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Soft Verges

by Michael Bassett

  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

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

    Digital and analog masters were cut simultaneously.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $8.99 USD

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    We proudly present Soft Verges in a signed-and-numbered limited vinyl edition! Much of Soft Verges was tracked live at Chicago's legendary Electrical Audio; then lush-sounding 180-gram vinyl was cut directly from the original tape for a completely analog listening experience. The whole thing is wrapped in a holographic foil-embossed jacket designed by Black Sea's Justin Lloyd. Only 300 copies of this edition exist; each one is hand-signed and numbered by Michael Bassett and Justin Lloyd and comes polybagged in crystal-clear archival mylar.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Soft Verges via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    edition of 300 

      $30 USD

    You own this  




While on tour in 2007, Michael made a one-day stop at Steve Albini’s legendary studio Electrical Audio, tracking an album’s worth of brand-new material live to tape. Soft Verges is the result of that incredible day’s work, combined with four additional songs recorded with a full band near Michael’s UK home.

The bulk of Soft Verges was cut live, bare, unmixed and cathartic, mastered directly from the original two-track recording. From a whisper to a howl, Michael’s voice is never less than passionate and majestic, and his polyrhythmic guitar playing is simply jawdropping.

"A unique singer/songwriter... combining acoustic instruments and electric sounds... emotive songs with 'David Torn-like' electric guitar loops and textures... intriguing, progressive..."
Radio Xymphonia, Holland

"Compelling... completely different... the most incredible vocal range..."
Evening Herald, Plymouth, UK


released August 1, 2008



all rights reserved



Michael Bassett Bath, UK

With soaring vocals and powerful-yet-delicate guitarwork, Michael Bassett combines the raw catharsis of modern indie, the world-wise acoustic lilt of classic folk and the virtuosity of progressive rock on his Eschatone debut, puddleskinwaving, and his wonderful sophomore release, Soft Verges. ... more

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Track Name: Exchange (Eye for an Eye)
it finally came home
equal and opposite
settling scores
it’s a cruel thing
the exchange of the eyes
it’s confusing
when you’re missing the storyline

up from the ashes rise all the questions
while simpletons peddle slick packaged lies
from tiny-mind titles bought from the shadows
jerking the strings of a giant inclined
to a fool thing
the exchange of the eyes
and it’s soothing
to fight fire with...

out on the tarmac the turbines are howling
singing of envelopes laced with black hope
raise up your hands to trace empty sockets
circular patterns that bring it all home
it’s a sure thing
the exchange of eyes
it’s burning
you’re playing with...

two empty holes on the face of an island
empty as life facing gunmetal cold
as empty and still as the grave of a stranger
as empty and still as things never told
empty as words like freedom and justice
empty as minds lead by the storm
empty as scores that can never be settled
empty as veins running with scorn
as empty as bellies of children in deserts
vacuums where hatred is waiting to bloom
black and as empty as night city skyline
black and as charred as hiroshima’s doom
as black as a rescue sealed in the rubble
lives coming down like rain in the streets
as black as an airplane of innocent travelers
blown into dust over persian seas
as black as the smoke in a tiny village
black as a yellow star sewn to your sleeve
black as the walls of a prison camp oven
as black and as burning as palestine’s grief
how many eyes of black empty vengeance?
filled with a fury that’s driving it home
grope in your darkness to seize on an answer
and you will find nothing but black
angry holes
Track Name: Barely Breathing
barely breathing on the floor the light it trickles in
the air is going grey
the town is getting thin
tap out all the symbols it takes a little time
press send and let it go boy you’re doing fine
on and off the satellites will sing to scattered tribes
coffins and empty cradles flickering to life

one two three four
one two three
count out loud and then you breathe

vanishing point power-lines and rails gone red at dawn
blinding wings shimmering between the earth and sun
from place to trace to long embrace to suddenly goodbye
you close the distance to a wound while others open wide
and every teeming platform
and every crowed gate
will haunt you with familiar eyes to tempt and tear away

one two three four
one two three
count out loud and then you breathe
and you come to the place
and you feel ‘round the space
absence is a trace
what has gone has a shape

one two three four
one two three
count out loud and then you breathe
one two three four
one two three
count out loud and then you bleed
Track Name: She Hope You Under
you make with open hand
she cannot stand
she coil up full of rage

she got ice black
she got cool as stone
hard as hate
she unfold

you caught the soft side
clear and streamin’ pain
she turn her curse to make it safe

see those eyes right open
those tears lead to dust
she open smile black with blood

you will summon all your grace
she will cut without a trace
you will bend and she will take
you will give and she will brake

she don’t like that wonder
she don’t like that hope
she gonna push you under
she gonna watch you choke
Track Name: Amy's Song
out on the surface
where the cities edges gleam
there’s a pulling
a pulling down stream

on bending traces
of orange arching
ashes join the night river’s face

and grief will whisper
wherever you will go
it explodes where you throw to the wind

a house gone empty
the simple fallen frame
the photos crumble and fade

grown to dust
and scattered in the breeze

absence is a lasting trace

are you homesick for the wind and the
gentle gestures of the highway

and you will know the way
and your heart beats

well it takes some convincing with you my friend
you’re caught in the shape of things gone

the grey has come to settle in your hair
in your eyes
on your hands
in the cold

and nothing here is stronger now
than the reasons that you should go

and you will know the way
and your heart beats
Track Name: All Too Seriously
all too seriously she says
leaping from a bed
stilling her hips
wiping her lips

and it’s not about the boys that came
and went
or what they say she meant

she can’t be serious

and she was taught that all that matters
are pretty things to leave in tatters
and so she goes from face to face
grinding out her state of grace

all too seriously she sighs
staring through your eyes
lost in the drink
close to the brink
too scared to think

but it’s not about the child that came
and went
she’s let that rest

she can’t be serious

she has learned some things
don’t matter
that what you hold can beat and batter
and there’s one thing that’s very sure
going numb’s the perfect cure

all too seriously she cries
once in a while
spinning around
all falling down
but i’m the clown

and it keeps coming due
all those black and blues

then she’s serious

and she has learned some things can’t matter
that everything is sure to shatter
that time will deepen every wound
and so it goes from womb to tomb

and everything is but a dream
and so it’s gently down the stream

don’t you love her madly?

and love will tear us apart
Track Name: Ten Days
i drive this town
tight circles through my past
ten days till going
going fast

and i won’t linger in the doorway

ring the cemetery bell
close the window on the cold
and i will go forever more
from sorrow

tell the moon in the park i’ll be away

through the winding one ways
the drunken school mate sighs
he never made it to the door
but he was high

it’s a moment of regret
and then it’s rolling time

it’s a cool spring graduation
where winter hangs on
Track Name: Hastings to London (Leaving Charlie Fisher)
leave in the dark
the air breaks hissing
all the doors are closing now
jerk and pull and the cars are catching
she slides away in the awful sound

switches change and have no mercy
the platform turns and crumbles down
a silhouette cannot make the journey
so it joins the dying town

cool and grey a wound is opened
all the world comes rushing in
black and choked with cigarettes and questions
this train begins to tear again

how many stops from here to london?
what distance from a dying town?

rails joined in perfect separation
the earth curves
and the whistle howls
Track Name: Drift
and we drift around the sun
it’s still
and we round and round

at the corner
take your place
the city moans
the ground shakes

traffic moves through time and space
green amber red
your moments fade

the earth curves and spins away
a pirouette
the points change

the signal regulates the flow
the pushing faces come and go

strangers in converging streets
go brushing by
but you will wait

a smooth ellipse across the source
the bodies move
the light is caught
and while you wait for open road
a tiny night is coming home

the shadow of this passing day
will meet you on the curb again
Track Name: Melancholy and Bright Blue
Melancholy and bright blue
i couldn’t help but notice
the sky makes its way through the stars
it’s an uncertain point of view we’ve got here
i don’t know why they tell us any different anyway

cause it’s summer’s last stand
and a warm autumn day
and a song left incomplete

its melancholy and bright blue
through and through and through
its melancholy and bright blue
it’s through and through and through

but seriously now
i’ve lost the punch-line
the moon floats into a bar
and the woman behind the counter says

you must remember this
a kiss is but a kiss
but an hour
that’s something different
all the same

i can’t remember the name of this place
it went something...
a terrible beauty
it goes right through me

its melancholy and bright blue
through and through and through
its melancholy and bright blue
through and through i’m through

there once was a boy
who came up with a game
you take any word and repeat it
and soon you will find
it all slips away
and there you will have a meaning

its melancholy and bright blue
through and through and through
its melancholy and bright blue
i’m through i’m through i’m through

mimsy were the boroughgroves

pay no attention to the man behind
the curtain
Track Name: Nine Point Eight Metres per Second Squared
how long from the cusp to the rushing air?
the faces blur into one long scar
it mouths the words to who we are
the calls are made
the lights are flashing
another shuffles from the coil