No Heart's a Wasteland (2012)

by William Nein

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No Heart’s A Wasteland

So what happened was, William Nein, the hero of our story, had left for Berlin. Before he went away he left me a couple of CDs. The CDs were a compilation of songs he had recorded over the last few years in different locations, with various people and equipment. He told me before he left, ‘I’m thinking of mastering these one day properly and making a proper album out of it.’ I think my response was either a shrug or something like, ‘Yeah, that would be cool.’
I’ve known William for years, and like most musicians who do music that I enjoy, he’s completely fucked up as a person, hasn’t a clue how to suck up and kiss ass to society en large, has a massive heart and invests said massive heart in all his creations. (I do wish these guys would learn how to kiss an ass or two once in a while - maybe then we might have something we could be proud of in the charts rather than the dirge we have to put up with now. But, whatever).
I must admit, it took me a while getting round to putting his CDs on my player, because there’s nothing scarier than listening to a friend’s work, right? Nevertheless, I put it on eventually because I knew I’d have to talk to him again one day and the subject would come up and I didn’t want to lie and say I heard it when I hadn’t.
So like all those movies where a big revelatory-moment comes along, as I was listening to his music (imagine the video camera slowly zooming in on my enlightened face), an idea… slowly… started… forming…in my head. Out of the thirty odd songs I listened to, there were about twelve that, although recorded in somewhat lo-fi circumstances, captured something magical. They worked. They didn’t need anything added, they didn’t need re-recording, over-producing, scrubbing and over-polishing until all the life was taken out of them. They said all that the piece had to say. And they had balls; big fat hairy balls that one rarely hears from men with acoustic guitars nowadays. I thought, ‘There’s an album here. Right here, take the best out of the thirty odd songs he’s shown me, and you’ve got something. Something special. It will never get into any soulless chart, it might even take years before our society gets it, but it’s art, and its lovely, and the world needs to hear it.’
Yes. I’m not ashamed to say it. It’s art. I couldn’t tell you why. A bit like love; you don’t know what it is until you experience it. Same goes with this - I don’t know why it is art but it just is. Maybe because it’s so personable whilst being completely communicative. Maybe because… well, I don’t know. And please believe me when I say this, whilst being art, it is not arty, and definitely not arty-farty, it is in fact entertaining as hell.
And so I picked the songs I thought worked as they were recorded, I put them in an order that I thought worked, I listened to them every day for about a week, constantly thinking, ‘This is a fucking album.’
Remembering what he said about his wish to one day get it mastered, I decided I would take matters into my own hands and get it done. I didn’t know how exactly, but then I figured, well, it doesn’t have to be just me who makes it happen.
Thus, with a little help from some friends who knew William, who liked William, who had tolerated this son of a bitch throughout the years, we got together the funds to get it mastered. It was beautiful. It was people power, and it was exhilarating. It started making me think all albums should be done this way. And they probably will be soon – I mean, hey, the music industry may be dying on its ass, but music industry will be around forever – at least while people still have ears and the capacity to enjoy waves flying invisibly through the air.
Over to you.
Take a risk - like you might have done in the old days, before you could sample everything freely on the web. I’m recommending this album to you. It’s different, it’s recognizable, it’s eclectic and fun and interesting and moving. Don’t listen to it online beforehand, buy it like you would have done ten years ago when you saw an album that looked interesting and your friend told you it was good (that’s me, I’m that friend). Let it grow on you. You see, his voice hasn’t been pitched by a computer; he’s not tailored his work to suit any lowest common denominator. Its raw and bloody and dirty and pure, my friends.
Take a risk.

PS. The money that you use to buy this album will then go into funding William Nein’s Second Album, so in a completely direct way, you’ll be making a new album happen. If you don’t think that’s a nice thing, you may need another holiday.


released January 21, 2012

Glen Strachan - Vocal & Recorders on Alex Chen; Piano & Backing Vocals on Alistair
Nena Zinovieff - Drums & Backing Vocals on Alison Rose
Guida Maymo Camps - Flute on Victoria‘s Roof

All songs written and recorded by William Nein
except Alex Chen - written by William Nein/Glen Strachan
Alistair, Victoria‘s Roof and Alex Chen recorded by Glen Strachan
Alison Rose recorded by Oliver Price

Special thanks to Anna Thomson, Stuart Barter, Oliver Price,
Stef Butler, Roxy Rawson, Miss Jo Williams + Marc Tomkins,
and the Giles family

Artwork & design - Lisa Wilkens –

Mastered by Gwyn Mathias
Produced by David Goo



Track Name: I Like You Too
I want you to be around
Be around cause i like you
It doesn't happen much
We wouldn't have to touch
I just wanna sit beside you

I never wanna make you sad
Wanna try to make you happy
I never wanna hide
Why don't you come inside?
I just want you to be with me

I like it when you say my name
Can I hear it? let me stay again

I want you to be around
I don't like it when i miss you
You're the one i like the most
I want you to be close
I just want to be beside you

You know i need to hear your voice
You know i need to see you smiling
I look forward to the day
When you won't be away
Then you will see me smiling

I like it when you say my name
Can I hear it? let me stay again
Track Name: Alison Rose
Girl with her hands on her heads looks both ways as she crosses the street.
Alison Rose is found dead with her four eyes.
Alison Rose, Alison Rose, the 2-headed beast.
Alison Rose is found dead in the streets.

I placed her bloodied head upon my t-shirt
And held her broken hand upon my heart,
I told her that I’d never, never leave her
I told her that we’d never, never part.

Alison Rose Alison Rose is found dead.

It’s ok, it’s alright, she calls, she’s breathing again
I see her eyes roll, she’s breathing again!
And her heads start to move,
and her legs start to twitch,
and her hair starts to move,
and her hands start to reach.
I kiss both her hands.
She’s come back to me!
She is the one. She’s come back to me.

Alison Rose, Alison Rose.
Track Name: Victoria's Roof
Blue stars on Victoria’s roof, secrets on her underground
Hiding from the wandering hands pulling up the weeds
Letters trapped between her pages waiting for fingers to hold
And tuck them in to darkened drawers, read beneath bed-sheets of paper
Blackened by the authors hand, words blacken the authors hand
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright

Mouths and tongues expelling words, schooling for the broken-hearted
Firing empty casket shells into the flesh of the buried wounded
Planting masts between her knees, bowing to the queen of vengeance
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
Track Name: Isabel
Angels falling from the sun, feathers raining upon my head,
Covering the rocks and stones so they land gently,
Memories turn to clouds.

Shining down upon my face your light is warming me inside
See the night is drawing in, I have your skin to cover me
This is not about god Isabel

Angel falling from the sky rises up with no memory
Doesn’t even realise the beauty she’s holding.
Clouds in the night-time
Track Name: Jeremy's Germs
Dead inside, I caught all the germs and died
Won’t you bury me again ‘cause I still need somebody who will carry my body

Worms in my eyes, flies up above taking everything I had away
Stripping me down to nothing more than calcium

Fall into the girl with stars on her eyes, I covered her in kisses that were covered in lies
Sweet cotton pills of self-destruction and hatred

Dead inside, I caught all the germs and died
Won’t you bury me again ‘cause I still need somebody who will carry my body (to the sky)

Oh, you are only beside me,
Oh, you will only despise me.

Dead inside, I caught all the germs and died
Won’t you bury me again ‘cause I still need somebody

Dead inside, I caught all the germs and died
Won’t you bury me again ‘cause I still need somebody to carry my body to the sky
Track Name: You call me too late
You always claimed you never wanted this
You moved away each time I tried to kiss you

But you need to know that I gotta go
You call me too late

I would proclaim my love a thousand times
You would complain you'd never see it in my eyes but

You won't believe that I gotta leave
You call me too late

I have been lonesome and blue
I am happy now that you will be too

‘Cause I gotta go you need to know
You call me too late

Now I am gone and we are far apart
I took back my love and left you with my empty heart

Cause all of my words you never heard
You call me too late
Track Name: 4 Feet Apart
I met a girl on the other side of the railroad tracks,
We were stood 4 feet apart but the distance didn't lack
Electricity running between her and me

We walked for miles but we never crossed that line,
And though every now and then a train would come running to time
Through our broken path, we were still 4 feet apart

Lines running straight keep everything in order,
We know it's safe if we stay within our borders,
But there comes a time when everyone must fall

We've travelled far and we've seen alot of land,
We're both following the same stars but I've never even held her hand,
If it's meant to be I guess we'll just have to wait and see

Lines running straight keep everything in order,
We know it's safe if we stay within our borders,
But there comes a time when everyone must fall

Lines form a point if you look into the distance,
But blind our view to the path of least resistance,
If you look towards me you'll see what I see,
We're only 4 feet apart
Track Name: Alistair
Alistair I hope you never eat your children
Alistair they'll never love you from in there
And like a Cancer, they'll devour you,
Then they'll leave you just as empty as before

Alistair I think you're ugly on the inside
I swear I see you starting to decay
I see you rotting while you are smiling
And I just leave you to drip your poison on the floor.

Alistair I want to choke you with your own cord
Alistair I want to see you crawl
As your babies grow inside you
Then leave you lying bloodied on the floor
They'll leave you writhing, lying bloodied on the floor

And eat you
Track Name: The Lion
I’m a Lion and my face is like the sun.
My golden hair drapes ‘round my face, hiding my eyes.
Everybody wants my coat, but I’ll bite their head off if they get too close to me.
I make red have a taste.
My mask hides my truth, I’m the cautious feline.
See how I wear my scars to prove myself to the others, so they don’t take my place. Bleed as hope comes and goes. Scents of red hit my nose.
Yeah, yeah.
Track Name: Under Torn Ends
(right side)
I am not alive
I am flashes in your eyes
One more line written for your story
We can never die
Looking backwards at the time
Celluloid running as a memory

(left side)
Iron/flesh divide
In the fabric that He tied
Long for wine-ridden robe to store me
Weaken tethered lie
Tying us to severed line
Hardened hearts forming as an army

Shattered broken bones
Once belonging to the unknown
Finally got a name and buried
Sinking in the sea
Boat gets taken by enemies
I dive in, escape in to the bottom

I choke on words of rope weaving into your ears
Eyes looking out from under the torn ends
Track Name: Join us in San Francisco
I found an ocean under my bed as I was tidying up my room.
I stared in shock till a fish came up and said:
“Do you know the way to San Francisco?”
After a while I said “No”
And he said “Ok….I am going to go that way.”

So there we were, just me and this fish swimming our way to America,
Talkin' 'bout books, music and films
Can you believe he hadn’t seen ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’?
We were surrounded by sharks impressing their friends,
And I’m not ashamed to say I was scared, till one came up and said:
“I know the way to San Francisco”

So there we were, just me, and this fish, and this shark all heading to America.
When we got hungry we stopped at a café to eat. We’re all vegetarian.
I called my mum to tell her I was fine, and that she could join us anytime, she liked.
We’re on our way to San Francisco.

So we arrived, under the Golden Gate Bridge, on the shores of America,
We rode the trams, became hippies, tomorrow we’re going to Alcatraz.
Come and join us in San Francisco
Come and join us in San Francisco
Come and join us in San Francisco
It would really be such fun.
Track Name: No Heart's a Wasteland
Laid down to sleep years will pass till flowers grow from the tears you weep
Planted in the soil we all share our bodies with the one we came from

No-one's a wasteland, No-one's a wasteland

There's no mistakes, no regrets should fall upon your worrying head
We are all the same and given time we all shall go back to our first state

Your heart will break under the constant weight
Your heart will break and your body will ache
Your heart will see that it's fertile ground
No heart's a wasteland

It's just sad
Track Name: Alex Chen
Alex Chen is a ray of light in this house
Yellow windowsill black lines
2005 blue skies
Simon rubs his eyes in this house
Basketball & smoke outside
Alex Chen here lies black lines
2005 blue skies
Lunchbox apple pies in this house