Hello Sadness

by Los Campesinos!

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released November 14, 2011

Music by Tom
Words by Gareth (with guidance from Robert on tracks 1 and 5)
Arranged and performed by Los Campesinos!

Produced, recorded and mixed by John Goodmanson. Recorded at MusicLan Studios, Girona, Spain (assistant engineering by Jose Luis Molero). Mixed at Electro Kitty, Seattle, USA & at John's House, Seattle, USA (additional engineering by Eric Corson).

String arrangements by Harriet (Recorded by Andrew Lewis at Cardiff Music Studio, Cardiff, Wales; Brass arrangements by Tom and Jherek Bischoff (Recorded at Eric's House, Seattle, USA).

Also featuring:
Benjamin Kaminski - Viola
Jimmy Otlley - Cello
Samantha Boshnack - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Nelson Bell - Trombone, Tuba
Jherek Bischoff - Double Bass and Good Vibes

Mastered at Electric Mastering by Guy Davie



all rights reserved


Los Campesinos! Cardiff, UK

Official releases from your ex-girlfriend's favourite band.

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Track Name: By Your Hand
I was sitting on my hands at the top-deck of the 178,
spitting cusses at my face reflected in the windscreen pane. Throwing insults and calling names. Filthy SMSs that you sent through the day, by sundown become tame, so I set it in motion again.

But fate’s a cruel mistress, girl, the prettiest in the world. She dresses loosely in a bathrobe with her hair up in curls, 'cause we were kissing for hours with her hands in my trousers, she could not contain herself, suggests we go back to her house. But here it comes, this is the crux, she vomits down my rental tux.

I'm not sure if it's love anymore, but I've been thinking of you fondly for sure. Remember what your heart is for.

By your hand is the only end I foresee,
I have been dreaming you've been dreaming about me

And it's a good night
For a fist fight
Because the dew will temper your fall
You'll sing me lullabies in form of your cat-calls

And I've been dangling in limbo, barely keeping my cool.
It's like I'm snookered 'tween the back cushion and touching the 8 ball.
I keep replaying my turn, until your patience is shot, you peel your white gloves off seductively before you respot.
Your fingertips leave marks and graze, I lay you down atop the baize:
I'm not sure if it's love anymore, but I've been thinking of you fondly for sure. Remember what your heart is for.

Graceful, gracious companion with your eyes of doe and thighs of stallion
Track Name: Songs About Your Girlfriend
You did not like us 'cause your girlfriend likely does
And all your friends agree on her soft spot for me
I'll have my hard hands over her soft spots soon you will see

And if you want a list of all her favourite bits
Then next time I am free, quite comprehensively
I will scrawl them all down for you as an apology

Tell her the times we shared that broke have been repaired
Cinders of our old jokes have once again been stoked
But with a different girl, funnier now they've been rehearsed

All night hung on your every word
’Til we were interrupted by the birds
Singing 'Oh your mask is slipping, Oh your mask is slipping'

Songs I've written about your girlfriend
Are just songs of spite since it came to an end

'Cause I never made her smile like that
And she never made me smile right back
Although I always made her purr like a cat
She said I never made her smile like that

She stubbed her home club's crest on me with cigarettes
A swift that matched the bird upon her football shirt
She would lift the hem, she would wear that thing like a skirt

The last time I was there she let me wear her clothes
She painted my lips red so that we both ensured
I kissed her every inch, my god the girl looked like she'd burned
Track Name: Hello Sadness
A wishbone hangs between your breasts
I hope you haven't pulled it yet
And if this little finger doesn't have the strength
Then I'm scared that this bird's back bone breaks

It's only hope that springs eternal
And that's the reason why
This dripping from my broken heart
Is never running dry

I wear a ring of your lipstick
Round the knuckle of my 4th digit, it
Reminds me what our bodies sowed
It will do until we are betrothed

The space between your naval
And your waistband was the ice
Where two fingers pirouette, but
Now these hang nails they just slice

Your tongue the tide
Your lips the shore
I am the jetsam overboard
Goodbye courage
I christen all the ships that sail
On your little kisses' saliva trails
Goodbye courage
Hello sadness again

Little kisses come to pass
Then goodbye courage, hello sadness

Now that those 4 fingers gone
You leave me only with my thumb
That constantly is pointing down
The emperor bears teeth not frown
Track Name: Life Is A Long Time
My brown eyes, two pools of mud
Resting in two dark moons, they turn the tide into a flood
And the bloodshot lines in the whites, map every A road in this town,
All the glare of the city lights, every cul de sac we've talked down
Over time they build up the city, and our arguments show it all
Every ring road, every motorway, displayed in crease and wrinkle
Until my face is a map you have folded up one hundred, one thousand times.

You know it starts pretty rough and ends up even worse,
And what goes on in between, I try to keep it out of my thoughts

Your blue eyes are like the deepest and the warmest seas
As the salt elevates my body, they float my heart up past my teeth
And with the water and the Cypriot sun, would your psoriasis bleach and be gone?
Would it fix the pallor of my skin? Would my freckles all meld into one?
Your body above me, sobbing down, my cheeks wet from your tears
They extinguish each of the burning thread veins, flow down to my ears
Now they rest in two tiny reservoirs that overfed the wedded canals

And life, life is a long time, too long to my mind, too long by far
Between my waterfalls and your landslides, there's cartography in every scar
Life, life is a long time, too long to my mind, too long by far
Track Name: Every Defeat A Divorce (Three Lions)
I am not a crutch
Although my knees are rife with woodworm
And the mealworms I misheard for lunch
Are rotting in my guts
With a childhood of fingernails
That ripped my throat to shreds
A walk that chimes like church bells
From all these loose joints in my legs

These three lions that were sitting on my chest
Are clawing hard into my skin
As I am gasping for my breath
And as they each play noughts and crosses
On the scratches they have left
I have to screw up both my eyes
As it goes into sudden death.
They whisper
"Really all these noughts are circles holed, bereft
And all these crosses crucifixes,
Spreading guilt and sense of dread."
And as we stumbled homeward up the hill
To where you used to live
The cold makes ice upon our cheeks
From all the tears that we have shed

These things rattle round my head
If he hasn't blown the whistle
Then it isn't quite the end.

Every defeat a divorce
Although I look surprised
It's par for the course I guess

And I don't really know now
What I thought I knew then
You can lead a horse to water
But it won't drown itself

This one family photograph
Always floats to the top
Like a beaming, bloated corpse
Though having been made up
My memories are sepia
But the photograph is not
An historian is fucking with them
As deadly as garrotte

Where they're standing in the kitchen
With his arms around her waist
With no idea of what's to come
And with a smile across your face
And all the fittings are the same
But every other thing has changed
Must forget everything you know
As though your mouth and tongue estranged
Small comforts found in ABBA Gold
And electronic chess
When West Clewes was my Waterloo
My most dramatic test
Now I've been walking down the shortcuts
And the alleys in the dark
Because I'm not scared of the shadows
They're no blacker than my heart

But how could I ever refuse
I feel like I lose when I lose
Track Name: Hate For The Island
Recall the time we straddled your window pane
And smoked the last of the weed that sent you insane
In a public loo in a borough of London that I won't mention
You phoned me in Minnesota, said you had a vital question
And as we smoked you feared your neighbours might see
We watched a fox rip out the contents of each
Bin-bag that lined the road and then you turned to see me mouth,
"Those entrails are how I'll feel when you decide to leave me"

Now I've a whole lot of hate for the island
Since your friends buried you down there 6 feet deep beneath the sand
But at least I know we'll never be that far now from each other
Just a couple hundred feet either side of sea level
It's no lie if the waters rose and drowned that place from coast to coast
You wouldn't see this smile leave my face for all eternity
Track Name: The Black Bird, The Dark Slope
The black bird sits atop my guts and spreads its wings for flight
My shoulders back, my jaw pushed out, my stomach sucked in
Its wingtips push across my lungs and fill them full of feathers
But the brushstrokes feel like hearth pokes into my skin

The black bird feasts upon my guts and bears its beak to fight
My shoulders back, my jaw pushed out, my stomach sucked in
Its wingtips push across my lungs and fill them full of feathers
Now they poke between my teeth and that's why I thirst

When he flies me to the top there's nothing but the fog
A heart of stone, egg shell for bones, they lead you to be lost
The dark slope drags you down
The black bird is a part of me, so sad to see
So sad to be me

I ask before I go for you to drop a lit match down my throat
And smoke the bastard out or burn him to a crisp
Cause I'm already carrion, been eaten from the inside too long
This black bird wants to rip me limb from limb
The black bird dips its beak in blood and writes its thoughts in cursive 'cross
The bones that are its jailer and my ribcage
And when you turn me inside out, believe in me without a doubt
The words were all of his and none of mine
Track Name: To Tundra
Meet me at
St. Nicholas
Among the oaks
Behind the church

That sway like pig-tailed girls
As summer wind whistles
Around your bare-skin knees
And the forsythia leaves

In the shade
Lay with me
Tickled by
The feather reed

That's where the trees grow old
Under the ivy's hold
As you in my two arms
Equally safe from harm

And in a hazy day dream
Our bodies married the stream
And we broke down into pebbles and silt

The water ran from the fields
Until the oceans we filled
And found the sea-bed the comfiest quilt

There was more life in the weeds than in the few hundred seats
In rows from transept to chancel to nave
And when their anger had paused, I turned and answered their calls
With “you’re just audience, I'm the applause”
We take on the burden of all these sad-eyed children
With lilies bunched in our hands
We fake our concern and speak softly as the children
Tells wife to cancel her plans

Take a body to water, take a body to tundra
Just take me with you as well
Track Name: Baby I Got The Death Rattle
We burnt all the skin
From the palm of my hands
With an old zippo lighter
And deodorant can
I went to the palmist
And asked her to read
No heart line,
No sun line
No life line,
No need.
Said all that I wanted was a quiet life
Not one predetermined by minuscule slices
Into my flesh and the broad she agreed
One look in my sad eyes
She had to concede

"Baby... the girdle of venus got me
Got me down on my knees.
And baby... baby I got the death rattle and
You're six months old sh-shakin' me."

Traced my right index finger
'long the roof of every car
On the walk back to your house
In the cold from City Arms
In the frost I drew a dick
For every girl that wouldn't fuck me
Woke early the next morning to see
The frost had bitten me

My blisters black and touch cold
Like a cute stuffed toy bear's nose
The kind of gift I'd give you
Like a less committed Van Gogh

And you, you are an angel
That's why you pray
And I am an ass
And that's why I bray

Your halo slipped to frame you
Like a photo, a porthole window
I see blood spill in the pure snow
You see sweet sauce on ice-cream cones

And you, you are an angel
That's why you pray
And I am an ass
And that's why I bray
If you were tomorrow
I'd be today
And this is the end

(I'm serious, so listen up)

Baby I got the death rattle
And baby I got it bad
I've been digging my grave
For quite some time
When I'm not digging up the past
And I chewed my only necktie
From the metal frame of my bed
Where I tied your wrists together
Spent all night givin'

Not headstone
But headboard
Is where I want to be mourned
Track Name: Light Leaves, Dark Sees Pt. II
I part the curtains of your hair
And all the light of the sun floods the room, poured from your sleepy stare
2 seconds each morning without fail
Before I enter the abattoir to see my insides hanging there
But they request that I leave 'cause my sad eyes are too much to bear

When the light leaves, then the dark sees

Your hands to your hips now: 2 swan necks
Curl between pelvis with stretch-marks and shoulders with those freckle flecks
The pain of the silence before bed
Oh for the sound of your pissing through the thin walls, or stroking your head
But for the shadows and doom and the sorrow we seem to have bred

When the light leaves, then the dark sees