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Soft Verges

by Michael Bassett

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  • 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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  • Limited Edition Vinyl
    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.

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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
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
you make with open hand still 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
Amy's Song 03:05
out on the surface where the cities edges gleam there’s a pulling a pulling down stream on bending traces of orange arching air 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
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 merrily merrily merrily merrily don’t you love her madly? and love will tear us apart
Ten Days 02:28
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 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
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
Drift 02:34
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
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... 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
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 gone


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



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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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