Twelve Months

by Curious Quail

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about

"Twelve Months" is a year long songwriting project spurred by a last minute decision in January of 2018 by Mike where the band would receive 3 randomized restrictions at the start of each month and have to write, record and produce a song (and performance video) for each song before that month was out. It wouldn't have been possible without the support of the amazing members of the band and our special guests.

The project features:

Josh Hotlosz on bass, Alan Chen on violin, Abe Myers on lead guitar, Erin Keely on vocals, Delicaye Shirley-Donnelly on vocals, Joey Guthrie on drums, percussion, piano and moral support, and lastly Mike Shirley-Donnelly on vocals, guitars, gameboys, keys and Frankensteining all of these things together from various locations around California and Washington.

ALSO it wouldn't have been possible without the support of our families, loved ones and friends, most notably:

E+P
Sarah Guthrie
Nick Machado
Yvonne Chen
Jenn Liu
Renee Porter and David Hotlosz
Yerba Buena High School Performing Arts Department
Music Ink Studios
Dan Vado and the Art Boutiki Music Hall
Loni Lonzo
Robert Eugene Bradley
Brandon and Erin Hood
8bitSF and 8BitLA
Pat Griffin
Jared Milos
The Cats of the Desert Art Colony
Benji and Freddie (RIP)

credits

released February 12, 2019

All songs written*, mixed, mastered and produced by Mike Shirley-Donnelly and performed by Curious Quail;

*Abandon Ship co-written with Alan Chen
*One Thousand Lies co-written with Alan Chen and Joey Guthrie
*Fuzzy Photographs co-written with Joey Guthrie
*Retrospection arranged by Joey Guthrie as a reprise medley of every other song on the record

Recorded at The Desert Art Colony in Palm Springs, California, The Quailcave and ManBoyCave in San José, California and Music Quest in Vancouver, Washington as well as various homes and living rooms.

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about

Curious Quail

Curious Quail is an orchestral + chiptune indie rock collective with members in San Jose, CA, Palm Springs, CA and Vancouver WA. Mixing fuzzy guitar rock, orchestral instrumentation and music made with Nintendo Gameboys.

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Track Name: Resolutions
Bleary headed and clouded eyes as you open up a day planner for the first time
as an adult

People expect you to write shit in it and remember it later and check it often but you know
that'll never work

But you pick up your favorite pen and write down that 3:15 appointment with your doctor.

Move your hand and the ink smudges so you won't recognize your own handwriting the next time you look
You've already fucked up.

But You'll get a new one
Next year

You'll get a new one
Next year

Productivity screeching to a halt on that project you've been dedicating your time to
You're already blocked

But three pages deep in a letter to your uncle explaining why calling an entire class of people 'lazy' is a form of casual racism

And sure it’s good to try to do that but these resolutions you made to get more shit done
You broke them so fast

But you'll make a new one
Next year
(You broke them so fast)
You'll make a new one
Next year
(You broke them so fast)
You'll make a new one
Next year
(You broke them so fast)
You'll make a new one
Next year
Track Name: Abandon Ship
Hard to believe that you have grown so detached
This smell of hope has turned to ash

You think it’s easy to exist like this
Out in the world that you have crashed

Hold the phone
And fix this now
Repair somehow
Or you’re repeating history

We'll just be sinkin' on this ship
Or we can try to
Do
Better
Though it doesn't matter in your eyes

We'll just be sinkin' on this ship
Or we can try to
Be
Better
Though it doesn't matter in your eyes
In your eyes

We'll just be sinkin' on this ship
Or we can try to
Do
Better
Though it doesn't matter in your eyes

We'll just be sinkin' on this ship
Or we can try to
Be
Better
Though it doesn't matter in your eyes
Track Name: One Thousand Lies
He said he was an orphan
I guess I should’ve known more then
But you know I want to see the best in everyone

She gave him places to sleep
Before the waters got too deep
But what happened after no one
could predict

She said he was an orphan
But clearly he wanted more than
Whatever sob story would suffice

Then she told us he'd be leavin
but we found his body in the evenin'
Oh what
The
Hell

She'd agonize
Over one thousand lies
That should've been drowned at sea
Before we were ever there

No one should have to live like this
Hiding just to exist
We’d all have been drowned at sea
Before he would even care

At first she tried to cover
Stories leading to another
But our faces clearly were not buyin' shit

She relented and went further
Explained that he was there to hurt her
And we had to admit she had
No choice

She said that there were others
Always changing their cover
And all they want to do is live in peace

But then a sound in the doorway
And she disappeared completely
Oh
What
Next?

We'd agonize
Over one thousand lies
That shoulda been drowned at sea
Before we were ever there
No one should have to live like this
Hiding just to exist
We'd all have been drowned at sea
If she were never there
Track Name: This Rest Stop Sucks
Tired
Open window stings your tired face
How long's it been since laughter was replaced
All these things just end in our disgrace

No
I won't give up so easily
There may be nothin' as far as we can see

But we're not alone
No we're not alone
I know it feels like we have had enough
And all these things are empty to the touch
But We're not alone
No we're not alone
Though we may be fallin' deeper still
I'll hold on if you promise that you will

Stop
I swear we've already seen that truck
Can I just say this rest stop fuckin' sucks
But we will be safe

Rain
Sheets of water pourin' through these holes
We shoulda fixed 'em weeks ago, I know
Hindsight must be laughin’ I suppose

But No
We won't give up so easily
And though this may be the end of all we see

Well we're not alone
No we're not alone
I know it feels like we have had enough
When everything is empty to the touch
But We're not alone
No we're not alone
Though we may be fallin' deeper still
I'll hold on if you promise that you will
Track Name: Fluorescent Lights
Stretchers and
Nurses and
You just sit there waitin
Coin in and
Food out and
Pattern goes on repeatin'
You'll eat whatever
You can find here
The hours
Tick by and
Still you are left here guessin'
If they are even
Still alive

Pace in a circle waitin'
And curse these fluorescent lights
"No News Is Good News" they say
you'll break that door with your eyes

The doctor said she'd be a while
But you need those questions answered so you hold on
The sun and moon have come and gone
But on the bright side
The cafeteria opens soon

It's been sixteen hours
When's someone gonna tell me something
Anything
I don't even need details
Sixteen hours
When's someone gonna tell me something
Anything
I don't even need details
Sixteen hours
When's someone gonna tell me something
Anything
I don't even need details
Sixteen hours
It's been sixteen hours
It's been sixteen
Hours

Pace in a circle waitin'
And curse these fluorescent lights
"No News Is Good News" they say
you'll break this door with your eyes
Track Name: You Need Better Friends
Lookin out the window
You see the sun's up
It was all a dream perhaps
Colors are all desaturated
Were they always like this or
Did you just finally snap
And you're better off alone than with people who
belittle you
And gaslight you
And make you feel unsafe
Why spend 3 months with someone who can't be
Bothered to stop saying transphobic shit
And you try
You fool
You try to find
the good in them still

But you're free do this your way
And you're free to try till your heart just gives out
And you're free to learn the hard way
Some people are just assholes
And they don't deserve your time

The very next day
you feel lighter than air
Your friends can't believe what you said
It's somehow wrong to tell people
That they're killing your soul
And scarring your head
Cuz you're better off alone than with people who
Are spreading hate
And live afraid
Of those with different skin
Why waste a breath on someone who can't be
Bothered to stop being misogynist trash
And they try
Those fools
They try to
Tell you they're good deep inside

You were free to do this your way
You were free to try till your heart just gave out
And you had to learn the hard way
Some people are just assholes
And they don't wanna change
Some people are just assholes
And you don't owe 'em anything
Track Name: Impostor Syndrome
The day was off to a good start
A lead, a sale, a raise
but brain fills with intrusive thoughts
And all good things erased

Someone compliments your work
It makes you hesitate
You know somehow that shoe will drop
And kill you while you wait

But
Hold on
This isn’t you talkin'
For so long
You were raised to believe that your brain can't be wrong but it’s
So wrong
You gotta stop listenin'
And find your worth

Every win comes with a shock
Time and time again
Ticking borrowed time till you're
Abandoned by your friends

Cuz someday they will find you out
Someday they'll see you
For this bed of trash you are
Who cannot follow through
You cannot follow through

But
Hold on
This isn’t you talkin'
For so long
You were raised to believe that your brain can't be wrong but it’s
So wrong
You gotta stop listenin'
And find your worth

Block it out
You need to some how
And when you're down
Know that
There's only you and you're good enough
And you've earned all these things that you're good at
There's only you and you're good enough
You'll be the best you, you're good enough
Wait and see
Wait and see
Track Name: The Albatross
Facing all these things that we've broken
Scares you inside-out for a moment
But deep breath in
Chin up
We got this far

It's time to finish what we all started
With bruises, bleeding limbs, broken hearted
But all
Together now
We got this far

They say that we'll disappear
But the math that they do to get here doesn't check out
They're waiting for the all clear
From superstitions and fears
But the weight of it all is gone from our necks

Blink once or twice and it's over
And sure you're beaten down and feel older
But against
all odds and reason
Here we are

They said that we'd disappear
And proving them wrong shouldn't feel this good
They're waiting for the all clear
From superstitions and fears
And the weight of this is all is gone from our necks
Track Name: Fuzzy Photographs
Eyes twitch
Throat dry
The more you stare the more aware of this
Lie
You say that we're wasting our time but it's the only thing we've got
And what devours these frozen hours says we're right

Didn’t want to be right.

But you say that you remember
All these things that
Should've kept us weathered
But all you've got are fuzzy photographs
And a promise of relief that
Will never come to visit
And why would it
The evidence just isn't
Proof enough that when we weigh that shit
You can tell me that it's worth it.

Time it out
It's been over ten years now
And instead of re-livin' this
We smile
Cuz it's easier to just
evade
And pretend it's all ok
The odds of us all right here
Were slim
and it's easier to just

Stop
Cuz I don't even know you
This person you're supposed to be
Is quite dead
And wait
I shouldn't even know this
You're fuckin' up the process
For me instead

But you tell me you remember
All these things that
You were never there for
so we pull out fuzzy photographs
And we're starting to believe that
When you tell me you remember
All these things that
You couldn't have been there for
And finally we weigh that shit
And we're starting to believe it
Track Name: Cosmic Wound
Rising frustrations
Lasting implications it’s done
The hardest part was thinking that
we had more time

"Spur of the moment"
Yet they had to know that we’d die
The hardest part was having friends who believed
That lie

But on their face
They realize that their mistakes are alive
And created this wound

But fear misplaced
They’re searching for someone to blame for the lie
That created this wound

But hold on
We’ll get back to rage in a moment
It’s ok to feel fucken broken
That’s no reflection on you

but it’s okay
We may not feel very hopeful
But we’ll burn these fuckers down wholesale
Before they get started on you

Completely surprising how
Dehumanizing it feels
The hardest part was caring if
We’d stoop to their low

Civil innuendo
Gets thrown out the window with glee
The hardest part was knowing this
Hate comes naturally

You see their face
They’re quickly learning their mistakes are alive
They’ve created this wound

With baited breath
They’re justifying countless death for the lie
That created this wound

But hold on
We’ll get back to rage in a moment
It’s ok to feel fucken broken
That’s no reflection on you

But it’s okay
We may not be very hopeful
But we’ll burn these fuckers down wholesale
Before they get started on you

But hold on
We'll get back to rage in a moment
It's ok to feel fucken broken
It's ok to feel fucken broken

But hold on
We’ll get back to rage in a moment
It’s ok to feel fucken broken
That’s no reflection on you

But it’s okay
We may not feel very hopeful
But we’ll burn these fuckers down wholesale
Before they get started on you
Track Name: The Plan
In the cover of the night
I'll take the guards on the left
and you'll take right
If we pull this off those dogs won't even know

We’ll be keepin’ out of sight
Silhouettes dancin’ past
The lantern light
Halls of decadence with emptiness below

They say that wrongs can't make a right
Guess it all depends on yer definition
But the people making rules like that are never at risk
They sure thought we wouldn't fight
Well surprise!

Can’t believe that we’re inside
Months of planning and some intense
Overtime
Standing toe to toe with opulence and wealth

Don’t they know that people die
Every day based on things that they
decide
But this ivory tower’s temptations have swelled

They say wrongs can’t make a right
I guess that all depends on your definition
But the people makin rules like that are never at risk
They sure thought we wouldn’t fight
Well…surprise!

Stick to the plan
This world you don't believe in
But I think it's time we're leavin'
And we don't belong
But where do we go
From here?
Please respond
Where do we go
From here?
Track Name: Retrospection
N/A
[Instrumental]