The Calm Before

by Lach

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Plus: PDF of the Original Album Artwork by Grammy Nominated Artist Peter Nevins
    Plus: Music video for Gone, Gone, Gone
    Added on June 9 2017 - Scan of the original lyrics to George at Coney

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes Grammy-Nominated artist Peter Nevin's artwork and features Vocals from Richard Barone (The Bongos), Chris Barron (The Spin Doctors) and Lydia Ooghe. With Mike Visceglia on Bass (Suzanne Vega Band) and Billy Ficca on drums (Television).

    "This record somehow feels like it was years in the making, full of experience, pain and joy. It sounds cliché to tell people to listen to their elders and learn from what they've done, but in a time where kids start bands and just ape someone's style, there is lots to be learned from Lach."-

    "His new LP is his finest release to date: it’s heartfelt, intelligent, good-humored, and expertly constructed folk played with the irreverent attitude that has become the hallmark of the Antifolk aesthetic."- Movement Magazine

    "I’m rather fascinated with this album: it’s so familiar and yet so hard to pin down. The Calm Before is a collection of Lach's latest post-punk stripped-down-raw-to-the-bone antifolk genius. He’s catchy, funny, and doesn’t only appeal to a niche audience like so many of the followers of antifolk seem to do."-

    "I kinda like the whole punk folk thing and much as say, Weller is considered the Modfather, this guy is the leading influence in this genre and pretty damn good to boot."-

    "Anyone who wants to find out what antifolk was up to before a bunch of young wannabes (Beck, Regina Spektor, Jeffrey Lewis, Moldy Peaches, to name a few) melted it down and made it into something new, should study this record carefully. Everyone else: batten down the hatches, sit back, relax and enjoy the storm."- Exclaim Magazine

    "Every now and then something arrives in the Incendiary shed that just blows me sideways. Lach’s The Calm Before has just done that. If there’s a place in the world where somebody with this kind of talent plays for next to nothing on a weekly basis, I want to be a regular. As it is, I’ll just have to settle for having this little gem of an album in my house. Jesus this is good. There’s your nutshell review right there. Stick it on a poster, you can quote me if you like. I want move to New York."- Incendiary Magazine

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Calm Before via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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released December 17, 2013

Recorded in Brooklyn, NY.
Lach - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Bass - Mike Visceglia (Yeah, of Suzanne Vega's Band)
Drums - Billy Ficca (Yeah, of punk legends Television)
Engineer - Tony Maimone (Yeah, of Pere Ubu and They Might Be Giants)
Additional Vocals - Richard Barone of The Bongos, Chris Barron of The Spin Doctors and Lydia Ooghe of Lydia Ooghe



all rights reserved


Lach Edinburgh, UK

Lach, founder of the Antifolk movement and star of BBC Radio 4's The Lach Chronicles.

‘Beat-punk-unplugged joy!’-The Guardian UK

‘Splendid! Best of it's kind!’- Mojo

‘Incredibly bright, influential, funny, poetic.’-Suzanne Vega

‘Best punk guitarist since Johnny Ramone.’-Billy Ficca of Televis
... more


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Track Name: Egg
By Lach

Wobbly wings still sticky with yolk and bits of shell
My bewildered little chicken-head is ticking all pell-mell
I wandered into Disneyland a chip still on my shoulder
Everyone said I was young but I felt so much older

In isolation maps are drawn, I'm a reality Magellan
Circumnavigating my mind where all my thoughts are yelling
They clamor for attention all my dreams and attitudes
They control the ship I'm in and I'm warping in and out of moods

The Sun's so bright on my baby eyes I don't think I stand a chance
I thought life was a limousine but it turned into an ambulance
My friends are all from coincidence; I met them by pure happenstance
I know I should hang out with them but I can't stand accidents

I miss my oval world where everything was safe and smooth
Until I punched a hole through the sky, everything was so cool
But now I'm dazzled by these wings that I can't control
Everyone says I am young, why do I feel so old?

It's not fair, it's not fair, and now I'm all baby-mad
I should thank-you for having me but it feels more like I've been had
I don't like it out here I want to go back inside
Where everything is safe and warm and where the sky is white. . .

Track Name: I Want To Be With You
I Want To Be With You by Lach

In a car, yeah, with clotheslines, farms and road signs just whipping by
across Alabama creeks, across Montanic skies
Jimmy Rogers honeycombing across the dash yodel-lapping our ears along with Johnny Cash
You'll fall adreamin', your window wide open letting in the moonlight and pieces of Heaven
and the smiling, handshaking night
I want to be with you

Scared and shaking like little league choirs in front of families at holiday dinners
Lifting small children up on our shoulders being told secrets by sisters and brothers Escaping to the patio for Camels and Kents while gazing up at celestial merriments Blankets of stars singing, "How do you do?"
Well, I just want to be with you
I want to be with you

In a supermarket weighing out bananas and avocados
Checking out all the fabulous prizes on the box of Frostie-O's
Brown-bagging back to our apartment, cooking up chicken and tomatoes
Mozart and Ella as we bathe together holding each other under soapy water
Toweled and clean, yeah, fed and renewed
I just want to be with you
I want to be with you

Skin pressed to skin, you let me in, until we are one again
Over and over we are true lovers, over and over we are true friends In the soft hours, quiet and holy, when the one again become two as we drift into our sweet sleep, I just want to be with you I want to be with you
Track Name: This Ain't A Song
Ain’t A Song by Lach

There ain’t much to move G
All’s I got is a guitar G
A box full of lyrics D
Some pennies in a jar G
Some comic books and clothes G
An American flag G
I can fit most of it D
In one army bag G

This Ain’t A Song G
This Ain’t A Song G
This Ain’t A Song D
It is C my life G

There ain’t much of me
I’m all skin and bones
A head full of dreams
And a heart full of poems
I’ve let go of my worries
And all of my cares
I guess I can fit in
Just about anywhere

There ain’t much I can’t do
Ain’t much I ain’t done
And if’n I meet you
Well, you’ll end up a song
It’s the most I can give
To the people I know
Who’ve helped me to live
This life I have known
Track Name: I Won't Miss You
I Won't Miss You by Lach

well you call and you tell me that the weather's great
You tell me what you saw and you tell me what you ate
You mention that a guy has asked you for a date
Your pause for my reply became an awfully long wait
Cause I don't care where your going
I don't care now where you've been
I don't care if you're sober
I don't care if you're been drinking again
I don't care what you say or what you do
You won't hear me say, "I miss you"

You're letters contain drawings, and lines of poetry
So, I'm reading into them to see if they're about me
You talk about going to Japan or maybe to France
I say au revoir, sayanara, write if you get the chance
But I don't care if I never see you
I don't care if you meet someone
I don't worry about how you're doing or if you're having any fun
So, don't play coy and don't play distant
Cause that's a hand I can see right through
You're only trying to get me to say "I miss you"
But I don't miss going crazy
Wondering if you're gonna call
I don't miss wondering where you are
or if you're coming home at all
I don't miss your eyes of sorrow
I don't miss your face of pain
I don't miss wondering if tomorrow
You'll be leaving me again

If you live your life like a target
Eventually you're gonna fall
So, go ahead and paint a bull's eye on your forehead
And maybe I won't miss you after all
No, I won't miss you
Track Name: A Quiet Distance
A Quiet Distance by Lach

My dad yells at newspapers
Ranting about the Knicks and Nixon
I complain about poets
who choke me with correctness
Everyone’s pointing fingers
But I'd rather be fingerpainting
Getting messy colors dripping on my hands

Home for the holidays
and my friends are getting famous
I try on emotions
like I try on clothes from storage
Nothing seems to fit
I'm not angry, sad or jealous
Confused I will admit
I'm like a song without a chorus

And the women here I know
talk like sisters over coffee
"How was San Francisco?" and "Are you really happy?"
They say, " I fell in love while you were gone
but just last week he left me,
So, I can't handle romance
can we just go to a movie."

I'm on a new road
but I had to come home to find it
Everything looks smaller when
you try to hide behind it
Get real close up and
you can't make out the picture
But from a quiet distance
everything seems so much clearer

So, now my horse is saddled
and I'm gonna ride triumphant
Away from the battles
the circus and the convent
A -yippie -aye- oh come on and sing along
and I'll make the ending chorus of the song
a -yippie -aye -ee -oo- a- yippie -aye- kye-yay!

I'd rather be fingerpainting
Confused I will admit
I can't handle romance
But from a quiet distance
everything seems so much clearer
A -yippie -aye- oh come on and sing along
and I'll make the ending chorus of the song
a -yippie -aye -ee -oo- a- yippie -aye- kye-yay!
Track Name: Men Don't Come Back
Men Don't Come Back by Lach

Slippy, little, whip of a lady
Peering out through a jungle of hair
She's wondering if anyone's crazy
enough to be looking for her

Emptying bottles while filling up pages
talking about her lonely pain
She throws her messages out like missiles
falling through teardrops, thick as rain

Men are distant towers of laughter
Men are houses of light gone black
She knows what every man is after
and after that, men don't come back

She loves going out to the ballgames
To see the men playing run and fetch
She thinks the crowd is rising for her
during the seventh inning stretch

She was called up for jury duty
She was asked her opinion on men
She said, "All men, well, they're born guilty
and women are all born innocent"
Track Name: Positions of Power
Positions of Power by Lach

Last night I dreamt I was a stagecoach
With aristocratic ladies on my velvet seats.
I heard their rich whispers
Like the soft crumple of satin sheets.
And my floorboards creaked in painful ecstasy
With the shuffle of their feet.
I awoke shaking in my bed from
The dreams of positions of power.

Next, I dreamt I was the coach’s horses
Kept in the stable with the flies.
The bridle bit into my mouth.
It stung like a million lies.
And my muscles ached from pulling the ladies
Through their useless lives.
I awoke in the shining sweat of the slaves
To the positions of power.

But then I dreamt I was the ladies,
Their laughter and jewels my own.
We whispered plans to fire the driver
And what he’d do if we let him stay on.
And I only heard my own merriment
As the coach and horses moaned.
I awoke crying in despair.
I knew there would never be an empty chair
In the positions of power.
Track Name: Oh Well
Oh, Well by Lach

Everybody's drifting aimlessly about their lives
Apathy hangs heavy you can cut it with a knife
Husbands are happy complaining about their wives
And the bars are all doing great business this year

The children run and hide when the parents come home
They watch from behind daddy hitting mom
And they wonder if they'll marry before the bomb
Comes down and turns everyone to stone

Some say Satan is walking the streets today
Trading in souls for a brief taste of ecstasy
And though I've locked my windows and
I threw away the key
I secretly wish he'd come looking for me

Oh well, I guess that's just the way that it is
But I always thought there'd be
Something more than this
My soul is on fire I need the sweet water of a kiss
I'd give any thing for just a second of bliss
Oh, well, Oh, well . . . ah, hell. .
Track Name: Letter To Theo
Letter To Theo by Lach

And so, Theo, what news I have today
The colors are frightening in a most wonderful way
The countryside is on fire as the sun slides away
And at night I can feel the stars
They're calling out my name

How do we love? Is that something we control?
Are we governed by our hearts, or by our minds, or by our souls?
What nerve have I to believe that I know
When I'm just another actor
In God's traveling show

My dear Theo
O my dear Theo

In closing, Theo, you know you have my love
And I wish there was some way I could say what it
Was I'm thinking of
Please visit me soon, I would love to paint your face
I would pose you beneath the moon
Over by the Postman's place

My dear Theo
O my dear Theo
Track Name: George at Coney
George At Coney by Lach

George at Coney
Alone but not lonely
Laughing at the waves
Black boots in the sand
Walking the boardwalk
Bored of the big talk
Under the moonlight
Twelve strings in his hand

His friends went out dancin'
George took a chance and
Rode the F Train out to the beach
While his manager did panic
George had a picnic
Just his guitar, some ciggies
And the stars within reach

George at Coney
Alone but not lonely
Laughing at the waves
Bare feet in the sand
Walking the boardwalk
Bored of the big talk
Under the moonlight
Twelve strings in his hand

George at Coney
Spent most his money
On jellybeans, french fries and Coca-Cola
Spent his last dollar
To hear himself holler
While riding the Cyclone rollercoaster

George at Coney
Alone but not lonely
Laughing at the waves
Black boots in the sand
Walking the boardwalk
Bored of the big talk
Under the moonlight
Twelve strings in his hand

Eventually they found him
And up they did round him
Shuttled him back to the froth and the fray
But if you're ever lonely
Just ride out to ol' Coney
Sit quiet at night and you'll hear him play

George at Coney
Alone but not lonely
Laughing at the waves
Bare feet in the sand
Walking the boardwalk
Bored of the big talk
Under the moonlight
Twelve strings in his hand
Track Name: Gone Gone Gone
Gone,Gone,Gone by Lach

On A Spring day in February
I walked down to the river
It was Handel's birthday, I still remember
how my mind was muddled from last night's liquor
and the harder I tried the harder it was to forget her
But she's gone, gone, gone
into the Winter
looks like Spring's come early this year

The stupidest things make me cry tears into the Hudson
A Spanish kid on harmonica, a low Latin love hymn
An old, gay couple, a wonderous, dragon kite
I'd give anything to be with her tonight
But she's gone, gone, gone
into the Winter
looks like Spring's come early this year
Track Name: Questions
Question by Lach

Who can I talk to in this deafening silence
Everyone says that they knew me when
And while they argue all about my greatness
I'm drowning and thirsty at the same time

Who can I kiss? All the women are hungry
Who can I hold when all sex is a dare
Where was my baby when the new snow fell
She was out hunting her new hero

And my sweet Pistols are still a secret
Punk was a ribbon some careless girl wore
Nobody sings about their true lover
Everybody just crowds for a drink at the bar

Who can I kiss and leave for the sunshine
Wet and basking on the seashore
Where's the right rhyme to leave her gasping
Where are the eyes that promised erasure
Where are the lips that promised me pleasure
Where is the breath I waited my life for
Here is your love now where is your answer
Here is your lover now where is your answer

I wonder how cool she really is
How much does she know
Is her beauty skin-deep is she gonna bluff or fold
I wish there was a number
A true blue phone that I could call
That'd give to me the melody to the answer to it all

Sitting across of a table
In a secret Spanish restaurant
The poor, poor waiter can't find anything on the menu I want
But later in the evening in a dream by the sea
I finally taste the answer
When my baby kisses me
Track Name: Crazy House
Crazy House by Lach

After finishing a wartime meal
A hand-rolled cigarette
I give myself a feel
A reminder so I won't forget
The circus is coming but it's different this time
When it was here last year I went on every ride

House to car to street to bar
I can feel the heat rise
Like driving through small town on Christmas eve night
Circus is in town but I'm in tight control
I let the other clowns fight over it all

The house of mirrors where they steal your soul
and put it up on the wall
The house of horrors at least has guts
but the monsters there are stuffed
The big arena and the circus parade
where the ringmaster leads the charade

You can hear the cheers coming at you from the darkness
You can see a crowd out there but you can't see one face
I've been in, now I’m out, and I'm going to go to
crazy house

After filling out my application and waiting in a white, white room
they bring me congratulations, a smock, a mop, a broom
Circus is leaving
but it's different this time
I'm the king of crazy house and I'm leaving this town behind