Grief Intensity Friendship

by Jesse LeBourdais

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about

GRIEF/INTENSITY/FRIENDSHIP is the 4th full length album from Vancouver's Jesse LeBourdais. 12 songs borne out of the pain of loss, the strength of friendship and the excitement of things to come.

credits

released July 10, 2017

Jesse and his band - the Long Winter - began recording in the fall of 2016 with legendary Engineer/Producer Jesse Gander at Vancouver's Rain City Recorders. Most of the album was recorded live on the floor, and mixed using mostly analogue gear; the end result is his most cohesive and sonically-driven collection of songs.

Guitars, Vocals, Words, Piano - Jesse LeBourdais
Drums - Dave Leslie
Bass - Stephanie Cole
Organ - Jesse Gander

Recorded and Mixed by Jesse Gander
Mastered by Brock McFarlane
Album Design by Denise Cymbalist
Photos by Luc Frost

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Jesse LeBourdais Vancouver, British Columbia

New Album "Grief Intensity Friendship" available now!

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Track Name: Gaines
’ve been in and out of bars since I was 17, I’ve been in and out of chords for just as long. I’ve been looking far and wide for something I will never find, it’s difficult to even qualify. I’ve had allies all along and adversaries left behind, but most of them got blurred between the lines. There are more roads than are days, and you will never reach the end.

So anywhere is probably good enough for me. As long as we keep moving, it really doesn’t matter where we go. So come on give it a try. How hard can it really be?

If you find yourself with a little bit of money, it don’t make you return every thing you ever stole. So I throw away the things I haven’t touched in several years but the broken hearts I’m keeping them around. They remind me of the pain that keeps my happiness in check, because I know how shitty the bottom floor can be. But I wear them like a badge and they get me into special clubs, with the finest people I have ever known.

So anywhere is probably good enough for me. As long as you’re all with me, it really doesn’t matter where we go. So come on give it a try. How hard can it really be?

I pray for nothing, it’s fucking useless but I mostly think people will do what’s right. When I’m mistaken, I simply move on. I trust my friends and hope they do the same. When we are old men and older women, we’re not going to care about the pain that made us strong; we’ll ride this slow train into the glory of our own hell. We’re all just trying to keep our shit together for as long as we can.
Track Name: Make It Boring
I’ve lost my voice, but I can’t stop screaming because I’m afraid if I do, that’s it. No one will hear me again. I’ve been waking myself up with fits of coughs and I can’t go back to sleep; I can barely breathe. So I keep one eye on the door, one foot ready for the floor but the other half can’t bear the thought of leaving again. I want to close my eyes and go back to sleep for the rest of the goddamn week.

But it has been so long since I can remember a single dream that I’ve had, so when I get bored my imagination takes me to where I can’t hide until i’ve emptied every glass and I have blackened up my lungs. Until I’ve torn my body down and there is nothing left to say. Then it goes and it’s gone and I’m left with a smile and a headache.

I’m happier when I’m gone but I’m more content when I’m at home, and somewhere in between is this restless part of me that just isn’t happy with what he’s got, and feels it always has to change. I don’t need it this way. But I want it to stay. If the person that I have become is not who you thought I would be, well life is just full of disappointments and I know it might not be the path you’d choose but I’m resolved to see it through.

But it has been so long since I can remember a single dream that I’ve had, so when I get bored my imagination takes me to where I can’t hide until i’ve emptied every glass and I have blackened up my lungs. Until I’ve torn my body down and there is nothing left to say. Then it goes and it’s gone and I’m left with a blank piece of paper.

If all that we are is just mostly unfinished stories then the least we can do is to try not to make it boring.
Track Name: Flames
In the shadows of the morning light, the snow has turned the ground to all but silent; there is nothing to be heard. It’s only broken when I hear a voice calling out a sound, but I can not make it out. Before the sun can even break through the trees, the cold has drawn the feeling from my fingers and I can not shake it off. Time slows down when I start counting seconds that I will never see again.

But at night, I burst into flames! Reach up my hand through the dirt of my grave to say “I’m not quite ready to die”. To admit it, if only for a moment, then I won’t feel sorry for myself because I won’t feel anything at all.

In the space between my ringing ears a buried hunger cries out for more, but there is nothing you can learn that you can not find in waking hours as far as you can reach, and as long as you can stand.

Then at night, you’ll burst into flames! Reach up your hands through the dirt of your grave to say you’re not quite ready to die. To admit it for as long as you can hold it then you won’t feel sorry for yourself, but if you wanna feel something tonight…

When I feel myself falling I look to the hands that have held me before and if I push you away when I need you the most, it means I can’t find the the right words to correctly speak from my heart. But I can write it in a song and I can hope you will sing along.

Because one day I won’t burst into flames and that dirt from my grave will be too much to remove. When I’m finally ready to die I’ll say “forget it, It’s never gonna happen!” and I will feel sorry for myself, because I want to feel everything I can.
Track Name: Easy Target
That’s far enough, I can walk from here. It’s not that far and to be honest, this kind of sucks. I’d rather walk in the rain, get soaked to the bone, spend my whole night being cold than suffer the warmth of your conversation anymore.

It’s not that either one of us is any more right than the other, it’s just I’ve long since given up trying to prove either way, I don’t really care and there is nothing to be gained so your insults bore the hell out of me.

Is that the best you can do? Because I’m an easy target if you are looking for flaws. But it will take much more than that to leave an imprint in the tread around my skin.

That’s long enough. Please come back home. I know I said that I would be all right on my own, but the truth is I’m not. I hope you never see me running on my last fumes it’s not a pretty sight. The hardest part is keeping me awake.

Is that the best you can do? Because I’m an easy target if you are looking for flaws. But it will take much more than that to leave an imprint in the tread around my skin. We might not be who we once were, but that was always the plan.

I know it’s true for the space that once was filled until it overflowed what my walls weren’t meant to hold. I can’t stop my hands from shaking, my nerves are failing. I feel like I can’t even move. But there is steel in my vision and a hole in my chest, so I won’t say another word.
Track Name: Friends With Choruses
If the first note doesn’t move you, the last line never will. I can’t make friends with choruses that don’t make me feel a thing. I’ve been trying for so long, but that don’t mean that I have earned it. It doesn’t mean I don’t fight for every singe chance I get.

It’s been sung about before in a million other lines about boring towns and shitty jobs that make you think somehow it’s a better alternative to take everything you have and put it in a bag. It’s easy, if you don’t carry much. It’s never really bothered me (sleeping on the floor), you’ll never even know I was here and I’ll be gone as soon as morning comes, so we don’t have much time.

But tonight we can do whatever we want, so just do it like you care. Because if you can’t find fun in fleeing, staying put only makes it worse and things are hard enough already.

It’s around about the time when it seems like all my lines are blurring and my words are slurring that I look through my phone for random names, and then say everything I have to say from the bottom of my heart, in a drunk text message in the middle of the night, and just hope for a reply before I fall down in my place.

The longer the night, the stronger grows the soul. At least until that morning light, and then I really have to go back home.

But tonight we can do whatever we want, so just do it like you care. Because if you can’t find fun in fleeing, staying put only makes it worse and things are hard enough already.
Track Name: I Do it All the Time
If you are quite through tearing out my heart, I would like you to leave. If you’ve had enough ripping out my tongue and turning every word I say into more reasons to stay silent. You can keep what is left of my self-respect, it wasn’t working anyway. You can care for the part of me that lives inside of you, or you can watch it burn.

See I don’t know if I will ever get it back or if I’d even miss it anyway, but for what it’s worth, I’d rather live with the regret than lie to myself anyway. I keep it out of my mind. I do it all the time. So have it out on me, because I can take it. Lay it on my back and I swear you won’t break it but don’t come around here anymore saying that I owe you. I don’t owe you anything at all.

I’m not quite through being done with the rest of my life but there is just so much you can’t control. So I won’t willingly carry the burden of thinking my life has more value then what I can earn when I am awake and what I forget before I go to sleep. I’m always looking for company, me and you we can tear this thing open. When I fall, for surely I will stumble, you can carry me home for I have lost my way.

But I don’t know if I will ever get it back or if I’d even miss it anyway, but for what it’s worth, I’d rather live with the regret than lie to myself anyway. I keep it out of my mind. I do it all the time. So have it out on me, because I can take it. Lay it on my back and I swear you won’t break it but don’t come around here asking for more than I can give.

The only thing I know with any kind of certainty is none of us can do this alone, so if you help me try and stand and you look me in the eyes I swear I’ll do my best to never let you go. I keep you inside my mind. I do it all the time. So have it out on me because I can take it, lay it on my back I swear you won’t break it and please come around here anytime, we always miss you.
Track Name: It's Fun!
I’m making the same mistakes that I swore a year ago that I would never make again. I’m telling the same dumb jokes that never got a laugh, I’m living up to my worst traits. I’m wearing the same wet clothes that I swore when I got home I would just throw right in the fire. I’m making the same excuses to not go to work and I’m living down to my last dime.

But I surround myself with people who are greater than the sum of all my flaws. When I don’t feel like it’s something I deserve they tell me that’s not up to me.

I’m writing cheques with my mouth that my body can not cash, I’m getting more grey in my hair. I’m telling lies to people I really like all because I just don’t want to leave the house. I’m not making good on some promises I made and I’m not sure if I’ll ever make it right. I’m laying low in the hopes that this will all blow over soon.

But I keep surrounding myself with people who are greater than the sum of all my flaws. When I don’t feel like it’s something I deserve they tell me that’s not up to me.

So don’t give up on me and I will try not to be here next year. But if there was any other way, not sure that I would want it. You do a thing you hate so much, you start to really like it; start to really think it’s fun!
Track Name: Quite Distant
I’ve put this off for too long. It’s what I do when I know I’m so far gone. But I can no longer entertain thoughts of being stronger; tonight I’m fuckin’ caving in. I forget what I should remember and I just don’t seem to care. I can’t count the times that I’ve abandoned those I love in favour of retreating inside myself.

I can not place where I know your face and I certainly don’t remember your name. But that is all on me, sometimes I can be quite distant and I let go of what I really should hold on to.

So what I do is I drink so much until the only thing I know for sure is the pounding in my head that is soon to come. If I smoke until my eyes go red to make myself feel better, then why I am surprised to find it always works. Is that just all I need or I am just filling up a hole that is constantly leaking from the bottom. With friends and songs and shrugged responsibilities that I have, and the good times that I place above my health.

I can not place where I know your face and I certainly don’t remember your name. But that is all on me, sometimes I can be quite distant and I let go of what I really should hold on to.

At the end of the night after the last songs have been played, I never forget the bartenders name. She tells everyone to leave and that’s when I take my seat with two glasses in front within my reach. But as the lights went up and I looked around you were nowhere to be found and there is not enough free drinks in this town to make me want to stay.

So I’m gone. I can not place where I know your face and I certainly don’t remember your name. But that is all on me, sometimes I can be quite distant and I let go of what I really should hold on to and I forget what I really should remember.
Track Name: You're Worth the Drive
I’ve been driving for the past 10 hours, I’ve been burning every drop of fuel chasing down the light that’s to the West. To see if I can make it just to spend five minutes with Ruby. Then I’m afraid I must be going, I’ve got so very far to go. But I promise you I will return as soon as I can make the time.

I do this kind of thing with everyone I know. I keep them at a distance, so they seem closer to me and I will always be grateful for all the miserable and lousy luck that leads to better friends. Those with pain, those with love and those with sorrow. This unbearable existence is made much better when we share, so take what joy you can and meet me there.

I could tell you where I’m from, but I was born and raised just like everyone else. I sure as hell can’t say where I’m going, because I don’t even know where I am. All I’ve ever wanted to do, is right by those that have done right by me. So I take what I am given, and I try not to complain.

I walk this lonely street with everyone I know. It’s noisy and it’s crowded, and all the smiles go ear to ear. How can anyone not be grateful? For all that miserable and lousy luck that leads to better things filled with pain, filled with joy and filled with heartache. This unbearable existence for which we don’t long have to bear, just take what joy you can and meet me there.

For all the times where you wait until the moment was over to mention to yourself how much that it really means to spend some time in a heart, no matter how briefly it’s better than not having made any mark at all.

I’ll always be here if you need me, I’m not expecting you to call. It’s not like I’m just waiting by the phone for it to ring. I’d be happy if you even ever think of me at all. Because I’m sure I don’t deserve it, and you don’t owe me anything.
Track Name: Streetcar
I swear I have never felt any warmer, but I can’t shake this chill. My body feels like a furnace and this concrete is on fire. This morning I woke up surrounded by darkness; I didn’t know where I was. I tried to drink through my sickness the night before. I tried, and failed. I made my way to the city, to see old friends before I go, and in the stillness and heat, I felt a comforting dread.

The streetcar rails go over the place under the bridge where I slept under the starts when I had nowhere else to go. I remember looking up, upon a dark Toronto sky where everything seems so unfamiliar and where the wind doesn’t call your name.

There in front of the tracks with the concrete as my witness I felt more at home in a place I’d never been, then many off the places that I have previously called my own. But all of them to one do not compare. As the clouds opened up and started pouring, I could not help but start to laugh; it seems the rain just follows me wherever I choose to go so I am glad that I am going back to you.

We can head into the forest as soon as I get home. Somewhere with a view of the ocean so we both won’t feel alone. Because in the roots I find my peace and in the waves you find the time, so when the fires have gone out and the darkness brings us down, my darling we won’t be alone.
Track Name: You Were a Rifle
In my home town tonight, they are burying you down but I’m not there. I’m not there. I swear it’s not my fault, you wouldn’t want me to cancel shows just to be there. So I’m not there. But I would gladly send my love over the mountains and the fields just to pass through each and everyone who made it in my stead. I’m disappointed, and I can’t help but feel ashamed but I just can’t bury you. I’ll never bury you.

You were a rifle that we all held and were amazed every time it fired. You were a rock that I broke myself against since I was just a child. So I keep your words running through my veins and I would carve your name into my skin. You were a rifle that will never fire again, but I will remember the sound for as long as I will live.

I spent the last three weeks in vain, trying to cut through sorrow and pain to listen to your songs but I don’t make it very far. When your voice cuts through the sound, that’s when I have to shut it down. I just can’t accept it. I’m better at denial than I am with grief. I spent the first week after you died tearing a hole through my own insides trying to remember the last words that I said to you and where. On a long drive coming home, through the fog an image shown of an embrace and the words “it was good to see you.”

You were a rifle that we all held and were amazed every time it fired. You were a rock that I broke myself against since I was just a child. So I keep your words running through my veins and I’d carve your name into my skin. You were a rifle that will never fire again, but I will remember the sound for as long as I will live.

In my home town tonight, they are burying you down but I’m not there. I’ll never bury you.
Track Name: The Dirt
I’ve always had the feeling working on someone else’s days that I would feel much better if I stayed away and every night before I’d go to sleep I’d say “tomorrow I will not go”. But the alarm comes earlier every day or maybe I’m just staying up way too late and there is so much you always leave behind that it eats at your heart and slows down your rhythm.

That’s why I need that dirt on my hands then I remember to feel and then my heart starts beating like it’s supposed to be. If I sweat through my shirt I don’t care about the rain, my blood is pounding like it’s supposed to be.

I have told too many secrets and I have kept too many lies. I don’t believe in anything that’s not right before my eyes. When your fingers can tell you that it’s real and if it can’t wash off it’s not worth even holding.

That’s why I need that dirt on my hands then I remember to feel and then my heart starts beating like it’s supposed to be. If I sweat through my shirt I don’t care about the rain, my blood is pounding like it’s supposed to be.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about what I could have been if I made the same decisions as some of my friends. Would I be happy or be filled with regret? But I don’t dwell anymore than one single, solitary moment; it’s just not worth the time. You can’t move forward by looking back.

That’s why I need that dirt on my hands then I remember to feel and then my heart starts beating like it’s supposed to be. If I sweat through my shirt I don’t care about the rain, my blood is pounding like it’s supposed to be. My blood is pounding like it’s supposed to be. My heart is beating like it was made to be and I will follow the rhythm in it’s wake till it decides no more time will I take.