So this Christmas Eve finds me home early from work with a little time to browse the Internet with speakers on, and I came across this beautiful album from Speak Low If You Speak Love, which came out today. From acoustic-led ballads to offbeat, upbeat choruses, the whole LP has a slightly emo, slightly indie, mellow pop punk vibe to it I find familiar and fresh, a hybrid of bands gone by. It also has some of the saddest, most relatable lyrics I’ve heard from a new artist in some time, and so I feel like I found a little Christmas gift on AbsolutePunk today as far as new songwriting is concerned. There is no overreaching here, no forcing the metaphor. It is all honesty, borne from broken relationships, like on the minute and a half long “Naive”: “You abused all my favorite books/I know you never read half the ones you took/Still all the pages are torn and frayed/memorized the underlined hoping to impress me.” 

This just may be too recent of a discovery to work into my top 10 of 2013 list, but I hope this is the start of something good for Ryan Scott Graham and his new project, and I hope I can find this as inspiring, comfortable and beautiful in 2014 as I do today.

“I remember those nights, the lonely sound of the service drive.
I remember those times I thought that I could make you mine.
Your dark hair and your coffee eyes,
I wanted to fix you, but you didn’t want to fight.
Your heart was sad, but so was mine.
Your heart was a stubborn slope that I couldn’t climb.

Every night we’d say goodbye, you’d shut the door with a sigh
You kept saying we didn’t have much time

It’s all your fault, and I’ll always blame you,
I dreamt a life for us and it could’ve come true,
But you packed all your things and said that ‘we’re through
because you ruined me and I ruined you.’

We were library lovers where no one could see,
Midnight diners always in secrecy.
Moonlit drives to your front door,
You wanted my attention but nothing more.
I couldn’t break it off, I had no guts
because you were one of my few great loves.

Now you changed the locks and moved on out,
You had abandoned your love for doubt.

It’s all your fault, and I’ll always blame you,
I dreamt a life for us and it could’ve come true,
But you packed all your things and said that ‘we’re through
because you ruined me and I ruined you.’ 

I ruined you.”
~Ruined
Speak Low if You Speak Love, Everything But What You Need