FUTILE GAMES IN SPACE AND TIME

by Evripidis and his Tragedies

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about

They say you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs. In a similar mode, I guess you cannot make a record called Futile Games In Space And Time without broken hearts, broken nerves, broken collaborations, broken friendships or broken legs involved. It has been a long and winding road indeed for those songs to be conceived, structured, rehearsed, performed, mixed and presented here neatly one next to another. A road full of U-turns, dead ends, bridges and tunnels, with a starting and finishing point in Barcelona, that nevertheless went back and forth several times between Madrid, Berlin, London, New York and of course Athens. A highway to hell and back, at various points. Blame it to the low levels of serotonin in my blood, the abuse of substances mind-altering substances, some serial killers that I met along the way, the deceitful alignment of the stars or my own dumb head. Trying to escape from your shadow is futile after all, it will always catch up with you.
 
Some of the songs had been lingering in a limbo for years and years, waiting for their chance to shine, while some others were written right before the studio sessions.  For sure they had the chance to evolve unexpectedly and gain their own life during the lengthy procedures of recording and mixing. Part of my nomadic existence is reflected in them, as various of my friends who have kept me company in this mental and physical trip were invited to collaborate. Now the sounds they produce, be it from their vocal chords or from their instruments of choice, form the equivalent of  a photo book that hugs my soul. My friends, the most precious thing someone can have, are always there with me, no matter how far they may be in terms of miles. They enrich my melodies and float eternally in the Space and Time that surrounds me. Among them linger memories of love: unrequited love, consumed love, lost love. For that´s what this record is strictly about. A boat stacked with thrill and hope, heading to some idyllic island,  crushing on the rocks, but somehow keeps sailing. There is a lot of anticipation and day-dreaming, a lot of bitter realisation, a lot of tears, a lot of dark humor, a lot of movement and a lot of animals. Futile Games In Space And Time is about everything that´s in this wonderful game we know as love.
 
Although I worked with different musical palettes on each song, I made sure to emphasise on the role of the Chorus or the Co-singer in every one. Much like in Classic Greek Tragedy or in Motown or early 60´s Girl Group songs (tiny but splendid teenage tragedies, if you ask me) the backing singers are my advisors, my voice of consience, a light that never goes out even in the darkest night.  I also made sure to provide the songs with ghastly elements, sometimes obvious and sometimes discreet: weird percussions, synths, reverbs and echoes, cries and whispers. Because  in reality, these songs are the ghosts of affairs, be it ones that never reached their potential or ones that came full circle, and their spirits roam freely, unable to rest, sometimes sighing, sometimes laughing, sometimes whispering, sometimes crying, in the still of the night. These songs are also chimeric creations among the various musical genres that I have always cherished: doo-wop, girl groups, new wave, indie pop, cabaret, the great american song book, 18th century baroque music and 19th century romanticism.
 
Right in the heart of the record appears a song in my mother tongue. Being from Greece, living in Spain and singing pop songs in English sometimes can be a bit confusing but I never forget where I came from. Ghost Town sets the scene in my home town Athens, harshly hit by economic recesion and moral downfall, where the two lovers wander around blissfully among almost apocalyptic scenes. Because after all, despite the apparently leg-chopping on opening line “I once had a dream and it never came true” this is not a record about defeat nor bitterness but a celebration of of one´s self and of love as the ultimate healer and. We are free to choose life, we make an awful lot of mistakes, we stumble and fall, we keep on fighting rogue waves and laughing at the face of maelstroms in that vast, wonderful, cruel, magical realm of Space and Time. And hopefully, can always get by with a little help from our friends.

credits

released March 14, 2016

All songs written by Evripidis Sabatis. Lyrics on tracks 10 & 11 based on texts by David Bestué.

Evripidis Sabatis: vocals, grand piano, synths

With

Cristina de Sola-violin
Jaume Ribell-drums
Victor Antolín-bass

And

Borja Rosal- electric guitar on tracks 3, 5 & 9
Brooke Backman- vocals on tracks 3, 6 & 8
Daniel Scott Erickson- vocals on track 3
Elsa De Alfonso-backing vocals on track 1, acoustic guitar on track 7, electric guitar on tracks 1& 7
Jordi Colombi- electric guitar on tracks 8 & 10, cello on tracks 1& 11
Juanjo Alba- electric guitar on track 9, percussion on track 2, 3& 10, synth on track 3
Laura Antolín- vocals on tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, 11 & 12
Luis Berges- mandolin on tracks 2, 6 & 10
Marisol Simó- vocals on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 & 12
Marc Ribera- musical saw on track 12, vocals on tracks 1, 2, 5, 7, 11 & 12
Odil Bright- synths on 8 & 11
Santi Rivas- electric guitar on tracks 2 & 12
Sarah P.-vocals on tracks 4 & 7
Xavi Tort- trumpet on tracks 1, 3, 9, 11, 12
Uncle LD- vocals on track 10
Ville Hopponnen- electric guitar on tracks 2, 4, 6

All songs arranged by Evripidis Sabatis. Drums, bass and guitar arrangements by the respective musicians. Some additional arrangements by Juanjo Alba.

Recorded by Juanjo Alba at Chema Boo Boo Studio (Barcelona). Additional recordings by Hillary Johnson at Earthlight Room (NYC) and George Priniotakis at Artracks Studios (Athens).

Mixed by Charles Newman at Cottage Studios (Brooklyn). Master by Philip Granqvist.

Artwork and design by Ico Mateo.

Evripidis´ portraits by Daniel Riera.
Other musicians’ portraits provided by themselves.

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about

Evripidis and his Tragedies Barcelona, Spain

Evripidis and his Tragedies is Evripidis Sabatis´ musical alter ego. Born in Athens and living in Barcelona, he plays and sings piano-based, highly melodic tunes where love, lust, and loss intertwine; summers are long and lazy; nights are haunting memories; childhood is naughty; memories are bittersweet; men are cruel; humor is black; and ghosts take the living for rides in cars. ... more

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Track Name: Island
I once had a dream and it never came true
I once had a dream and it never came true
In his arms I´d find that island
Where summers are long and lazy and full of songs
Where winters are spent by the fireplace, with a fat cat on our lap
Eating chestnuts and sharing a blanket

I once had a dream and it never came true
I once had a dream and it never came true
Our island would float in the middle of the ocean
And no pain nor fear could ever reach us
From time to time we´d climb the hills
Through thick forests and steep cliffs
And from the top, we would gaze at the horizon

The sunrise, the sunset
And whales playing in between
Their tales waving goodbye as they´d dive
Their heads saying hello as they´d rise from the deep

He´d turn to me and without words
Just with a blink of an eye
He´d reassure me
That everything´s in order
No enemy, no harm, no trouble along our border

I once had a dream and it never came true
I once had a dream but it never came true
I found out the day
I found out the day that I met you.
Track Name: Dreamboat
You´re my dreamboat
And I want to sail
The seven seas with you
I want to see the world
I dream all day
Of all the things we´d do
Of all those things we´d see
If only you were mine
You have opened a brand new horizon
Right before my eyes

You´re my dreamboat
And I could ride
The rogue waves with you
I could laugh at the face of the Maelstrom
My petty troubles would seem so out of place
If you were by my side
What could ever bother me?
But we´re stuck in this small town
Where everybody knows I love you
And everybody suspects that you don´t
I wonder if my ship´s ever coming in

My friends are saying
That you are so much more
Titanic than Love Boat
And that you´ll drag me down, down, down, down
But all those evenings
That we spend in my room
They always take me higher
Than wine, pot or glue
I´d die to sail with you to distant islands
Or hit the sea bed
Among fish and mermaids
We´d lose our heads
Oh what a happy shipwreck we could be
Together
Just say you'll love me
Forever
´Cause it's hard to be
Just your friend
When I yearn to cruise with
You to the end
You´re my dreamboat
You´re my dreamboat
You´re my dreamboat
Oh you´re my dreamboat
My Dream Boy too!
Track Name: Fifteen Again
Once more I`m waiting for you
With cool sangria in the fridge.
We´ll do what we like the most
Play some music
I´ll hit some chords you love
I wish I´d hit your chords of love
But I´m reluctant
So I´d rather watch you pulling
Hilarious faces while you sing

Oh you make me feel fifteen again
The music sounds so fresh again
The tones we hit echo so bright
I wish you stayed a little more tonight!

Every time I think of you
My heart makes that funny sound
Of a thousand raging bulls
Especially when you´re around
And you touch my arm.
I´d love to grab a bit more
But there´s no hurry
´Cause I know when we´ll part
You´ll smother me in your bear´s hug and

You´ll make me feel fifteen again
Birds will sing in my head again
You make this longing feel so right
I wish you could be mine tonight!

And then I go and spoil it all
Like a true teenage jerk.
In a drunken haze I propose:
“Can I taste you?” And you say “yeah!”
And we kiss, then we collapse.
Next morning I crawl into your arms
I cherish your scent till you wake up
But then you tell me we can be just friends

And you make me feel fifteen again.
My dreams of love are smashed again
Your arrow hits me so precisely
I swear I´d died if you hadn’t treated me nicely
But you did, but you did, but you did

Listening to the Marine Girls.
The day is cloudy, it suits my mood
You say that nothing has to change
You give me your most heart-melting smile
And now we have to find
A good excuse to tell your boss
´Cause you never went to work
And your lie was terribly lame!

We´re a disaster, fifteen again
We´re dumb, we´re stupid, we´re nuts again
Can we spend the whole day in bed
talking, smoking ´till we drop dead?

You make me feel fifteen again
The songs talk to my heart again
It´s bittersweet but it feels right
I´ll sing my lungs out for you tonight
Tonight, tonight
I´ll lose my head for you tonight.
Track Name: Buying Time
You appear at my door
And I wonder if it shows
Do I look like a dog wagging it´s tail?
I´ll offer you beer mixed with lemonade
¨Cause the night is young, let´s take it easy
We play each other songs
And videos on youtube
I´m buying time, yes I´m buying time
And then we´re out in the streets,
we fly from bar to bar like moths around the lamposts on a summer night.
We talk of a million things ´till my head starts burning and my ears buzz.
Out of the blue you tell me you long for true love
And something inside me falls apart
But I´m buying time, so I won´t have to say
How I feel for you.

We end up in my house all trashed up
And drink some more to the point of no return
We watch videos of tidal waves and hurricanes
Like the ones that roam inside me
I´m buying time until it´s time for you to go but

Come another night,
if by chance we do belong, it could be some kind of heaven
I can always find some excuse to meet
After all we have plenty of stuff to discuss like:
The seventies new wave scene,
Our fear of the bugs or some crazy dream
If your blazer´s color suits your overall
You can even talk to me about football!
I am buying time until I´ll have the guts to say
How I feel for you.
Will you ever do, will you ever?
Will I ever do, will I ever?
Maybe next week…
Track Name: 1959
Cheri walk with me, like it´s 1959
As if we were in Paris, haunting every night
We danced to the rock n´ roll (we´d shake our hips ´till dawn)
At six feet below the ground (so very deep underground)
This nightclubs will become our tombs for sure
´Cause we drink and smoke as if
There were no tomorrow

Cheri walk with me, like it´s 1959
Let´s creep through the backstreets
Like two brothers in crime
Left Bank whores would know our names (we would be their faves)
The philosophers too (the kids, the drunks, the madmen too)
They´d say we´re like two wandering beasts, two lost souls
Two ghosts that fade away in the early morning light

It´s 1959

Cheri come to me like it´s 1959
Your eyes look so sad, you can´t hide behind a smile
We don´t know what we met for (we don´t know a thing)
Or what tomorrow has in store (will you buy me a ring?)
I don´t have answers and it´s dawn, let´s go home
We could cross the river as the city wakes up
No belts on, full speed, let´s go!

(1959) I know I´m losing my mind
(1959) we´re running out of tricks and time
(1959) we´re not in Paris but don´t go home alone, be mine
(1959) ´cause in my heart it´s always, always, always
(1959) and I´ll be waiting for you
(1959) for you.
Track Name: Secrets Of The Moon
I thought that I had come prepared
That I had red my books
Before I ´d let myself go boom
By your silver charms and looks
But all knowledge would be useless
I would find out soon
So I just rely on you
To show me in full display
The secrets of the Moon

Explain to me why people turn to wolves
Or go insane
Where do the poets find their words
What makes you cry in the rain
What haunted breeze gave me the chills
On that warm evening in June
My eyes get blurry every time
I beg you to show me
The secrets of the Moon.

Under your spell I feel sometimes like
Floating in a lake on a hot summer night
Gazing at the milky way
But suddenly I start to howl
My hands turn to claws
And my mind is at stake
I kick and I punch things
My star starts to fade
I become cruel
I begin to break.
How much longer can I take
This tidal life for you?

And when we´re apart I confess
I sometimes feel relieved
´Cause I can be myself again
And I can freely breath
But independence doesn’t last too long
I always find out soon
That you´ve placed a chain around my heart
Made of burning love
And the secrets of the Moon.
Track Name: Ghost Town (I Poli Phantasma)
Είναι η πόλη φάντασμα, ειναι έρημοι οι δρόμοι
Σωροί σκουπίδια φράζουνε τα πεζοδρόμια
Εδώ κανείς δεν περπατα, κάνουμε βόλτες μόνοι
Το χέρι κράτα μου σφιχτά, να διώξεις τα δαιμόνια

Οι λεωφόροι αδειανές, οι στοές οχι και τόσο
Αστεγοι ξαποσταίνουνε σε χάρτινα κουτιά
Και οι πορνες απηυδίσανε, το δίνουν όσο όσο
Το κουρασμένο τους κορμι, που φέραν απο μακριά

Είναι η πολη φάντασμα μα εγώ δε τη φοβάμαι
Οσο σε έχω πλάι μου, αστεία να μου λες
Εσύ τις διώχνεις τις σκιές τα βράδυα οταν κοιμάμαι
Το αύριο δε σκέφτομαι, το έσβησα το χτες.

Είναι η πόλη φάντασμα, μα που´ναι οι μεθυσμένοι
Οι σερβιτόροι μες´ τα μπαρ κοιτάζουν το κενό
Ειναι εικοσάρηδες μα μοιάζουν γερασμένοι
Ειν΄αραγε αδιέξοδο ετούτο το στενό;

Είναι η νύχτα σιωπηλή, το φώτα ειναι σβησμένα
Κι έπιασε αέρας δυνατός, σα σκύλος αλυχτά
Και στο Μουσείο οι σκιές, φρικτά, απεγνωσμένα
Καρτερικά προσμένουνε μια δόση λησμονιά

Είναι η πολη φάντασμα μα εγώ δε τη φοβάμαι
Οσο σε έχω πλάι μου, αστεία να μου λες
Εσύ τις διώχνεις τις σκιές τα βράδυα οταν κοιμάμαι
Το αύριο δε σκέφτομαι, το έσβησα το χτες.

Ειναι η πόλη φαντασμα και σέρνει αλυσίδες
Παλιούς καιρούς θυμάται και με πίκρα ξεφυσά
Μα ακόμα δε χάθηκαν ολες τις οι ελπίδες
Ακομα και τα βασανα δεν ειν´ παντοτινά

Στο λόφο ανεβαινουμε, μεσα απ´τα σοκάκια
Εχει μου λεει, πανσέληνο, ορίστε που ανατέλλει
Μοσχοβολάει βασιλικο, και να και δυο γατάκια
Του δίνω ρουφηχτό φιλί και άλλο που δε θέλει!

Είναι η πολη φάντασμα μα εγώ δε τη φοβάμαι
Οσο σε έχω πλάι μου, αστεία να μου λες
Εσύ τις διώχνεις τις σκιές τα βράδυα οταν κοιμάμαι
Το αύριο δε σκέφτομαι, το έσβησα το χτες
Το έσβησα το χτες.



GHOST TOWN (I POLI PHANTASMA)

The town is a ghost town, the streets are desolate
Piles of trash block the pavements
Nobody walks around here, we promenade alone
Hold my hand tight to chase away the demons

The avenues are empty but the arcades are not
Homeless people rest in paper boxes
And the prostitutes have given up, they sell on discount
Their tired body, brought from somewhere far

The town is ghost town but I am not afraid of her
While I have you by my side, telling me jokes
You chase away the shadows in the night, while I´m asleep
I don´t think about tomorrow, I erased yesterday

The town is a ghost town, but where are the drunks
The waiters inside the bars stare at the void
They are in their twenties but look aged
Is this a dead-end street?

The night is silent, the lights are out
And a strong wind is blowing, howling like a dog
The shadows at the Museum, horribly, desperately
Patiently wait for a dose of oblivion

The town is ghost town but I am not afraid of her
While I have you by my side, telling me jokes
You chase away the shadows in the night, while I´m asleep
I don´t think about tomorrow, I erased yesterday

The town is a ghost town and drags chains
Remembers better days and sighs bitterly
But all hope is not gone
Even suffering isn´t forever

We are gong up the hill through the narrow alleys
You says that tonight there´s a full moon, here it is, rising
It smells of basil and and look at those two kitties
I am giving him a french kiss, much to his delight

The town is ghost town but I am not afraid of her
While I have you by my side, telling me jokes
You chase away the shadows in the night, while I´m asleep
I don´t think about tomorrow, I erased yesterday
I erased yesterday.
Track Name: Coach Station
I had thought about it several times before
Leaving your house at dawn, like a shadow
And never coming back
I only hoped that when the time would arrive
I´d be strong enough to
Open the door, numb enough not to cry
Well, I almost made it
The ticket´s in my hand
You have to understand
That this time it´s goodbye
This time it´s goodbye
This time it´s goodbye
And how I hate goodbyes
Last night you begged me
To treasure the good times
Right now it´s hard dear
For you´re the one
Who makes my my heart skip a beat

Once more at the station, looking weary and lost
Such a gloomy place in these early hours
Full of sleepy people
Shabby-looking drivers and ruthless neon lights
Funny how used I was
This ugliness was just a step before I´d see
Your lovely face again
No need to go through these stale
Waiting rooms any more
For this time it´s goodbye (it´s goodbye)
This time it´s goodbye (it´s goodbye)
And how I hate goodbyes
Last night you begged me
To treasure the good times
Right now it´s hard dear
But you´re the one
Who makes my heart skip a beat.

I know it is not all your fault (it´s not your fault)
We drove each other crazy (oh so crazy)
A valium and I hope (and I hope)
I´ll cease thinking (oh please stop!)
Endlessly revisiting (don´t go back don´t go back)
The wounds of that corpse (to that corpse!)

I´m curling up in my seat, cuddling myself to sleep
Engines starting, fasten your seat belts
It´s going to be a bumpy ride
A long and winding road
That´s taking me far away
Far way from you.
Track Name: Bedrooms
A single ray of light
Creeps into the bedroom
It is far too late
Even by my standards
I refuse to open the shuts
And face the day
And I don´t care if the world
Has moved from it´s axis today
I have a long-distance call
From a heartbroken friend
Sounds familiar?
She´s spent the whole night crying
I do my best to cheer her up
Then I fall asleep again, I dream of you
Naked in my arms, It´s pure bliss
The phone rings again oh shit
Tt´s you, this joke is sick
Now I´m a bag of nerves

The part of my bed you used to occupy
Has turned into a no-man´s land
A parking lot for fags, books, magazines
And lonely dreams

Soon it will be dark
And I´ll feel brave enough to go outside
And join that other kind of people
Those who don´t live in their bedrooms
We all feel better after dusk
It´s easy to hide our fears
Ain´t o failures nor upsets
That can´t get drowned in a couple of beers
And for a while we are strong!

The part of my bed you used to occupy (used to occupy)
Has turned into a cheap motel room (just a motel room)
Random lovers spend the night
But breakfast isn´t included

There is nothing I´d wish more
Than sharing bedrooms again
To fall asleep while wrapping my arms
Around your slender frame
Wish I could get some sleep again

It ´already six a.m
Another slow day is dawning
This is not gonna last, I tell myself
Soon I´ll reach the bottom
And then the only way is up
I won´t be a train wreck any more
And from some kind of heaven
I´ll look down upon my bedroom days
My nights in the bars and you and I´ll laugh

But ´till then I can´t help from hiding (I can´t help from hiding)
Procrastinating endlessly (endlessly)
From staring at the walls of my bedroom

(There is nothing I´d wish more than sharing bedrooms again)
(There is nothing I´d wish more than sharing bedrooms again)
(There is nothing I´d wish more than sharing bedrooms again)
(There is nothing I´d wish more than sharing bedrooms again)
Track Name: Futile Games In Space And Time
I throw birds made of clay
Into thin air
They fly for a minute
Fair enough
I move things constantly
To watch their orbit
To see how they change
Shape and size
I don´t expect them to love me
To care for me
They´re just volumes and games
In Space and Time

(I threw my heart on you
Into thin air
We flew together for a while
Fair enough
I pulled every string
To create a common orbit
And saw how you changed
Shape and size
I expected you to love me
To care for me
It was just a futile game
In Space and Time)

(In Space and Time)

Because Space is crazy
and Time has never been on our side
So we just keep on
Throwing birds of clay
Into thin air
But they are not real birds
After all (after all)
They will never really fly
They´re just poor imitations
They are futile games
In Space and Time
In Space and Time
In Space and Time.
Track Name: He Dances In The Shadows
There he dances in the shadows
Of this bleak hospital room
There he sways, there he grins
A dreadful mouth that starts to sing

He will strip us off everything we got
When one day he´ll dance for us
Maybe in a room or in the street
He´ll sway his hips
And start to sing

Nemini Parco
Nemini Parco
Nemini Parco
Nemini Parco
Nemini Parco
Nemini Parco
Nemini Parco
Nemini Parco
Nemini Parco

But he hadn’t got his way yet love (Nemini Parco)
So hold me tight love (Nemini Parco)
Make me forget him (Nemini Parco)
You can bring life, only you can
As long as you hold my hand.
Track Name: It's Always You
It´s such a shame the headaches I´ve won
From last night´s fight with vodka and rum
I guess that´s a clear sign that you and I had
An after hours encounter
I made myself again the fool of the town
Still people insist I´m so much fun to be around
I guess I´acting large every time I feel tiny like a crumb of bread
Leave me alone because I´m not over it yet
Need more time and more drinks to forget
I wish I´d be dreaming and scheming for somebody new
But it´s always you

You and I wanted things done in different ways
So I guess it was a wise move of yours to let it slip away
Then why the hell do I drink two drinks a time whenever you´re around?
All your friends like me a lot but have they noticed
That my eyes shine with a crazy glow
Every time I steal a smile from you?
And do they know that my heart is a teenage room
Stacked with seven-inch vinyls
And full-size posters
Of singers who had hits a long, long time ago
Full of shabadabadas and wowowows?
I look from the keyhole hoping to see somebody new
But it´s always you (it´s always you)
It´s always you (it´s always you)
it´s always you (it´s always you)
It´s always you!

Who´s holding the knife? (It´s always you!)
Who lurks in the shadows? (It´s always you!)
And who´s to blame for this shame and downfall? (It´s always you!)
Oh dear mirror.