Diurnal

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Finishing a trilogy that took four years to write, Diurnal finally completes the journey from dusk to dawn.

 

After working on something for so long, details can get sketchy. Overcoming several obstacles along the way, including the creation and release of an entirely different project, these lyrics left me stretched to the limit. Even so, with the help of a friend, I also managed to step outside my comfort zone. It all resulted in a conclusion to the night and day saga (there’s not really an official name for it) that I take great pride in.

 

Starting before Nocturnal was finished, I wrote Remember in the spring or summer of 2018. Afterwards, it spawned the idea of writing a companion piece to that lyrical grouping. I’m not really sure what steps came next, but a lot of writing was spread out over the next year. Sinking Feelings, Communication Breaks and Crossing The Valley were all in the mix early on.

 

As with my last project, I also looked back at old lyrics that didn’t make the cut for other groupings. Upon its original conception, Diurnal was supposed to be more about the past. Because of my initial idea though, many old lyrics were resurrected including Sunlight Flickers, Heart In Your Hands, Last Remains and Laneways. Another seven pieces were abandoned when the project was taken into a different direction.

 

As the Covid-19 pandemic started in March 2020, I was a few things short for Diurnal. With so much changing almost overnight though, I soon felt like the lyrics needed to go in a different direction. While Nocturnal approached subjects in a more general sense, it was always the plan for this group to be more introspective and direct. Upon making the decision to zero in on the present, my original concept was instead used on Between The Night And Day.

 

Still, I didn’t abandon the past altogether. The previous group looks back from the present and sometimes compares both time periods. With Diurnal, it’s very much focused on where the past took me instead. It’s a small difference that allowed me to pick apart different subjects and vantage points with each set of lyrics.

 

As part of this new focus, Only In Our Minds and It Won’t Always Be This Way came after our first lockdown. No Time To React was written a while later and Feral was conceived in December 2021: The latter is a result of reaching rock bottom during the holidays. (Fun fact: Feral was also created less than three weeks after my previous lyrical grouping was released.)

 

Letting things sit for awhile, I then did something I’ve never done before. Showing some friends the lyrics in February, I asked for their opinions/suggestions. This resulted in several months of editing with my friend Carol, who gave me an outside perspective I’d never solicited before. It’s a major reason why Diurnal turned out so well and I owe her a huge debt of gratitude. (Thanks Carol, you rock!)

 

We finally wrapped things up in April and that’s what you’ll read below. In terms of thematic elements, I’d say the group as a whole covers communication, social anxiety, revisiting past mistakes and challenging perspectives. There’s also the exploration of isolation and depression — both things that can’t really be ignored post-pandemic.

 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the end result. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!

 

Lyrics Content

 

01. Sunlight Flickers

02. Crossing The Valley

03. Communication Breaks

04. No Time To React

05. Remember

06. Heart In Your Hands

07. Sinking Feelings

08. Only In Our Minds

09. Feral

10. Last Remains

11. It Won’t Always Be This Way

12. Laneways

 

Sunlight Flickers

 

I’ve seen you cry on starlit nights

Beneath red fireworks set alight

Burning neon, streaking bright

It’s time to dry your eyes

 

Returning memories kept enslaved

Exposing dreams our lives betrayed

Morning holds no hiding place

For monsters not confined

 

It’s always on my mind

With what gets pushed aside

 

From trampolines and swimming pools

Some dirty thoughts in quiet rooms

All the things we couldn’t do

When nothing comes for free

 

This haunted house, your favourite clothes

Forgotten places no one knows

City streets and county roads

Each truth that floats downstream

 

With flaws in our beliefs

It’s all in what we grieve

 

Now if this sunlight flickers

Will we be guided by the sparks?

Another memory triggered

We’re always stumbling in the dark

 

Reflecting as the day begins

There’s nothing much of consequence

Looking back on where we’ve been

It keeps us well-preserved

 

With honest fears that get pushed down

All rising to the surface now

Caustic views once disavowed

Have finally been unearthed

 

Compounding what still hurts

But how much is it worth?

 

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Crossing The Valley

 

You speak like somebody that I knew long ago

But something’s different with your latest disguise

We’ve watched it taking over everyone in this town

From a past mostly built upon lies

 

I remember your voice and it still sounds the same

Except the words you’ve tried to choke down your throat

Never truly buried in the way you might want them

Every fairy tale gone up in smoke

 

Now can you help me in my darkest days?

We’ve fallen silent and don’t know what to say

Crossing the valley through the strangest of ways

 

So blink if you understand

Blink if you understand…

 

Looking like a puzzle with the pieces intact

But every image isn’t quite what it seems

My recall might be hazy for the roles that we played

In a history mostly built on deceit

 

It creeps like a shadow where each nightmare still roams

Plainly waiting in a place you can find

Invoked so insecurely from the myths we hold dear

No one ever stops to question why

 

Now can you help me in my darkest days?

We’ve fallen silent and don’t know what to say

Crossing the valley through the strangest of ways

 

So blink if you understand

Our stars are fading in the promised land

 

Follow my lead, take a walk through the weeds

Baby tell me what it is you see?

Our past can’t hold the answers if our memory shifts

But we’re so taken by the thought of it

 

Now can you help me in my darkest days?

We’ve fallen silent and don’t know what to say

Crossing the valley through the strangest of ways

 

So blink if you understand

Nothing’s sacred in the promised land

 

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Communication Breaks

 

We’re always locked in conversation

Although you’re still so far away

I’ll try to put these broken pieces back

While repressing any shame

 

In lies that echo past the morning

When I’ve refused to face them down

It leaves me trapped in every phrase we’ve shared

Lost and stranded by the sound

 

I’m searching for escape

It’s only when I wake up

Communication breaks off

I’ll never sleep again, again…

 

It’s not the first of such illusions

Another promise I can’t keep

With every fractured word that lingers on

There’s a conflict that won’t leave

 

From countless stories in the distance

It comes apart with no surprise

But when the time returns for us to meet

I can’t look you in the eyes

 

I’m praying for escape

It’s only when I wake up

Communication breaks off

I’ll never sleep again, again

I’ll never sleep again

 

As I’m drowning in the waters of your haunting abuse

Through the air in your lungs comes this unspoken truth

So inspiring, it’s expiring

 

I don’t want you to leave but I can’t comprehend

Why you’d bother to stay after everyone’s left

Name redacted, lost in action

 

I’m longing for escape

It’s only when I wake up

Communication breaks off

I’ll never sleep again, again

 

I’m longing for escape

It’s only when I wake up

Communication breaks off

I’ll never sleep again, again

I’ll never sleep again

 

I’ll never sleep again

I’ll never sleep again, again

I’ll never sleep again

 

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No Time To React

 

Claimed a natural disorder

From glass houses we throw stones

Well at least they’re all made bullet proof

Built to isolate alone

 

As division breeds this sickness

Moved across these quiet streets

Darkness hovers in the storm lit skies

Slowly landing at our feet

 

No one wants to say it, there’s nobody fighting back

We’ve been picking off our differences with no time to react

Trained and at the ready, each dispute to propagate

It’s far too late, it’s far too late…

 

We can feel it taking over

Spilling out to save ourselves

There’s no need for such destructiveness

But it suits us all so well

 

With these arguments to feed on

What’s the sense in our resolve?

Split apart to play the final chords

In this never ending song

 

No one wants to say it, there’s nobody fighting back

We’ve been picking off our differences with no time to react

Trained and at the ready, each dispute to propagate

It’s far too late, it’s far too late…

 

From incestuous opinions

Revolving doors we can’t escape

All returned for some intolerance

Born in fear to fuel this hate

 

Now we struggle with excuses

Lost to truths we’ll never face

We can’t be saved, we can’t be saved

 

Obscuring what lies forward, over shoulders we look back

Begging for some closure when there’s no time to react

Lined up at the ready, they all watch it propagate

It’s far too late, it’s far too late, it’s far too late…

 

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Remember

 

Do you remember?

Every whisper in the dark

A child of December

Made to hold a frozen heart

 

When we hit the ground running

It was in the selfish songs we’d sing

They didn’t see it coming

And now I can’t see anything, anything

 

Blinded by the red sun as it disappeared again

Drifting in the night sky, waiting for the day to end

 

Do you remember?

Lying down beneath the stars

It all ended in September

With no reasons to disarm

 

By winter we were crawling

It was in the air that filled our lungs

They never heard us calling

And now we can’t hear anyone, anyone

 

Hiding in the cold night, praying for this storm to pass

Never looking back, bound by futures coming on too fast, too fast

 

Now I’m wondering if there’s anyone out there

I’ve been trying to resolve my beliefs

Struggling to redress all the wounds that you left

Only shrouded in uncertainty

 

It’s amazing that these walls are still standing

But I’m living with a ghost that won’t leave

Wasting every breath to repeat what you said

When you can’t remember anything

 

If I could see you again, if I could see you again

If I’d waited it out, would it have changed anything?

I’m not sure where to go, what I wanted to say

But I think we both know that you wouldn’t have stayed

 

You’re always running away, you’re always running away

You’re always running away again

 

Now I’m wondering if there’s anyone out there

I’ve been trying to absolve my beliefs

Struggling to redress all the wounds that I kept

Only shrouded in uncertainty

 

it’s amazing that these walls are still standing

When I’m living with a ghost that won’t leave

Wasting every breath to repeat what you said

But I still remember everything

Now I still remember everything

 

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Heart In Your Hands

 

Broad are these shoulders but heavy the weight

Sit alone in my room where there ain’t nothing to trace

No paper trails Karen, it’s all such a waste

Now isn’t it?

 

Every intention gets lost in the dust

As these mountaintops crumble, watch my robot heart rust

With sterilized handshakes for people we’ve cussed

Now haven’t we?

Well haven’t we?

 

No one says anything

No one wants to say

 

No one says anything

No one wants to stay

 

Broad are these shoulders but heavy the weight

Sit alone in my room where there ain’t nothing to trace

No paper trails Karen, my heart’s just a waste

Now isn’t it?

Well isn’t it?

 

Now isn’t it?

Well isn’t it?

 

Laid on the lawn, interrupted again

Both stranded in orbit, I think it’s time that we land

No comet tails burning, with my heart in your hands

You’d wait for it

Now wait for it

 

You’d wait for it

Now wait for it

 

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Sinking Feelings

 

Submerged by sinking feelings

Straight from the frying pan

I can’t put out these wildfires

When every flame expands

 

I’ll keep my eyes and mouth shut

Make due as circus clown

I’m trying to walk a tightrope

One gust and I’ll fall down

 

It seems impossible, it seems impossible

It seems impossible, it seems impossible

 

It crawls below the surface

With facts you’ll never see

All meant to spread like cancer

Evolved while obsolete

 

If things start looking hazy

Head for the fire escape

Don’t wait for first responders

Right now they’re running late

It seems impossible, it seems impossible

It seems impossible, it seems impossible

 

It seems impossible, it seems impossible

It seems impossible, but it’s not no

Now it’s not

 

I’m boxed up six feet under

Where all the darkness swells

Woke up inside my coffin

Still trying to ring a bell

 

Submerged by sinking feelings

As every flame expands

I don’t know where I’m going

Come back and pull me in

 

Come back and pull me in

Come back and pull me in

 

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Only In Our Minds

 

Shoreline, the shoreline keeps eroding

Now our future’s been imploding again

There’s no time, time is always fleeting

With each memory so discreetly possessed

 

I can’t find an answer, there’s nothing to admit

It isn’t what we wanted but the message gets dismissed

In sunshine, the other side of brilliance

Every shadow stays resilient for this

 

Counting down the years, lives become entwined

Worn and hollowed out, it’s only in our minds

 

Outline, the outline’s slowly forming

With no reason left adorning our shrines

It’s too late, too late for excuses

Now they’re only false intrusions to hide

 

Pick yourself a poison then send it down the hatch

This isn’t what we asked for but I’m tied down to the tracks

In red lights, caught between a mystery

We’ve been blinded as our victories collapse

 

Counting down the years, lives become entwined

Worn and hollowed out, it’s only in our minds

 

Wasting all our days, so many left behind

Nothing’s what I thought, it’s only in our minds

 

No lines, with no lines worth reciting

Won’t you show me what you’re hiding this time?

 

Counting down the years, lives become entwined

Worn and hollowed out, it’s only in our minds

 

Wasting all our days, so many left behind

Nothing’s what I thought, it’s only in our minds

 

It’s only in our minds, it’s only in our minds

It’s only in our minds…

 

It’s only in our minds…

 

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Feral

 

Everyone turns feral in time

I’m fraying at the edges

Nothing’s ever simple in our minds

Apart from consequences

 

Desperate to remember your face

But now I feel so anxious

Struggling with the fact we can’t relate

Our arguments seem endless

 

We’re broken down people in these miserable times

So we claw at the dirt as our empathy dies

 

Everyone I know goes away

Obsessed with second guessing

Running to the places we can’t stay

As if we’ll find redemption

 

Carving out our thoughts to make sense

Outside the wind is blowing

No one else around would let it in

Forgotten lines keep folding

 

We’re broken down people in these miserable times

So we claw at the dirt as our empathy dies

 

But no one questions why

No one questions why

 

Black, white, shades of grey

Moonlight falls to chase the day

 

Black, white, shades of grey

Righteous thoughts become profane

 

Black, white, shades of grey

Memories form and then decay

 

Black, white, shades of grey

Silent fears can’t stay contained

 

We’re broken down people in these miserable times

So we claw at the dirt as our empathy dies

 

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Last Remains

 

Communication’s cutting out

Our last remains and whereabouts

With voices that we’ve strained to hear

Transmitting through the atmosphere

 

It doesn’t seem to make much sense

So caught up in the present tense

We’re told who we should love and hate

But no one ever gets it straight

 

Pretty soon there’s nothing left

With fabled truths we still repress

It isn’t much at all, it isn’t much at all

 

As fires light these tortured skies

We sit around and wonder why

Left burning out beyond the smoke

In whispers that they never spoke

 

Polluting every star-filled night

We’re trapped beneath these satellites

While holding on to watch them turn

Forgetting what we never learn

 

Pretty soon there’s nothing left

With fabled truths we still repress

It isn’t much at all, it isn’t much at all

 

Gonna turn up underground, gonna turn up underground

As we filter out the sounds, now we filter out the sounds

 

Gonna turn up underground, gonna turn up underground

As we filter out the sounds, can we filter out the sounds?

They’re much too loud

They’re much too loud

 

Communication’s cutting out

Communication’s cutting out

Communication’s cutting out

Our last remains and whereabouts

 

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It Won’t Always Be This Way

 

When I longed for isolation, this wasn’t what I meant

Closing my front door to any others

In the never ending static, that’s were I chose to leave

Retreating to the silence for some cover

 

Can we overcome this distance? Is it all a state of mind?

We’re never all alone in our defeat

Running to the window now to stare down any fear

Our love is not a secret we should keep

 

It won’t always be this way every day, every day

You won’t always have to cry by yourself to escape

Even though we can’t control it, there are those who still relate

It won’t always be this way, be this way…

 

I heard some wise men falter from the shadow of their doubts

Quick to claim that no one could’ve seen it

Set adrift in isolation, as rivers overflowed

The ignorant responded by all leaving

 

Can we overcome this crisis? Is it hopeless to resist?

When everyone believes that all is lost

Singing from our hearts to tear apart this empty sound

Our love is what will help us carry on

 

It won’t always be this way every day, every day

You won’t always have to cry by yourself to escape

Even though we can’t control it, there are those who still relate

It won’t always be this way, be this way…

 

Can we try to find some reason? Has it all gone up in flames?

We’re all struggling with connections to maintain

 

It won’t always be this way every day, every day

You won’t always have to cry by yourself to escape

Even though we’re bound by distance, in the end we’ll find our place

It won’t always be this way, be this way

It won’t always be this way, be this way

 

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Laneways

 

Brainsick and dumbstruck, it’s getting away

Gotta find ourselves some gravity and make an escape

Maybe get some relief, always trying to relax

But once you step off the ledge there ain’t no going back

 

We’ve been waiting so long that we’re running on fumes

These remains of the day, they’re like secrets exhumed

We don’t know what we’re doing, no one ever admits

We’re all pushing and shoving just to try and exist

 

So don’t be shy, lock up and turn out all the lights

Down these laneways you might find there’s another path leading home

 

Grasping at meanings with addictions unclear

Every reason unsettled to be miserable here

Though when we stop moving on, there remains an excuse

To forget what’s been done and take in some abuse

 

It’s like all that we’ve worked for has faded away

With no memories to share, only debts to repay

In these burdens we’ve carried through our years unexplained

There’s nothing to show for what was never obtained

 

So don’t be shy, lock up and turn out all the lights

Down these laneways you might find there’s another path leading home

 

Now every time anyone’s thinking of you

They never remember the face they once knew

When nothing’s realized, it doesn’t matter much anymore

 

It didn’t make sense as we ran for the door

With everyone screaming, it was hard to ignore

In time they all sought to reject what was claimed

But we can’t turn around to rewrite our mistakes

 

So don’t be shy, lock up and turn out all the lights

Down these laneways you might find there’s another path leading home

 

Now don’t be scared, when underneath the lamp post’s glare

Down these laneways be aware there’s another path leading home

There’s another path leading home, there’s another path leading home

There’s another path leading home

 

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