Acid Week

by John Cathal O'Brien

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Produced by Rusty Santos.

"John Cathal O’Brien’s “Acid Week” is certainly a wonderful surprise. With an overabundance of “folk pop” and “indie folk” artists out there, it’s refreshing to hear a folk artist with something to say lyrically, as well as a voice you can connect with emotionally on a deep level. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that this is an artist who could gain a strong international following if the right moment hit.

His songs would lend themselves well to movies, as it seems each of them provides that energy that stops you in your tracks and makes you think about your life."

~ Music Perk

"Even in New York, O’Brien brings the melodies and lyricism of his birthplace, Dublin, Ireland, to the ears of those lucky enough to stumble into his path (or those nudged in his direction, as was the case this time).

Leeches begins with soft strumming and almost spoken-word styled poetry, adding drums and horns later on to fill out the tune. Following this up, Let It Go speeds up slightly, and is a smidge higher in tone; Let It Go is a great reminder of the importance of not clinging to negative emotions and people. Returning to a lower register and slower time, The Passing is somber and introspective and very soothing (but not good for driving when tired). Millions is a calm, peaceful melody in the beginning but picking up to a pleasant little kick before settling down again at the end of the song. After this first series of songs, Different Woman is practically jaunty and ends with a nice bit of snare flourish. Acid Week is no where near as caustic as the title would suggest, and definitely well-played and well-written. The final three songs range from slow and mournful in Seven Years to upbeat and verging on rollicking in Disabled. The album ends on a high note with War Songs.

While this isn’t the latest of O’Brien’s albums, it’s a good introduction to his music generally. His latest album, Songs on Lafayette, was released in parts over 2012 and 2013 and is available as a free download on Bandcamp."

~ Lisa Regula Meyer , Ear To The Ground Music.

" .......There is a particular way some singer songwriters embrace their craft, whether it is the intention behind their words or the way they play their guitar, you can tell that they have a special relationship with song. With his fourth album titled Acid Week due out on December 11, transplanted Irishman in New York singer/songwriter John Cathal O’Brien seems to me a bloke who has the gift of song well at his fingertips and his observational tales of life and love lost come straight from the heart and soul without the usual fancy detours........."

~ All Whats Rock


released December 11, 2012

All songs by John Cathal O'Brien



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John Cathal O'Brien Brooklyn, New York

John Cathal O'Brien is a folk singer/songwriter. Born in Dublin, Ireland and currently residing in New York, he has released 4 solo albums and also played with Bay area Irish traditional band "Rogues". His work is dark, emotive, and lyrically driven. His latest studio album "Acid Week" was released December 2012. "Songs on Lafayette"(free download) has been released throughout 2013. ... more


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Track Name: Leeches

Counting the gunshots outside the café of course I was drinking and massively. T’was the end of the year good riddance my dear Ill watch you bleed out and happily, the rain stayed away November had nothing to say and I had no enemies. The sun never sets in the Mission I guess or the fires just light up the street , we meet at a place that has aged like a face beautiful but ordinary. You had traded your heart for a little bag of cocaine and we were best friends again. But in the fires that burnt that’s where I learnt of the true meaning of ambulance, in some ambient moment like time was postponed I saw the medic and gradually as the features cleared on his face I was all get me out of this place I’m covered in irony. And when the leeches reach us I will go quietly . The ships played in the waves where they swayed or the clouds or whatever it was. By now I'm insane from the drinking and you are because of the drugs. I think it was the time around they found that dead guy downtown that you wrote that song about. You rhymed knife with night spoke of the joys of losing ones life and we were all finally, and we were all, and we were all counting the gunshots outside the café of course we were drinking massively, the end of the year good riddance my dear Ill watch you bleed out and happily, the rain stayed away November had nothing to say and I had no enemies.
Track Name: Let It Go

Couldn’t find the avenue I couldn’t find the restaurant I took it as a signal like an omen I suppose and then there was this feeling that shortly arose I let it go. I wasn’t in the valley lord I was not on the hill wasn’t here to give birth and I was not here to kill but I caused you harm and I bid you ill will so now I let it go. Memories of evenings are scarce and unmarked, if I had a car I would not know where its parked, to the dark I pushed our hearts so now I let them go.
Of the old chains I let them go of the new ones I let them go and to all the things ill never know I let them go.
I think of you a satellite just floating round in orbit I know you’re there but I simply just ignore it and you of me the same I plead let me go. Isn’t is appalling all the sadness in the world and to think it comes down to one pretty girl of the eyes of the body the memories return I let them go.
Of the old chains I let them go of the new ones I let them go and to all the things ill never know I let them go.
Came back to California but I never made it home, came through Amsterdam but I never did get stoned I was too busy thinking of the things I didn’t own but no I let them go. Then finally one Sunday I am out there on the street I'm standing still the world is spinning at my feet. I am close to the house but miles away from peace when it dawns on me to let you go.
Track Name: The Passing
The past like the passing remains here still and I don’t believe in nothing but luck as I squandered for 88 years in the hills no water I took. Countless birds on the castle walls and other remains that laid in the halls and a woman at me her finger she shook but I did not follow. Came across a victim of theirs the poor man was so hard to see he was blind but lord was I blinder no he was blinder than me. To avoid a curse we pawn of the past for a belt buckle and a ship in a glass you said you always felt like a boat in a jar well now you own one.
And before we leave we stop by the rocks and we yell to the sea “I don’t want nobody of nobody don’t want me.”
Your favorite book has fallen apart but that’s ok you know it by heart and forever tattooed on your brain is that part , the soldier in the valley. Dreamed of something beginning with whis dreamed of something that ended in key because there’s no good doctors no more so this will cure me. So long my old friends strung out on coincidence I miss your merriment your finery missing. Short months was all that we got throat lumps in the sea breeze and when the temperature dropped we returned to our cities.
With no one to love no one at all but if you all don’t want us then we don’t want you all.
Waiting to hatch for eternity 1000s of years in the pond but soon we’ll be other worlds soon we’ll be gone.
And I don’t think it was ever resolved that that was as close to making sense that it got and of there were any charges they would have been dropped there were no tears in my lobby.
Track Name: Millions

All hail the new day all hail the night all hail your gone face as it moves out of site, bid it so long. Not yet a wet week not been a day not yet an hours passed or a minutes away and it feels so long.
There’s millions of books and of children but you cant call them your own you throw them out the windows of Brooklyn and you give out yards when there gone. And I don’t think the store it is open but I’ll go out anyway the scenery here is choking on the ghosts that remain. And when I look up to the buildings when they look down to me hey buildings why are we filled up with these things we don’t need and if you find my remains on the sidewalk know I suffered none and you can sign my casket if you wake up in time and then come.
And this constant changing in courses the cabbie all he does is boast the calendars fading it’s from 1987 and there’s garbage where there should be road and should there be road and….
After the night I saw the morning and after the morning I saw the day.
And I wish I’d taken time to tell you I loved yo more than you knew and I see your face everywhere an eternal image of truth.
This constant changing of war suits the documents still in your coat some dumb arrangement an official statement and we’re strangers to all that we knew.
And after the night I saw the morning and after the morning I saw the day.
And I know we’re just one of the millions and I know we’ve yet to realize but if the city has lost all it’s feeling so have I.
Track Name: Different Woman
JOLENE.(different woman)

Over, over your shoulder your devil rides looking much older and all tired out and his red eyes. I'm so glad he’s under the weather and you look good and you feel better let us never feed him medicine. While I printed maps of these united states you went of to get your brakes checked and we fecked off in your Honda accord. Jolene we’re calling from Austin I think we just found Dolly Parton we had to call and you know why. And the billboards are all pro life and they say that I’ll be saved if I am too but that’s a lie that ain’t true. Historic walks in brand new cities are so short and so confusing so you’re amusing yourself painting little murals on the postcards meant fir Europe but ill just call when I get home. And so I thought of Dublin and of Kavanagh by the canal, the lonely man.
Long old day the beers are deserved and heat and booze and I'm a pervert but you are too it’s what we do best. And rest there in the afterward with our cigarettes on the floorboards like we don’t know they invented clothes. And as we’re leaving Jacksonville and that building that all reflects the sky the clothes are high and you’re all smiles . And Jolene she’s a different woman and I think that she might make it all the way , Live to see another day.
Track Name: Acid Week
Wanna tell you now but I cant say you’re all distracted by the billboards all way up and there’s too many people in you’re head today you can’t spin the whole way around and so you wrestle with the midget fir 10 lousy bucks, pin him down and say good luck the next time and you can see his pride dying .
Come on winter get your colors right, you keep tricking me into going outside of a light shirt and I freeze and leave my body to religion and to science too we all know you have no clue as to where we go. Go left at the 2nd light , half way down you’ll see a blue door, we’re above the liquor store.
But that’s not what I’ll remember most. Not the coral towels, not the falling walls… It’s how sweet you were on acid week. Gotta take it easy, let it pass, breath my love, your hert it beats so….
Fastly we are losing our daughters of zeus they turn round and turn themselves on you and there’s cold chill visions down the mission and the more besides you can feel the cigarette smoke inside the lungs and before it comes back in out from the fire escape and everything requires a double take. Like its all, this is all, its all fake.
But that’s not what I’ll remember most. Not the coral towels, not the falling walls… It’s how sweet you were on acid week.
Track Name: Seven Years
7 years on the road a future story never told waiting for the hours to take toll soon you’ll see the moon out of you’re window. So many ways to describe but I cant find the words to provide just how it feels to be beside the ghost of you in your heyday. So bring along the elder ones and all the ones who said they found a reason I wanna meet them. A single ray of light upon the mountains they are the youngest things I found here and stay in my memory they do much like you do.
And they rise up above like they’re straining for love and they look to the sky with no tears in their eyes as if they may know I think they might know me.
7 years till she comes and sometimes all I think that we have is rooms or roomless days counting the cars that go the other way. See the smoke form the factory they will be here long after to me more power to them I suppose later on I smell them in my clothing.
And they rise up above like they’re straining for love and they look to the sky with no tears in their eyes as if they may know I think they might know me.

7 years in the hands of where it all began on the bed of where a river ran now it tells a different story.
Track Name: Disabled


Meet me in the morning by the inner city row and tell me that you love me even if you don’t, listen carefully I have so much to say and though usually I struggle I swear I’ll find away I’ll find away. In honor of the stormy the lives we leave to ruin I'm going to try to kiss you but I'm sure Ill try to soon and as you pull away is that water in your eyes should I have known it or should I be all surprised.
And all I know as I fall through the table is without your love I'm disabled so I leave you slow the only way I'm able to go.
Hoarded your possessions all the things you left behind bordered on obsession I would curse the mind that tried to tried to forget you like I did they’ll put in on my gravestone he walked with her when he lived. You know that we have only so many years left and when you factor in the booze and all the sins and cigarettes I shudder to think we have minutes at the most if I make it back to haunt you I swear that Ill be a friendly ghost.
And all I know as I fall through the table is without your love I'm disabled so I leave you slow the only way I'm able to go.
Meet me after hours by the last phone booth brandishing our weapons we cant bring ourselves to shoot and its late so we’ve drank I suppose. You are perfect and I have lost control I'm not composed.
Track Name: War Songs
The more I am with you the more I am leaving the city traveling down and eastbound over Lybia and then I find I’ve come thousands of miles and I am in India. Out by the railings as darkness falls on the area the people were stars the stars were people they were everywhere I shot the moon I shot the moon I shot the moon.
Above the banal the riot police and the cameras I watched from my perch above of the street and then afterward I tried to sleep I tried to sleep but it was unreachable.
They were singing war songs in the valleys in the cities they wrote on the waslls this means nothing at all.
To unite the world you’d have to blow up more than half of it like a cranial trauma with a big old chunk out the side of it a cat on a sill us on our pills always out of it,
The more I am listening the more I am feeling the movement the less I'm deciding the more I find myself choosing land over love new skies up above travel and road.
So from the ones in the valley to the ones in the city walls this means nothing at all.