Fortress Sessions

by The Future Laureates

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credits

released May 12, 2012

Danny Surico—guitar, vocals
Matthew Daigler—vocals, ukulele, harmonica, melodica
James Hyde—bass, vocals, harmonica
Aaron Apter—drums, percussion
Michael Scheiman—lead guitar
Kristina Priceman—violin, vocals
Ellis Clark—keys
Emily Claire Palmer—vocals
Andrew Distel—trumpet

All songs written by Danny Surico, except for "Carry Me Away", which was written by James Hyde
All songs arranged by The Future Laureates
Produced by Ellis Clark and The Future Laureates
Executive Producer: Michael Teach
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Ellis Clark at Angel City
Album artwork designed by Amy Olchowski


Thank you to:

You, our friends and fans

the Hyde, Daigler, and Surico families

Ellis Clark, Michael Teach, Jeff Brown, Hannah Frank, and everyone at CAUDog Records

Stefania Daigler, Kaitlyn McQuaid, Jamie Robinson and all our roommates from the fortress both past and present, the Nemeth family, Steve Minogue, Bassel Al-Madani, Erin Schumacher, Eric Deubel, Chicago Roots Collective, the Beast

God

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license

all rights reserved

about

The Future Laureates Chicago, Illinois

The Future Laureates’ EP, Here and After, is a showcase of vibrant and mature songcraft. With the help of producer Chris Grainger (Wilco, Switchfoot, Sixpence None the Richer, and Kopecky Family Band), TFL has finally captured the unabashed energy of their live shows on record, pulling from their influences in modern rock, classic pop, rhythmic folk, and 60’s soul. ... more

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Track Name: Galahad's Song
"Galahad's Song"

Music and Lyrics by Danny Surico

Arranged by The Future Laureates



Lancelot has laid down the path I take now.

He has bestowed all that he knows.

I am my father’s son. I am the only one.

I’m good to go. C’mon, let’s go.

I am living proof that my dreams breathe and move.

I’m good to go. C’mon, let’s go.

I will make mistakes, cause some waves and earthquakes,

But I’m good to go. C’mon, let’s go.

I seek the holy grail, succeed where others fail.

I’m good to go. C’mon, let’s go. Let’s go.



The siege perilous (repeat).



The round table’s set. The siege perilous is ready to go.

I’m good to go. C’mon, let’s go.
Track Name: For Debbie
"For Debbie"

Music and Lyrics by Danny Surico

Arranged by The Future Laureates


I’m sick and tired of love and reading all the words you wrote.

There’s a photo on the wall of us dancing. Meanwhile, I’m in limbo.

My mom is on the phone, and she’s asking, she wants to know.

So I tell her you filled out all the forms, but you left the dotted line alone. Oh…



Can you hear the song I’ve been singing for you Debbie, singing for you Debbie all along?

Feel my heart it’s beating heavy, my heart it’s beating steady and strong.

I’ve been singing for you Debbie, singing for you Debbie all wrong.

Feel my heart it’s beating heavy; my heart it’s getting ready…



I read between the lines, and I see through your bullshit and games.

‘Cause I live in real time, so just tell me: you do not feel the same.

Wanna drag it all out so damn long while I wait, and I wait,

And I wait and I wait and while you’re making up your mind, I stop and contemplate.

And then it hits me…
Track Name: Carry Me Away
"Carry Me Away"

Music and Lyrics by James Hyde

Arranged by The Future Laureates



I would spend every night

in a smoke-filled room,

if it meant I could catch

just one breath of you.

And I would wake every morning

at four o’clock,

if it meant we’d have a chance to talk

And I would cut nine of my fingers off,

leaving just one there,

if it meant I would get

to run it through your hair.



And if the ocean became

a bed of coals,

I would crawl across

so I could just be close to you.



And I would pack all your worries

in a cardboard box,

and send that box

straight to the sun.

And I would get written notice
of delivery,

if it meant you could wrap your arms

around me.



And if the ocean became

a bed of coals,

I would crawl across

so I could just be close to you.



I wouldn’t need a thing if you’d just carry me away.

Every time I sing it’s so you’ll carry me away.

(I miss you)

I’d provide the ring if you’d just carry me away.

(like crazy)

Yes, I’d provide the ring if you’d just carry me away.

(I miss you)
Track Name: Lovely
"Lovely"

Music and Lyrics by Danny Surico

Arranged by The Future Laureates


Jon Drake and the Shakes are shaking Beat Kitchen tonight.

You showed up looking so lovely, always looking so lovely.

I’ve made my share of mistakes. Now, I’m toeing the line

Between self-destructing and making you mine.



You’ve got me loving life again. All of a sudden I am in. I’m in.

So while you’re looking so lovely, won’t you tell me you love me? Love me.



I’ve loved and I’ve lost and been burned like a bridge to the ground.

I can tell you there’s something. Deep down, there is something

Within me wondering why this lingering doubt

Concedes to the feeling I’m rediscovering now.



You’ve got me loving life again. All of a sudden I am in. I’m in.

So while you’re looking so lovely, won’t you tell me you love me?

I could redefine the word love so it’s not a think I’m scared of,

But that accomplishes nothing if I don’t tell you this one thing.



One thing I know for sure: I’ve cast aside my pride.

I’m feeling insecure by making my case known

Before you close the door. My feet have left the floor. I’m yours.

I say, “Amen.” Ooh, honey, I am in, and you look so lovely.

Won’t you tell me you love me?



You’ve got me loving life again. All of a sudden I am in. I’m in.

So while you’re looking so lovely, won’t you tell me you love me?

We could redefine the word love to a meaning we could learn from.

We could grow into something and be regretful of nothing.
Track Name: Crooked Third Wheel
"Crooked Third Wheel"

Music and Lyrics by Danny Surico

Arranged by The Future Laureates


Here we go with the stories, the same damn stories he told seven months ago.

And I could’ve lied and pretended I cared, but that ain’t so.

Now we’re bombarded with tales of the dolphins and whales that he swam with in Mexico.

And I could’ve feigned the faintest of interest, and he’d never know.



Here I am, a crooked third wheel. Can’t you see the spokes in my teeth?

Goaded by the elephant grinning, dancing on the table and

Maybe, Amy, do you think we were wrong the night we tempted our love?

It’s driving me crazy. I really think we oughtta…hey!



If he were my brother, I’d tell our mother I hate this stupid asshole.

But he ain’t kin, so I’ll let him win this trival pursuit.

You’re the girl on his sleeve but attracted to me. I can see it in the way you move.

I’ve got a bone to pick with you, Amy. We ain’t through.



Here I am, a crooked third wheel. Can’t you see the spokes in my teeth?

Goaded by the elephant grinning, dancing on the table and

Maybe, Amy, do you think we were wrong the night we tempted our love?

It’s driving me crazy. I really think we oughtta…hey!



Take me back to that evening on State Street.

Buried under covers, you made me promises that you wouldn’t keep.

You lied so sweetly.

Amy, why did you invite me today?

He needs to be put in his place.

I’m really gonna make him pay, pay, pay

For my bubble tea.



Here I am, a crooked third wheel. Can’t you see the spokes in my teeth?

Goaded by the elephant grinning, dancing on the table and

Maybe, Amy, do you think we were wrong the night we tempted our love?

It’s driving me crazy. I really think we oughtta…hey!
Track Name: Serenity
"Serenity"

Music and Lyrics by Danny Surico

Arranged by The Future Laureates


I’m unravelin’. The bits and pieces of my skin,

They’re still burnin’ while I fall.

Broken glass shatters on the pavement.

That’s the last thing I remember about the fire a December ago.

I am here, staring in the mirror.

All I fear avoids my eyes.

‘Cause when you’re burning, you get the sensation

That the air you breathe in sparks a fire inside.



Now God, shine down on me.

So I can see the things I need.

I need to wise up a little bit.

I wanna understand the difference

Between change that’s brewing within

And commotion of the world we’re living in.

All I ask is while I’m burning: un-blindfold me.



Time will tell if I survive myself.

The scars hurt like hell when I look again.

I’m not giving in to the temptation,

For there are fires within that guide the way for men.

Now God, shine down on me.

So I can see the things I need.

I need to wise up a little bit.

I wanna understand the difference

Between change that’s brewing within

And commotion of the world we’re living in.

All I ask is while I’m burning: grant me serenity.

Un-blindfold me. So I can see the light that leads me.
Track Name: Song for My Grandchild
"Song for My Grandchild"

Music and Lyrics by Danny Surico

Arranged by The Future Laureates



Praise to God above. He lifts me up from bed.

My weary bones are breaking, broken promises

And lies they spread. We’re leverage for posturing.



They want to take us for granted, rob all the fruit from trees we planted.

Fifty million strong give ‘em hell until we’re gone,

‘Cause they’re taking us for granted.



Stage our childhood dreams on hieroglyphic screens

Decoded by the profiteers of make believe.

They smile and wink, ignoring the gravity.



They want to take us for granted, rob all the fruit from trees we planted.

Fifty million strong give ‘em hell until we’re gone,

‘Cause they’re taking us.



Now granted, I could beseech our youth:

“Stand up and fight, and rally for the ones they left behind!”

But my voice drowns beneath a sea of noise.

Maybe forty years from now you’ll understand.

Years from now you’ll understand.



They want to take us for granted, rob all the fruit from trees we planted.

Fifty million strong give ‘em hell until we’re gone.

‘Cause they’re taking us.

They want to take you for granted, ignore the freedoms you’ve demanded.

So enjoy your youth ‘til they rob it from you, too,

‘Cause they’re taking you for granted.
Track Name: Witchcraft and Imagery
"My Friend, the Guarded Wall"

Music and Lyrics by Danny Surico

Arranged by The Future Laureates



And so, he got a raw deal.

He had the car, the life, the wife. Oh, what a steal.

Besieged by ghosts who mostly revealed

The years of buried wounds that never healed.

I know what’s done is done,

And he’s probably sipping cocktails in the sun.

Can’t sh-shake off the memories he’s running from

By only looking out for number one, number one.



My friend, the guarded wall:

Won’t you tear yourself down?

‘Cause the man you are can still be found.



He believes that love means pain,

So he’s built a tower high above the fray.

And from time to time he whispers out the names

Of all the former friends he’s pushed away.



My friend, the guarded wall:

Won’t you tear yourself down?

‘Cause the man you are can still be found.



Who knows if we’ll see him again?

He’s haunted by the voices in his head

And burdened by the hurt he’s been carryin’.

I wish that I could reach you, my friend.
Track Name: My Friend the Guarded Wall
"My Friend, the Guarded Wall"

Music and Lyrics by Danny Surico

Arranged by The Future Laureates


And so, he got a raw deal.

He had the car, the life, the wife. Oh, what a steal.

Besieged by ghosts who mostly revealed

The years of buried wounds that never healed.

I know what’s done is done,

And he’s probably sipping cocktails in the sun.

Can’t sh-shake off the memories he’s running from

By only looking out for number one, number one.



My friend, the guarded wall:

Won’t you tear yourself down?

‘Cause the man you are can still be found.



He believes that love means pain,

So he’s built a tower high above the fray.

And from time to time he whispers out the names

Of all the former friends he’s pushed away.



My friend, the guarded wall:

Won’t you tear yourself down?

‘Cause the man you are can still be found.



Who knows if we’ll see him again?

He’s haunted by the voices in his head

And burdened by the hurt he’s been carryin’.

I wish that I could reach you, my friend.
Track Name: Escape from the Shadows
"Escape from the Shadows"

Music and Lyrics by Danny Surico

Arranged by The Future Laureates


Protagonist: Can’t escape from the shadows. They follow wherever I go. Are they benevolent? I admit to my sneaking suspicions. Oh…

Voice 1: There are clear lines being drawn. Now, whose side are you on?

Protagonist: Are you some kind of medicine? I can feel you creeping in.

Voice 1: Wake up! Let’s go! Down the path aways is something I’ve been dying to show you. Take what you know and hold on, ‘cause by the time your eyes are open it’s gone. Look there, below…

Protagonist: I’ve found a place that’s safe from the shadows.

Voice 2: One day we could be a trio in harmony.

Voice 1: Enough with your pleasantries! Can’t you see he is fast asleep?

Voice 1/Protagonist: Wake up! Let’s go! Down the path aways is something I’ve been dying to show you. Take what you know and hold on, ‘cause by the time your eyes are open it’s gone. Look there below…

Protagonist: I’ve been escaping from the promise of kingdom come and the beauty that’s smeared by years of pain and lies and love. If my mind’s a movie screen, then this is the quiet scene turned loud. Turning loud!

(Interlude)

Protagonist: Wake up! Let me go!

Voices 1 and 2: But down the path aways is something we’ve been dying to show you…

Protagonist: I’ve been there! I know.

Voices 1 and 2: A little longer, just a little longer…

Protagonist: Go back below! I don’t need either one of you to do what I’m gonna do. I will face the shadows alone.
Track Name: Convert Them in Convertibles
"Convert Them in Convertibles"

Music and Lyrics by Danny Surico

Arranged by The Future Laureates


On I-75, behold the giant statue

Of Jesus the Christ. His hands are coming at you,

And while you drive the blinding signs remind you that hell is real.

So with one fell swoop, you’re shouting hallelujahs

At the broken souls who don’t mean that much to ya.

But you offer them deals where they pay to be healed

‘cause heaven takes credit or their last three paychecks.

Go on, distract them with the drama

Caused by all the sinners smoking marijuana.

Use the money you stole to convert them in convertibles down in Tijuana.

Don’t it make you wanna jump ship?

Don’t you think they oughtta quit it?

And Doesn’t it make you sick?

Don’t it make you wanna be a Buddhist?



Looks like we made it through the Bible belt despite your help.

Don’t you think that people ought to choose for themselves?

Thanks but no thanks for pearls of wisdom that we did not ask for.

You keep going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on…



So you take to the streets where you tune into them talking, and

Talk, talk—all they do is talk, and

Lest we forget about affronting our neighbor,

They’ve constructed a forty-foot, porcelain savior.

A porcelain savior. A porcelain savior.



(Oh) Don’t you think they oughtta quit it?

(Oh) Doesn’t it make you sick?

(Oh ) Don’t it make you wanna be…

Don’t, don’t, don’t it make you wanna be…



(Oh) Don’t you think they oughtta quit it?

(Oh) Doesn’t it make you sick?

(Oh) Don’t it make you wanna be…

Don’t, don’t, don’t it make you wanna be a Buddhist?
Track Name: Lines
"Lines"

Music and Lyrics by Danny Surico

Arranged by The Future Laureates


I’ve been digging through the earth, moon shining on my back,

And I’m muttering the words, “happily ever after.”

The battles I have waged between me, myself and I

Have resulted in the grave I’m digging tonight

To forget you.



I’ll become a believer in the power of positive thinking.

You are an overachiever. Anything you set your mind to succeeds.

Now time, I have got. But your love I have not yet won.

Hmm.



I have come here with a purpose. I will rid you of my heart.

But truthfully, I’m nervous. Not for what I finish,

for what I never even started.



And I’ll become a believer in the power of positive thinking.

I know you’re an overachiever: could you ever set your sights on me?

So just kiss me once in the moonlight, and I guarantees the sparks, they fly.

And just like a dream, you lower down a rope for me.

Hmm.



There are lines that aren’t worth crossing.

There are lines that aren’t worth crossing.

There are lines that aren’t worth crossing.

These are the lines that I’m now crossing. (Hmm)

These are the lines that I’m now crossing. (Hmm)

These are the lines that I’m now crossing. (Hmm)



And I’m climbing higher toward the one who waits for me above.

And I’m a simple man of simple desires, and I simply offer you my love.

So I, I take your hand in the moonlight, and I kiss you.

And the sparks, they fly.

Mmm.