned projects and listened back through it all. Although rudimentary and contrived, I found that they'd grown on me in such a way as to now be slightly charming. So using the source iPhone demos and brand new recordings I have finally completed what I could not years ago. These songs represent the stupid, arrogant, pretentious kid that I was and the bittersweet memories of my lost youth's follies. But most importantly they mark for me the unbelievable distance that I've come in the years since. Let this be an ugly headstone over my dead and forgotten past.


released May 17, 2017

everything entirely by me except a select few samples

written June '11 - December '12 / refined October '16 - April '17 / recorded May '17

Special thanks to those that put up with me way back when. I'll always remember that romantic suffering. What an awful time we had.

Cover photo taken by Cody Helcl. Thanks for freezing out there with me when I know you didn't want to.



all rights reserved


Branton G

I write songs about the moments of my life that I deem necessary to remember. My hope is that, in sharing these with you, you'll find something to connect with.

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Track Name: Bewildered with the Why
Love of mine, I'm walking home at the end of the day
what do I find but a cliche dark alleyway /
Urban canopy a silhouette against the starless sky
I just find myself bewildered with the “why” /
okay I lied, you ain't no love of mine /

All these miles that I've walked
it's been 2 months or so since we've talked /
A storm pops and flashes in the sleepy sky
I just find myself bewildered with the “why” /
I'm just outside the pathway so hard to find /

been living in isolation at my great-grandfather's house
but tomorrow I'm leaving Lubbock, I've got to get out /
I'll come back to you, that's all I ever do
I'm coming home to start real life /

“If there's no one beside you” I'm wandering into the dark
dimly lit beneath the near-full moon of your heart /
streetlight of hope, electrical rope
long wooden fences channel me out, childhood's end /

The storm is beautiful but you top it yet
I set an expectation that just can't be met /
shadows of December stretching under the empty sky
I'm just so bewildered with the “why” /
I tried but I just can't break the bind \
Track Name: Seoul Jim's, or, The Comfort Nilla Wafers Bring Me on the Way to Benbrook at 10PM
Fess up your weakness now and again
mine's doll-faces with pretty eyes
so I'm a sucker for my ex girlfriend /
Mama's order is restraining of course
she's smoking outside once more
now that's what I call a divorce /
6AM back roads like a farmer
you know I was up all night
had to enchant that Daedric armor /

But I've said some stupid things /

You always blabbed about getting out of this town
so pack up, Class of 2012
you're rich-kid-college bound /
What used to cost 7 dollars is now 21
Staples ripped me off
but taking my money is plenty of fun /
Well tonight I'll set flame to the brush
weary whisper strained
by the water in a moonlit hush /

Yeah I said some stupid things /

My life is a glitchy garble
a flawless cowboy eyes me down
while a dropped dime twirls on the marble /
A girl in baggy clothes, hair over her face
maybe she's a hidden gem
but it's hardly worth the chase /
The empty frames on my wall
blank for too long
but I saw your face in them all /

This is no place for me /

Speeding to Benbrook, falling asleep at the wheel
to get to my bro's choir concert
my vision skips and reels /
And later on we'll do a lot of nothing
we can laugh all day
but I'll still drive home feeling empty /

then another night to play more Skyrim
I've got a box of Nilla Wafers /
and although Mr Bones says it never ends
I'm eating them all /
I'm eating the whole box /

Yeah I've said some stupid things \
Track Name: Part of Me is in the Air Forever
I am of the water
in a cavity of gravity I'm filled with curiosity
that might I fall upon the Earth with slow velocity? /
A puddle in the street
vapor stretched thin where sky and land meet
and a part of me is in the air forever /

Sweltering sun wants me done
to evaporate me away /
But there ain't no stormcloud that could hold my love
for you, for you /

We were of the water
a by-chance romance gave us our form
trespassing past the river you were wet and warm /
Secret shaded waterfall
oh whatever happened to the beck and call
Part of us is streaming on forever /

Sweltering sun wants me done,
to evaporate me away /
but there ain't no stormcloud that could hold my love
for you, for you \
Track Name: Butterfly Cloud
I think you'd love it here
scene of our dream, it's the time of year /
I brushed past a bush, butterflies cloud out /
River rolls, families fight
your eyes are gold in lost light /
A little Mexican's sign fell onto the highway /
You're scarred, my offer is standing
my car won't start and the Paluxy's demanding /
Resurrection Fern, taught my brother tall
river walk, the cutest dog
a sign that says to “beware the amoebas”
senseless separation, I hope it leaves us /

[chorus instrumental]

Vinyl plays the same, scratched and worn
in that I say I'll still be attached in the morn /
I don't want your guilt, just our bond rebuilt /
How many days until your stance breaks?
what must I say? what will it take? /
Don't run away into the woods /
Emotional exhaust, trickling streams
your golden eyes refract broken beams /
Strike me or raise your voice
get mad at me, it's your choice
if you gotta shout, get it out
you're drug under by doubt, won't you let it out /

I can't take this pain: you're bleeding down the drain
I won't let your pulse fade faint /
I don't want to fight: you've already made me so weak
but I'll swim with you across the creek /
I won't let you lose your heart: just level out, refresh, restart
I won't let you fall apart / x4

[chorus instrumental]

The way to my brother's, we didn't know
day before my birth, you and me at the Stock Show /
Visited you in the hospital, I came to you
then a parking lot at 3AM the same for you /

Will you slip through my fingers?
I hope some feeling still lingers /
The water rushes, erodes the shore
come back to me, I'll kiss you once more
I don't want you to blow away on the breeze
like a butterfly cloud fleeing the trees /

Will this even reach you?
what would it teach you? /
You rush past me on the river hitting rocks along the way
with nothing but a shiver I wish I could just say /
I love you? \
Track Name: The Lesser Soil
The lesser soil settled, adjourned and sunk
The pressure of coiled metal, you turn in your bunk /

Drown the pain tipping, uneasy and hurt
The sound of rain dripping from leaves to dirt /

A cell of rust and blood
The smell of dust and wood \
Track Name: Washed (See How I Regress)
The finches feel the inching storm, the clouds slide slow in the sky /
This is heartbreak in its saddest form and I know exactly why /

Cos this is my lot: to love without success
look at the line-plot, see how I regress /
Is there anything to say? to confess?
washed love leave me in such a mess /

The finches flit, almost get hit, hop to drink the antifreeze /
Hope is watered to the smallest bit but the rain'll wash the birds and me /

Cos this is my lot: to love without success
look at the line-plot, see how I regress /
Is there anything to say? to confess?
washed love leave me in such a mess /

But tomorrow we're back in Glen Rose, bluegrass blues choose not to sigh for you /
So yeah “awake my soul,” the finches, they know this makes me the last of the few /

Cos this is my lot: to love without success
look at the line-plot, see how I regress /
So there's nothing to say, to confess
washed love leave me in such a mess \
Track Name: One Last River Song
I could just wade across
and walk along for hours
with my black dog Barkley along the river
all those years ago /

I could just fall in
and float down for hours
with my freshman friends in the river
all those years ago /

I could just row on
and boat on for hours
me and Blake and the spider that joined our journey down the river
all those years ago \
Track Name: Wall of Storms
[chorus interlude]

They say "Never look back," pretending to be strong
"never admit that you could possibly be wrong /
Give it some time and you'll be fine"
but still everyone goes home /
And I'm left all alone, no I don't know /
Why they share it;
none of their advice holds any merit /
Don't tell me to do what I've exhaustively tried
I can't settle for any more compromise /

[chorus interlude]

Shouting against the river will not change its current
just like yelling at the sky will not stir it /
What's set in motion will not stop
read the words that make my heart drop /
Everything I want is a goal I've gotta confront /
Came up with so many ideas but I never follow through
I don't know what I'm gonna do /
Down the hill laying by the stone steps
doesn't matter who I'm just waiting for the next /


and then I'm driving home screaming out Dustbowl Dance
wall of storms flickers next to me at a glance /
A comforting face in another place
sent it my way /
From the east coast to me, she's got the brightest eyes on the sea /
Born of beauty, she's another kind
her soothing smile makes me feel like everything is fine /
But she's got herself a love that's lasted over five years
so I'll stop acting like she'd ever end up here /

[chorus interlude]

Everyone says "don't you worry, pal,
someday love will come to you!"/
So I'm sorry for getting hung up
I just thought maybe they were tellin' me the truth /
What's that sound in the background? it's the last drops of rain against the roof /
I can't imagine how destitute I must seem
I curse the man who says to follow your dreams /
Live only to make yourself feel good?
well I suppose I could, oh I surely should! \

Track Name: Lane, or, Love is Destruction Magic
[something something Skyrim reference]
Track Name: Tip of My Tongue
[something something Mumford rip-off]
Track Name: Love the Stray
Runny nose cloudy day
a malnourished calico stray
hunched on a flaky leaf driveway /
I let out a sympathetic “aww”
she gently raises her needy paw
with hungry eyes and overgrown claw /
I've got no food for you, you'll stay too long
nothing else I can do but pen this song /

The poor animal never mattered
her brown collar in tatters
limping along the sidewalk with a quiet patter /
Rusty jangle of her scratched tag
fur mangled, patched back
you've got a pity that can't be matched, cat /
I walk away but she lingers on
so I guess today I'll sing her song /

Oh don't shove her away x3
Learn to love the stray /

Poor Buttercup, her coat of black and white
she ran away for another life
or coyotes stole her from the night \
Track Name: Each Moon Stays, or, I Walk Across Pecan Plantation in the Desolate Dead of Night
The face of lead inviting rage red
despite what I've said the date skips ahead
one or two days, alright, then we'll see
but each moon stays, every night endlessly /

I floated in the Farris's pool
it was well past 10
dad had acted a fool
with my mother's friend /
Then on the deck atop a towel I lay
while the last song finished its final fade
I heard my mom drive away
breaking the promise she had made /

The face of lead inviting rage red
despite what I've said the date skips ahead
one or two days, alright, then we'll see
but each moon stays, every night endlessly /

She left me there alone
so I tossed about the room
how unnerving that she left her phone
I hadn't the slightest clue /
But turns out she went back to the traitor
and without her there's no use
I knew I had to confront him sooner rather than later
so I put on my shoes /

Trees forever in the country dark
long shadows on the houses strain
There's nobody else around at all /
The only sounds are the latest lark
the pitterpat of drizzling rain
and the stuttering echo of my footfalls /

I'd been walking now for hours
everything grows a face
but I had to see the coward
and put him in his place /
Out of dirt I give worth to words
but I hear my name called on the wind
at least that's what I thought I heard
I turn to answer but I've been tricked again /

The face of lead inviting rage red
despite what I've said the date skips ahead
one or two days, alright, then we'll see
but each moon stays, every night endlessly \
Track Name: Bright Echo
Cleaning out dusty boxes, clearing space
out falls a small wallet-size of your smiling face /
My old blue and white cellphone, blurry pictures of you and I,
I'm writing this all down though I'm not sure why /
Saved messages of things like "I love you forever"
as if that woulda been a worthwhile endeavor /

I'm ripping down the Christmas lights that were lining the street
defile the memory, you never felt the heat /

There was that winter of Transatlanticism
then the following spring run awry in romanticism /
Now I'm but a figure from your past
another endless love that didn't last /
And I hate these chords, I know that they're no good
I just wish you would acknowledge there was ever an "us" /

Cos there is no thought or feeling
nothing about me that seems appealing /
no emotion left in any quotient
you don't feel the weight of my ill-fated devotion /

Well I got a replacement love but of course I already fumbled her
unlike that Miami boy that you met on Tumblr /
(deception interlaced, I was replaced)
I think I painted us up to be
something so much more-- what were we? /
How weak how lame how overdone is this
we're in opposite directions and this song's gonna miss /

These are just the words I'll never get to say
as if saying them would make any of it okay /
But oh don't take this personally
it's not a fault of yours, it really is me /

My every act of desperation
I cringe with regret
all the stupid things that I've said /
It always comes back to me
like lazy waves on white sands
pulling muck of deeper waters with Atlantic hands /
Always said I couldn't dream of losing you
but since I've lost you I never dream
I'm so empty despite however clever I seem /

Look upon the destruction I have wrought
like everything else, it was all for naught /
I can still hear your bright echo
it's fading but I don't wanna let go /
it just won't be right if I ain't got you \
Track Name: Falls Beach Failure Boy
The wind is water: wraps the smoke out the window in a velvet stream
birds in a V, Dallas Green sings to me /
Songboy's sung: songs to loves long gone
started all this in April defense but discard all this in August present tense /
Storm's finally come: no longer bewildered with the “why"
so much work still to go but no such smirk will show /

That I regret more than I'm proud of
seeing as I was never allowed love /
All the late night Facebook statuses I make
and every sad Instagram picture I take /
And all these songs stuck half done
that I'm not happy with just one /
Kinda like I've lost the touch I never had /

Passion remains pointless \
Track Name: Cold Cigar / 2012 Apocalypse Jam (Hate My Life)
[something something mumble mumble]
Track Name: Impulse Purchase
The alarm yells 4:30 AM
what a nifty life: brother's flight leaves at 6:55 /
Left in sunrise, all roads lead to Dallas
Cassadaga communes with the dead and Oberst sings, no words are said /
Different destinations all leading to one
sentiments that trouble you as summer sun comes up over DFW /

Red guitar that caught my eye
with its unique call in the antique mall /
My brother, I, sister Starnes
the white friends would soon beseech, we was all down at the city beach /
Then summer night dinner time
we're crowded at the Chili's booth where we touted our steely youth /

Ravenswood sunset through the trees
yards glowin' green in summer's sight, his smoke's a ghost swimmin' in the light /
Golden bloated flies was chewing away a dead frog
emboldened throated I burning barefoot black jog /

Speeding the backroads of Johnson county
I put on myself a bounty
then I'm driving all over this godforsaken town
looking for comfort, something to write about /
I was a frantic boy with such a loss
but somewhere sometime that's dropped
I pray my words be arrows ever hitting their mark
with a few, a slew hitting the bulls-eye of your heart /
These songs have always existed
oh dear God what is it
you're trying to do with me?
I'm straining my eyes to see /
People never change, that implies up or down
on a horizontal plane, we just stumble around
but now I'm walking halfway home
or I guess I could be halfway gone /
The sun dove into the horizon
and a heavy blue cloud wants to pull me in \
Track Name: Bolded in Blue
I stand at the ocean
reflecting on how I've failed
and knowing that your heart is
a ship that's set sail /
On the coast of Florida,
sulking seaside, drew
my endless boyish scribbles
that were always inspired by /
You sent it back, the rubberband ring ribboned
and songs I thought you'd like but didn't /
And the torn paper scrap that's always detailed you
the truth is there bolded in blue /

Errol By the Sea
condo on the fifth floor
I imagine you with me
all smiles and love and more /
You are the lightning
sharp and warm
8 months later I will find myself
sobbing with the /
Storm inbound and I confess that last year was such a mess
it's a stupid situation but it's hard to assess /
The Atlantic is awoken anew, ruthless rain in a stabbing slew
heavy clouds are overhead bolded in blue /

[chorus interlude]

There's a ring in your ear
sent back my voice to you
I feel a sting of fear
was it really me? / (whatever could it be?)
Corroded by the ocean salt
you just walk on down the beach
and I feel my heart halt
now the gloss runs across / (that has brought me to this loss?
This loss, my loss of you)

[chorus interlude]

I can't tell if I'm in the right direction
can you recall all of my affections? /
I feel that I could have you, I mean you really never know
But everyone is telling me I've gotta let it go / (I've gotta let you go)
still I swear that you are worth it
what else can I do? /
it's strongest in your eyes
bolded in blue / (I'll hang up, give it a few years)

[chorus interlude with solo]

But she was only a shadow
still I shouldn't address her /
even though she'll never know
she was just another spiritual successor \
Track Name: Nightbirds
Nightbirds swirl about the black
as I'm in grass laying on my back
the second meteor this week streaks to fields unknown
high beams shine a fever dream on the highway to our home /

Before, I tried my best and I tried in vain
but I never found my way, you wouldn't let me explain
why I was barefoot in the middle of that quiet night intersection
traversing your direction, the nightbirds' verse inflectioned /

Thunder rolls far and the grounded bird has flown
under the stars where you found yourself alone
but you know your iridescence has long since subsided
neath my wing you did hide, in my arms you once sighed /

But it was only a fantasy
a picturesque and childish dream /
Selfish girl, can't you see?
you made my vagrant soul careen /
Your rule has finally fallen
all that remains is the sound /
Of the nightbirds' gentle callin'
and the world waking up as the moon sinks down \
Track Name: Because I Love You / Beauty Paragon
You would not believe
what we could achieve /
If you'd only take my hand
then perhaps you'd understand /
I do the things I do because I love you /
Track Name: Summerveil
Annaleigh, listen to me / x2

together we watched the sun rise
over that holy field
I never got your replies /
together we walked among the stars
in the solitude of the night
that quiet creek was ours /
together we snuck around the park
you ran right through the fountain
our laughter echoes in the dark /

Annaleigh, listen to me / x2

together we roamed the farmland /
in a silvery September
I held your calloused hand /
together we drove to the midnight peak
Granbury glitters from here
we kissed as the light leaked /
together we laid at the bottom of the stairs
the night before I ran away
I'm so glad you were spared /

from me
cos the blame was all mine
I was just wasting your time /
I've never been more ashamed
your heart was so untamed /
it doesn't matter anymore
don't let me darken your door \
Track Name: Softer to You / Etched in the Back Cover
[something something put it to rest already]