Above the Dreamer's Head

by Robin Allender

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about

All songs written by Robin Allender

Mixed and mastered by Dave Collingwood

Artwork by Louise Boulter

credits

released October 16, 2015

Robin Allender: guitar, vocals, bass, keyboards
Dave Collingwood: drums
Alex Wilkins: guitar on second half of Irreparably, organ on Skylight, backwards guitar on The Spirit Wooed
Sean Talbot: drums on second half of Irreparably, piano on Skylight
Sam Tarbuck: bass on second half of Irreparably, backwards bass on The Spirit Wooed
Dylan Golden Aycock: pedal steel on Looks and Smiles
Felix Classen: backing vocals on Instar
Lionel Laquerrière: synth on The Sattler Monument
Victoria Hume: vocals on The Sattler Monument

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Robin Allender Bristol, UK

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Track Name: The Enormous Room
I couldn’t wait to find my way back to the other room,
grown unfamiliar in its leaves and branches.
Some walls were gone but the shelves were still intact
with books I thought I’d lost in a mass of mould and moss.

This was my room with my belongings strewn across the floor,
left without a second thought, as if I’d be back soon,
as if the past was something you could just reach out and touch,
instead of being cast adrift against the current.

Through thin walls I heard a commotion of people on their way home,
the estate echoed with their peculiar voices under the moon.

Then it dawned on me that the room was an unreal room,
my heart sank like a stone when the scales fell from my eyes.
The moonbeams’ silver light, their slender slivers of light,
I name their several names, though none sees what patterns they make.
Track Name: The Brewery Tap
I was working in the evening
when I went outside
in the grip of autumn
under the frosty stars.
I stood back for a moment
from the busy pub
and was joined by a regular
with synesthesia,
colourblind reader of auras,
she gave me a book poems
and went back inside,
the pub’s open arms,
inside.

I want to go outside
in the ocean light
of an autumn night,
oh God I want to be back there.

Now it’s a different pub,
they took out the old bar
and the tiled floor,
oh I want it to be back then.

The Horse and Jockey too,
it’s now a block of flats
and so I wrote a song
as if that could help bring it back,

as if you could listen closely,
closely enough
that you could order a drink,
oh I want it to be back then.
Track Name: I Like it Here
I went to the doctor with chronic nostalgia.
We live in the past, in the present we just exist.
All that I’m asking is why this moment now?
And why did I choose not to live nowhere?

Is there anybody gonna come home?
Is there anybody gonna come home?
And if you wait for a minute
and just think for a minute
is it right or wrong?
What seems bad now won’t be bad for long.

It probably won’t be that bad for very long,
but memory’s grove is a record with a locked groove.
Take guilt and shame and divide them by regret.

Is there anybody going to come home?
Is there anybody going to come home?

When I attempted mindfulness I had a panic attack,
the relaxation CD you gave me kept me up all night.

Is there anybody gonna come home?
Is there anybody gonna come home?
And if you wait for a minute
and just think for a minute
is it right or wrong?
What seems bad now might not be bad for long.
Track Name: Looks and Smiles
It ripens on the bough,
or whispers at your ear.
the locus of desire,
like a tattoo on your heart.
I remember it all
in illuminated detail,
what shadows we are,
subject to looks and smiles.

And a man in a room has no idea
or control of his wild, uneven dreams
that leave nothing to the imagination
and nothing left to be desired.

Nothing is real here,
and we’re all lit by that dim glow,
even the good guys
just tend to be better liars.
In a streetlight’s beam
there were insects and shooting stars
and I enacted nostalgia
as the battery in my watch died.

And a man in a room has no idea
or control of his wild, uneven dreams
that leave nothing to the imagination
and nothing left to be desired.
Track Name: Instar
The past is myself
in Victoria park
with the moon at my shoulder.
The moon was such
a slender curve,
the trees were jewels in the streetlights.

The path must have veered
to the right
because the moon overtook me
and I walked on
with the moon ahead
and the trees at my shoulder.

The past is myself,
it’s a mirrored hall
or a winding river,
an echoing moon
in eclipse,
in reverse.
Track Name: The Sattler Monument
You were in the background of a photo,
your widow’s peak and August eyes,
beyond the door I never opened,
I’m looking for something that isn’t there.

This should be easy,
I should be having fun,
untie the past from the present
until it comes undone,
but time moves slowly out
of phase with how we perceive it.

How long the lifetimes that we live through,
long enough for dust to gather on the bookshelves.
Every street a familiar portal,
our jokes still hanging in the air.

I was talking to someone,
I said, “Don’t dwell on the past.”
It’s been years since that conversation
and now I want it to be back then,
but time moves slowly and
unforgivingly.

“We lay there without moving.”
Track Name: Skylight
From my skylight I can see the stars,
the darkness between them is nothing, nowhere.
In a sea of time in the dying light,
a moonbeam, a leaf’s edge, the bark of an elm.

Sky…

And my skylight shows the space between
the black rotting leaves, the rotating stars
I’d be so happy with my skylight,
the infinite peace of imaginary rooms.

Sky…

Secrets and lies that bother me endlessly, anyway.
A secret of which I’d rather be blissfully ignorant.

Anyway, I can see the stars, the moon, etc.