What Is Stranger Than Love?

by Victory Gardens

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1.
Bad Things 04:49
I wept into the pastry, the saddest croissant: you were mad at me. I'm so evil. I've got powers. And I use them to do bad things. Bad things. Bad things. You'd give me rings if I didn't do bad things anymore. We could've been married on an island in Greece. But I ruined every plan with my bad thoughts and my fantasy man. I brought everyone down, it's all my fault! I take full responsibility for your wrong mind. I'd give my life to no longer dissatisfy. You say I'm crazy, you think I'm toxic, but you drink me. I do not want your mercy. Just your everlovin' understandin' that I will always do bad things.
2.
Tiny Bandit 03:55
i met eric the pirate in the blackout of '81. he was wearing an eyepatch and a holster for his gun. his apartment, in the dark, and the knife in my purse was the answer of course to his gun. he had a gun. he had a gun. hyatt took me in georgia in the battle of Boy vs. Man. condomless and engorged in his passenger pick-up van. if his mother had known that he'd leave me there, naked and alone, she'd have come. he would have come. she would have come. blow smoke and mirrors out your door. i've had many a friend who has died and then begged for more. we hold our tongues, bite our lips, pray to end it. holding our knives like Tiny Bandits. i moved to carolina the summer in between and i opened up my vagina and let everybody in. daddy, always at work, didn't see a thing, but if he had! he'd go berserk and then get out his gun and go back to work. if you're in need of some protection, i would rely on male affection or get a gun. it's not enough to request you demand it. hold fast your knife, little Tiny Bandit. marlboro man was my favorite so he didn't lack consent. he was a gentle soldier and a proven testament to the age old lament that a man will just take till he's done so carry your gun, carry your gun girl, carry your gun. weapons have limitations, too. i have relied on expectations not meant for you and if you are down in the dumps, want to end it - there is a life beyond Tiny Bandit.
3.
Amy's House 03:31
at Amy's last night during dinner, she tells me she ran into you. i try not to spit out my chicken but i choke and start to turn blue. pulseless, the angels revive me. they remind that i had said "no!" this is over, i'm done, it's behind me. i am ready to let you go. i am ready. i ask friends "how long will it take till i don't feel like numbin with pills?" they say mendin a heart that refuses to break is like pushin boulders up hills. so i go to the gym and do reps. i pump iron and work on my pecs. i've moved boulders before, this is true. now i'm ready to move you, too. try gettin under someone else. try meditation, i hear that shit helps. i've been advised to leave well alone but i just wanna tell ya: come home. by tuesday, i've started to spin. panic, my old friend, is settling in. are you off fucking someone i hate? do i murder her now or patiently wait? try gettin under someone else. try meditation, i hear that shit helps. i've been advised to leave well alone but i just wanna tell ya: come home. shots of tequila, that's one bandaid. let strangers feel ya and then get laid. lie in the arms of someone new and then tell 'em all about you.
4.
what if i die tomorrow? what if i die tonight? i never asked for sorrow, i only asked you to stand up and fight. what if i'd asked for more? would you still put out your hands and say "baby, i'm poor." would i still find out that your payin wage to some swedish whore? you wanna know the soul? you want the heat that's underneath my coals? well, i should have burned your eyes. those were the greatest lies that i've been told. she only wants one thing from you. it's the thing i abhore. i'm done listening to you. go ahead. stay the same. never change, be the bull, be the bore. so if i wanna leave, would you let me go easy? and if i need to grieve to get over you would you stop haunting me in my sleep? no you won't stop haunting me, even when i'm asleep. even when i'm six feet deep.
5.
I hope my death is quick and painless. I see no need to suffer more. I hope God's strategy is seamless, that I'm not asking what life's for. I know the answer deep inside me. I'm here to love and that is all. God's cursed me with that awful destiny. I have no choice but heed the call. For it is only those that answer to their Lords that have a shot at striking gold. I hope my death is entertaining, that I don't leave them bored and cold. I ask my master for a lover, for it is there I find my wealth. But when I ask him for another, he says you first must love yourself. How does one look in the mirror and only see with child's eyes? I fear the truth is getting nearer: that my wild can't be disguised. And so I make my peace with loneliness and grief. I hold them close and gently weep. If ever I was uninspiring, it's your forgiveness that I seek.
6.
You think love is easy? Call me in a year. Or call me in three. Or maybe in five. There's nothing I haven't tried to keep love alive. If I knew the way, he'd still be here. And if I knew the way, I'd be rich. Yea, if I knew the way to make love stay, then I'd really be a fuckin witch. Well, there's a game I know to make love grow, it's called "Show Me Your Shadow" and if you want to see mine, just let me fuckin shine. If you don't like my jealousy, then it's my back you're gonna see. And if you want my light to shine on you, show me your shadow too. You think you feel jealous? Please, let me show you how to stalk his ex girlfriend, or maybe his new girlfriend, there's still some shit the internet just won't allow. So I've stopped lookin for love. Now I'm just lookin at memes. You want to fall in love? Love is just rippin eachother's seams. And I know love's like this I've been there before that's why I've called it quits and I've headed for the door but now I'm cuttin the chords and untyin the knots and workin real hard to not get so attached but you don't understand why writing me a letter after all this time is romantic. Mister Romantic, I miss your letters. And all the dancing in our living room. Mister Romantic, I miss the pavement we carved our names in where the daisies bloomed. Mister Romantic, flowers at my door. Birthday cheese, and memories of whiskey on my floor. Mister Romantic, cocky yet afraid. If we'd known it end this way, would we have stayed? Is it fear of the silence or of the coldest bed that makes us say "yes" till we're old and dead? And if I die a crone, what's so bad about? The crones are just witches, and they usually have a cat. And if love is a story, just a fictional tale, I still want to write it till I'm cold and pale. To you, God, I'm asking "was none of it true?" I'll be damned, God, if they'll take my love from you! So it's you, God, I'm asking of - what is stranger? It's you, God, that I'm asking of - what is stranger? It's you, God, I'm asking above - what is stranger? To you, God, I'm asking of - what is stranger than love?

about

This album is the result of 7 beautiful years spent learning how to love. I guess some could say we've been learning our whole lives, and will never stop. In my 32 years, I have yet to meet a heart that makes sense. And I'm starting to understand that I might never. But I sure hope we keep on keepin on.

In the meantime, I'd like to thank every being, every plant and every spirit that supported me in making this record. Special thanks to Nicolas Panken for sharing a life with me for so long. It was humbling, earth-shattering, and life-changing to be loved by you. I am eternally grateful.

Thank you Erich & Anastasia Hahn, and the spirit of Alex Sichel, for lending us their cabin on a lake to record in, while the Bald Eagle flew overhead. Thank you to the Ryan Family and the Velvet Bay, for letting me cast my creative net as wide as possible, and for showing me how to open my heart again. Thank you to my Dance family, my witches and monsters - you all breathed life back into me when I thought I could surely not go on. It is the highest honor to dance this path with you.

And last but not least, a lifetime of thank you's to Joe Rogers and Jack Moulton, for pouring your heart, soul, and humor into every ounce of this record. For laying down those 7 layers of trumpet at 3am, for holding up the lyrics to the last song while I played it, because they were so freshly written I couldn't remember them. Moments like that are the reason art will always keep me alive. I will never forget them.

credits

released December 13, 2018

Victoria Giardina: vocals, guitar
Joe Rogers: vocals, bass, guitar, trumpet
Jack Moulton: bass, tambourine

All songs written by Victory Gardens
Recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered by Joe Rogers

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