Come to Life

by Keram

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BANDCAMP EXCLUSIVE! Get a mobile friendly version of the 16-page liner notes and lyrics + amazing art by some of LA's top pop surrealism artists with your album purchase!

Canadian musician Keram, an accomplished film and television actor, is an out-of-the-box artist. His new album, Come To Life, executive produced by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, is a sprawling, other-worldly rock adventure that took an army of about 30 musicians, whose collective credits include Coheed & Cambria, Zappa Plays Zappa, Edwarde Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Mary Margaret O’Hara, and of course Rush.

The 10-song opus is an unpredictable hybrid of Americana, new age, electronica, roots, rock, theater, experimental, jazz, pop, and then some. It ends with the 21-minute title track.

Recorded in Toronto and LA, Keram chose the musicians for their improvisation skills, including Lifeson who appears on “Devil Knows Me Well,” “Mary Magdalene” and “Moving Dark Circles.” The album was mastered by Andy Vandette (Rush, David Bowie, Dream Theater) and “Mary Magdalene” was mixed by Rich Chycki (Rush, Dream Theater, Aerosmith).

As an actor — who has appeared in the films American History X, Punisher: War Zone, Irvine Welsh’s Ecstacy and Texas Chainsaw 3D and TV shows True Blood, The Mentalist, Saving Grace and The L Word — Keram (last name Malicki-Sanchez) brings that expression to his music too, writing from other people’s perspective — despicable, pompous, even the opposite gender.

credits

released 14 May 2014

Keram Malicki-Sanchez (producer, recording and mixing engineer, guitars, keyboards, vocals, programming, words and music)
Ryan Brown (drums, percussion)
Josh Joudrie (recording and mixing engineer, producer)
Dan Luperini (recording engineer, mix consultant, guitars, producer)
Alex Lifeson (guitars, executive producer)
John Sharkey (bass)
Wes Styles (bass, guitar, pedal steel)
Jessica Marshall-Gardiner (vocals, lyrics)
Pete Devlin (guitar)
Aimee Lynn Chadwick (vocals)
Ed Maxwell (upright bass)
Hendrik Rik (bass)
Don Garbutt (keyboards, programming)
Natalie John (vocals)
Erin Ann Scott (vocals)
Marty Stelnick (harmonica)
Joe Ayoub (bass)
Eric "Spider" Costello (drums)
D'Arcy McGuire (bass)
Stewart Cole (trumpet)
Marc Thomas (guitars, pedals)
Greg Malicki (violin)
Alex Budman (clarinet, saxophone, flute)
Kathryn Rose (vocals)
Christine Hamilton (vocals)
Bob Sibony (drums)
Rich Chycki (mixing engineer)
Andy Vandette (mastering engineer)

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about

Keram Los Angeles, California

Keram is an out-of-the-box artist. His new album, Come To Life, exec produced by guitarist Alex Lifeson, is a sprawling, other-worldly rock adventure featuring 30 musicians, whose collective credits include Coheed & Cambria, Zappa Plays Zappa and of course Rush.

As an actor (American History X, Punisher: War Zone, Texas Chainsaw 3D) Keram adopts character perspectives to explore his themes.
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Track Name: We Breathe So Brief
(Pixielight
Trampled by
Demon powers
Wasting hours
We breathe, so brief
We breathe, so brief...)

Tell me now
Lift me now
Show me now
Feel me now
To be here, without fear
Coming clear, I want you near
Radical experiment,
Lavender, peppermint
Rainy days, cloudy nights
Manta ray, iolite
Here's the test, what's your best?
Can you rest? Never night
It's my turn
Have I learned
Do I care
Take the stairs
Or just breathe
Or just bleed
Or just leave
Lifelike dreams
Lifelike fears
Lifelike deaths
History's silhouettes

We breathe so brief
Release beliefs that kill me slowly
We breathe so brief
Release beliefs that kill me slowly

(Scream inside, here is life
Rage and blast
Got no past
Pixie lights,
Trampled by
Demon powers
Wasting hours)

But I get in my own way
but I get in my own way
But I get in my own way

Continents of faith
Oceans of truth
(I will lead you to)
Continents of faith
Oceans of truth
Track Name: Killing Days, Living Nights
On a rare Hollywood night
I saw distant lightning strike
Like a star just caught on fire
Like sparks from a funeral pyre
These hot Santa Ana winds
blowing up our piled up sins
Carrying our backyard dreams
Carrying our silent screams

And I know that it ain't right
If I still love you
The way i do

It's a cold November night
And I'm bathed in pale moonlight
Wishing you were here with me
Wishing I could call ya, B
but you got lost in their designs
Killing days, and living nights
Praying for a different line
Than the one that gets you high

You're going
Where I can't follow

And I know that it ain't right
If I still love you
The way I do
And I know that it ain't right
If I'm still holding on
To what is gone

Oh sweetie
If you leave
I'll be where you left me
Much stronger, and better
But still half the measure
Of all that I could be
If I had you with me
All I hoped and I dreamed
Is that you'll be happy

Now you're going where I can't follow
Now you're going where I can't follow
Now you're going where I can't follow
Now you're going where I can't follow...
Track Name: Infidel
The persistent, inquisitive bird
That believes that the life out of cage
Is itself an expression of liberty's, absurd

And even when I spoke out of turn
I joked that the game wasn't on
And yet something in my soul
Started to feel broken like an itching reminder
That for every trespass you make on your word
You will pay tenfold..

And so my thoughts are hijacked
By this love song
About what I did wrong
And I'll never do that again
Except maybe just this time

I have always insisted that trust
Is some kinda vanguard against lust
But in case you mistake me for chaste
My will's a bust

And i'm not sure when I started to make out like
A standard and fool's gold
And I hate myself for trying to make out
Like I gotta reserve on hold
I mean like, do i rthink I'm kidding my self-respect
While Im just getting older
Wghen what is really going is I wrote this song
To give you a cold shoulder

Like a motherfucking heartbreaking love song
About what I did wrong
and ill never do that again
except maybe just this time
Just this time
Just this time
Cuz even when I spoke out of turn i joked
That the game wasn't on
With this heartbreaking love song
About what I did wrong
And I'll never do that again
Except maybe just this time

With this love song
About what I did wrong
And I'll never do that again
Except maybe just this time
Just this time
Just this time
Just this time, yeah.
Track Name: Samsara
When I first saw you my mouth went dry
You pretended that you had a guy
I told you I thought we'd met before
But it took me a year to unlock your door

It's kinda funny now in retrospect
All the things about me you reject
Are all that reasons that I said goodbye
You'd say jump and I would say "how high?"

It was nothing that important
I just lost my voice
You said you might go exploring
I say that's a choice...

I release you
back into the night
May your path be blessed
May your heart turn bright
I release myself
I'll repeat myself
I release you
I release myself

So I'm gonna walk this next stretch on my own
You say "Baby, I'll see you down the road"
Yeah, "maybe catch ya somewhere down the line"
I say you put too much faith in time

It was nothing that important
I just lost my voice
You said you might go exploring
I say that's a choice...

I release you
Back into the night
May your path be blessed
May your heart turn bright
I'll release myself
I'll repeat myself
I'll release you
I release myself

And so we burn it
down, down.
Track Name: Mary Magdalene
Can you still recall as lucidly?
The expectations that you had of me
Presumed I lived a life of liberty
Within the confines of necessity

That I could have been so incredible
The wake of a dying star
But I have become so terrible
A testament to all you are
And who pushed it that far?
And you pushed me that far

So I have changed, I have changed
Into something very strange

I am Mary Magdalene
Whose life you see as sin
Hidden from view
The underground stream

And when you tried to justify the means
Scrambled to commandeer the legacy
Just like Tiberius you raised your head
To armies who’d slaughter the truth instead
But I could have been so incredible

The wake of a dying star
Now I have become the indelible
Stain on your heart like a scar
And who pushed it that far?
And you pushed me that far

But I have changed like a dream
Into St. John’s head severed by history

I am Mary Magdalene
Whose life you see as seen
Hidden from view
The underground stream
Track Name: Medicated
There is a purpose to free will
A reason life will make you ill
A reason for the cycles
Freedom is in the trials

But doctor, doctor help me please
I can't face all this dis-ease
I'm tired of making up my mind
I'm looking for a way out

A pill to love
A pill to hate
A pill to clear your past mistakes
A pill to kill
A pill to breed
A pill to make all those bad seeds

Life isn't fair
Life isn't kind
It begs you to make up your mind
All that it gives
It takes away
It lets you designate the play

But doctor, doctor help me please
I can't face all this dis-ease
I'm tired of making up my mind
I'm looking for a way out

A pill to love
A pill to hate
A pill to clear your past mistakes
A pill to kill
A pill to breed
A pill to make all those bad seeds
One to remember and forget
All the other pills you've had
A pill for dreams
A pill for fears
A pill to live another year...

But where's the one that makes you whole
Where's the pill to cleanse your soul?
You must walk through the fire
You just walk through the fire

The answers, the answers
Running through my veins
(It gives me)
The answers, the answers
Running through my veins
(It gives me)
The answers
The answers
The answer's
Medicated

A pill to love
A pill to hate
A pill to clear your past mistakes
A pill to kill
A pill to breed
A pill to make all those bad seeds
One to remember and forget
All the other pills you've had
A pill for dreams
A pill for fears
A pill to live another year...
Track Name: The Big End
Things can change so fast
From ecstasy to pain
And from first to last

And there's no time to think about
Reasons for jumping the train
No time to blink
Before that big light
Goes out again

One two three
Here we go
Into that big end
Peacefully and I hope
Gently my friend

Unique aren't we?
Of each only one
And even the sun
Goes

And there's no time
To think about reason
When jumping the train
No time to blink
Before that big light goes out again
So...

One, two, three
Here we go
To be married
So we're never alone
Through here my friend

Danny
Did you go into that big end
Peacefully? and I hope gently
My friend...

...Two three
Here we go
In to
The
End
Track Name: Moving Dark Circles
Quietly,
Is how we tread this path that drifts so suddenly (my love)
And what more can one ask
Than the strength to make it
To a higher ground
When the road is paved by fools?

Suddenly
This active progressivism seems quite the ruse
You can’t see what we are from down here
or discern true souls from ingenues
and thus with fear imbued....

We move in dark circles

As compelled by the darkness
are we ever moving towards the light?
Is the existentialist calm
the beautifullest affirmation of life?
Quiet
Quiet be

Go build your floating castle
Who fights for love will bend
Can’t play the golden whistle
It must play out itself

And the fires cold
So my story's told

What you see in me
is not perfect; it’s volatile avatars
I call out their names
‘cuz I play games infinitely
My little star
Do you wonder what you are?

Sit quietly at the table
and listen from inside
Do not listen just be still
The planes strip off their hide

The fires col
‘Fore my storys tol
After bombs blast
It sounds at last

We move in dark circles
Move in dark circles
Move in dark circles
Moving dark circles...
Track Name: The Devil Knows Me Well
Despite the things
That we expect
We are still subject to the test
Concerning conduct and intent
Integrity and self-respect,
I'm not a martyr,
I'm not a saint -
You're justified in your complaint
I'm in the desert
And I am prone
I got no place that I call home...

But I see my girl again
Then I see my girl again
When I see my girl again
I better see my girl again...

If you unwrap me you will find
A tag attached to my behind
That warns the Devil knows me well -
I got a credit card in Hell
I got a loan I've taken out
I don't know I can repay
And all his goons
Are on my scent
But I can make 'em go away

When I see my girl again
When I see my girl again
When I see my girl again
I better see my girl again

In summary,
I do declare,
That I have dabbled here and there
I've lost the rope,
I took the pill
I've made mistakes no drink can kill
But I doth protest
I am strong
And I am never gone for long
I'm coming back like William Shatner;
There's no before, there's only after,
I'm coming in like Saracens -
I'm coming back to make amends

Then I see my girl again
Then I see my girl again
Then I see my girl again
I better see my girl again...
Track Name: Come to Life
I get on a train
With a pocket of change
And all that remains
is someone I blame
For letting me down
Take a look around
There was no one left at the station...

You're like kerosene
On my fever dream
A hot lava stream
of consciousness bleeds
Through my best intent
Are you heaven-sent?
Or am I just bent over your knee..

Come back to life
Cuz we are involved
In a fight
Come back to life
Before we dissolve
Into the light...

I don't have a stop
What if I get caught
Riding all night
Watching the lights
Smearing outside
We're crashing again
Here comes the rain
(It's always the same)

Come back to life
Cuz we are involved
In a fight
Come back to life
Before we dissolve
Into the light...

Sometimes we relate and
Sometimes we give up, and
Sometimes we are HATE, and
Sometimes we are LOVE
But sometimes you're alone in the middle of the night
And realize the end
Has always been in sight!
(Sometimes you need to look
And see all that you've got)
We've ridden side by side
And all have different stops.
So if we know it ends
Then nothing can go wrong;
Only the present tense
Is where it's going on
We've known it all along
I'm ready to move on...

It all goes around
no easy way out
We either defend
Or burn this shit down
And who takes the fall?
We carry it all
And do it again
Bring back that refrain

Come back to life
'Cuz we are involved
In a fight
Come back to life
Before we dissolve
Into the light...