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About The Album

This album is dedicated to everyone who both loves and hates their hometown. The debut record from Thomas Thoreau attempts to scratch the surface of this ambiguous, amorphous feeling. The title track, Sink Nor Swim, with its droning, meditative pulse, contemplates the artificial beauty of the songwriter’s old stomping grounds: “I am drawn to you as if I’m a barfly, and this city is my favorite neon sign,” lyrically evoking influences such as Ray LaMontagne and Bright Eyes.

The record continues with Heat Miser, which makes playful, musical nods to children’s films, all while detailing a love kept apart by state lines and Mother Nature herself. This song, which directly inspired the dichotomous album cover, is strongly geographically tied to Kansas City, Thoreau’s hometown.


The love/hate relationship with a city finally takes the center stage in City of Fountains. The verses are marked by a flowing and flowery string section that lays a foundation for lyrics of fond memories. The subtle shift to a dark, minor texture in the chorus signals the feeling of being trapped by our old acquaintances. The constant shift between these two moods leaves us feeling no less confused than when we started.


That Ring marks the album’s departure from thoughts of the city itself to a fixation on one person it contains. The first half of the song finally gives the listener a chance to breathe by stripping the orchestration down for the first time. This moment of reprise is short-lived, as the fixation on her claddagh ring turns to an obsessive mantra, building and building upon itself until it reaches its climax with a 16 piece men’s choir. This is met with a women’s choir of equal proportion shutting down any hope our protagonist may have had, leaving us back where we started: an open and empty texture that leaves our final plea to the wind.

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