The Tall and Strong White Oaks

by Braithwaite

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about

This is my first full-length album. I am very excited to share it with you all. I'm sorry it took so long.


The album is about a young couple and their struggles with anxiety, addiction, and each other.


I do not mean to force any meanings or lessons into the content of the album, nor do the words of the characters necessarily reflect what I believe about life. It is a story. I hope it can be appreciated as a story. In many ways, it doesn't feel like something I created or that I'm even capable of creating. I am very much not the characters and they are very much not me. I hope you can appreciate them as if they were real people.


A download of the album comes with an accompanying short story which serves as a bit of background to the album. There were things I could not express about the characters through the first person point of view in the songs that you can learn in the story. It also comes with some images that go with the album and a large long .png of a zine I made with some information about the album. Enjoy.


Thank you to:
- all of my friends and family for helping me make it this far. So many things have changed between the time when I started this album and the time when it is being released. I am so appreciative of anyone who has been in my life in this time.
- Ben Larson and Hailey for the most wonderful album art
- anyone who was in the Facebook group I made for feedback on these songs
- anyone who has helped to make it okay to be a freak in 2016
- Conrad Gagnon / Deep Sea Records without whom I could not have finished this whole thing


If you have any questions about the album or me, feel free to email me at renerd130@gmail.com. I'd love to chat.


If you like the album and would like a physical copy on cassette tape, replace DOT with a period and order one here: http://deepsearecords.limitedrun(DOT)com/products/581569-braithwaite-the-tall-and-strong-white-oaks-preorder

or send me an email at ReneRD130@gmail.com


This album was inspired by and owes too much to the following artists and bands: Alex G, Sun Hotel,The Microphones/Mount Eerie, Pinegrove, Tigers Jaw, Neutral Milk Hotel, Nirvana, The Killers, David Bowie, Nouns, and My Chemical Romance.

credits

released November 18, 2016

All songs written and recorded by Braithwaite (Rene Duplantier).

Claps on track 13 by Gab B.

Mixed and mastered by Blake Robicheaux

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about

Slow Rosary Louisiana

A musical project by Rene Duplantier.

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Track Name: One Missed Call
"Hey. Sorry I didn't answer earlier. My phone was dead, but I have been awake for something like three days. That's why I missed your call. May, I know I screwed things up again. I would apologize, but the red lines on my eyes and arms are spelling out and saying, 'Y o u w i l l n e v e r r e c o v e r .' My delusional arms spell out, ' o h , m o t h e r. Y o u a r e j u s t l i k e y o u r m o t h e r .' I keep making mistakes. Why, oh why do you just wait for another? These days feel like Daisy and feel like maybes and feel like You Know You Are Right. You know you're right, so goodbye. I'll see you soon." - Ben
Track Name: Ten Missed Calls
"I got to your house and saw you had mail. The letter had no return address. Just your name on the front and a couple pages of text. I took it inside and told you, 'Someone's got something to say.' You looked confused. You always do. You said: 'Read it, cause I can't. I've had too much to drink.' It read:

'Dear Ben, you said you missed my call; but you missed ten. They say that when someone needs a friend, you should try to be their friend; and I have, but you haven't been yourself when you use your terms so loosely. 'Smoking' isn't what it used to be. And you know what else? I have gotten three new haircuts since the last time that you noticed; and somehow, I've managed to stop hating myself.

I need you to come on with me but without the toxicity. You don't even have to give up pot. I just need to know you're not...'

But those last two lines were scratched out; and beneath them in their place were the words I never thought I'd read to you, sent to you from May:

'I changed my mind. I don't need you, but I need to be alright. Alright? And you were right; although, you were high. So don't apologize. Don't apologize. The other night when you called me I was fine until I saw my phone ringing and its bright light on the far side of the room, and I thought of things I'd do to answer you back when you were still in school and when you had a face that grew, not a face that decayed just like me and you. I need to be fine. I need to be alright, so goodbye.'

And when I finished reading, you said, 'You're fucking with me,' and I said: 'No. I wouldn't cause May is all you have or had.' And now I'm telling you this again cause you don't remember, and you used her letter as a rolling paper, a garbage can to put yourself in. Maybe that's where you belong. Maybe May is right. Don't pass me your bong. I'm going home. Good luck and good riddance and goodbye." - Roger
Track Name: Painkillers
"I'm feeling anxious. I've been annoyed. My stomach's sick now, and I hear a noise coming from your mouth now. Took my prednisone. I think I see you, but I'm all alone. Took another pill now, and what is this? I see a noise now, and I'm over it.

You make me feel alright. I'm gonna spill ya down my throat all night if you're the killer. My emotion homicide. I can feel ya take a ride through my blood and then my eyes. My distiller, painkiller.

I'm feeling tired. Come to bed. You know I want you more than you can ever give yourself to me. You are the only thing I need. I think I hear your heavy gaze. I think I smell your words again. Everything will be forgotten if you help me, Oxycontin. " - Ben
Track Name: A Car Parked On the Curb, Its Engine Running
"Listen now. Do you remember how I gave you everything? You owe me everything, and now you hear it ring. Fucking answer. You owe me. I gave you everything. You are nothing without me. Answer your phone when it rings. I'm the master. I have control. Why won't you do anything when I tell you what I need and when you hear the bell ring? Do you remember all the songs you used to sing, saying you'd do anything, anything to be with me? Fucking answer. I don't care. I will keep calling until your phone kills itself from having to hear itself sing. You are rotten. You are what's wrong. I haven't done anything. I can take care of myself, but I'd rather you take care of me because you owe me. Listen to me. You owe me. You owe me everything." – Ben
Track Name: An Incoming Call
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Track Name: Oxycontin
"Why don't you stop calling here? Your face looks like you'd be feared by the interstate. I can't take the taste of your words in my mouth

when I'm recalling what you said to my best friend; and she says, 'Why do you bother with his depressing grin?' And I say, 'I don't know.' I don't know. I know that I'm right, but right inside. Outside, I don't know.

Why do you keep calling here? Your face looks like you'd be feared by your mother. Actually, she called here the other day and asked me for money for drugs for you for drugs. I don't know the difference

when I'm recalling what you did to my best friend; and she says, 'Why do you bother with his Oxycontin grin?' And I say, 'I don't know.' But I'm tired so please stop calling, Oxycontin." - May
Track Name: A Dozen Eggs and an Eighth of Marijuana and a Mother's Son
"Call me. It's your mother. Your fucking girlfriend keeps ignoring my calls. That dumb bitch can't loan me fifteen dollars I was gonna spend on eggs and a little pot to keep you fed. But whatever, fuck her. You can do better than that snotty bitch anyway. Whatever. Call me back. I need money." - Ben's mother

"May is not those things. What are you even saying? She has been upright but not so understanding. Mother, you are wrong. Yeah I think you are wrong, but it's real hard to think. My brain's never been too strong. I am coming down right now. I cannot see past my own veiny arms and bloody eyes. I've run out of alibis. May is beautiful. Now I can remember. You are so high that you cannot comprehend her. Mother, you are wrong. Yeah I know you are wrong, but it's real hard to think cause I've been going all along, doing things that aren't things I used to do at all, seeing things that don't exist in any shape or form. I don't know how I got here. I am full of fear because I have been wrong all along. I said I missed your call, but I missed ten. Roger read it all again. What remains of your letter's in the garbage bin. The rest I tried to burn. I am tired of not wanting anything, but I have no clue what to think. I have no clue how to think. I am just a huge mistake. Everything was a mistake. I have no more pills to take. May, you're beautiful. What was I even saying? You have been upright. I wasn't understanding." – Ben
Track Name: An Empty Bottle; An Empty Body
"I hear you need a new kind of fix. I'm willing to help you get over it if you are willing to help yourself, if you are willing to ask for my help. You will be alright. I won't let this kill ya. Escape in the night from the killer. And I apologize for walking out. I hung you dry. I was rotten like your eyes. Let's go out and make things right because you need May and she may not know but she needs you too. It's better that way, but you must find the part of you that's true. I've got my car outside. My phone is charged. Why don't you try to call her and tell her just why you think you need her back? You can get better if you try." – Roger
Track Name: Another Incoming Call
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Track Name: A House With a Few Lights On
"I'm not asking you to pick up. I'm just asking you to listen. I'm not asking for a lot. I'm just asking, 'Do you remember when we were happy?' This is all my fault. Here's a time when we were happy if you'll just listen to my call. Here's a memory of us." – Ben
Track Name: MLK Day
"You woke me up earlier than usual. Hog the bed like you're following a rule. Stayed up late. I'll pay for this in the morning. I couldn't sleep cause I was next to you. Heard you snoring and thought that it'd be cool if I paid for this in the morning.

Three and half years or four and a half days. Plenty of good tears and plenty of driveways. More than a few fears on MLK Day.

You waited for me cause I had to take the bus. I'd do anything for there to be an us. Probably pay for this on my report card. I picked you up out in your front yard. Biggest smile as you got in my orange car. I paid for gas with dad's credit card.

One and half months or four and half days. Plenty of opportunities. Highways that led from my house to your driveway, led to this year's MLK Day. Plenty of fights so we could have it our way but plenty of compromise and parlays. Then we won in the four and half days that we had off for MLK Day. I wouldn't have it any other way." - Ben
Track Name: A Car Parked On the Curb, Its Lights On
"Listen now. I have decided that you gave me everything. Listen to me when I sing. Listen now. Do you remember how you gave me everything? But there were lies I used to sing. You don't have to trust me, but just know that I haven't had a drink and I haven't smoked a thing and I haven't had a pill in a few days or in a week. It hurts bad, but it's for you. I'm listening now. I remember that you gave me everything. I am ready to go on with you without the toxicity. I will even give up pot. I will get completely clean. I will stop calling you always. I will make sure these red lines fade, but first I will make them spell out, ' B e n y o u w i l l d o a n y t h i n g f o r M a y . '" – Ben
Track Name: We thought we were dreaming; then our mouths were filled with laughter.
"You are a sickness, a disease, that I would rather not treat. Don't tell me that I am easily deceived; I am fully aware of your presence inside me. Don't tell me about your vaccine. Don't tell me about your beliefs. Cause over time, people who get sick, they die; but your disease isn't stronger than my body.

Now you're telling me that you will get clean, and now I am figuring out what they really mean when they say that your head can't convince your heart, it can't convince your heart of anything.

But I, I am strong. You have known that all along. You are the type of person they write about in songs. You are growing, but you haven't been wrong.

So I can give you one more chance if your feet can dance your big mouth's dance. Yes, it's true; I miss the nights when we would cancel all our plans and sing and laugh real loud alone. How we moved inside that home with the furniture pushed to the walls.

So I guess all in all, once you get back, I might call. Once you remember who you are, I will wait for you, wait for your call." - May
Track Name: Yet Another Incoming Call
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Track Name: Our Arms
"We would sleep together; or I'd watch you sleep, or you'd watch me sleep. We'd put on a movie not to go to sleep, but we'd fall asleep in our arms. When we went to college, we were young and free. We were you and me. When we started smoking, we thought there would be no other use for our arms than to hold each other with our arms. When you didn't cross my mind, I was anxious. I was scratching at my arms. Roger read your letter. I was stagnant. I was hardly in my heart. How could you be there too? This is not an excuse. This is just my part, my side of the story that should probably end with you parting from my arms.

We loved and we gave all our hearts. With our arms, we held so tight that we couldn't find our air; and my arms, in the meantime, filled with holes and lost their hair. And my heart became too weak to hold you, and it took so long for me to realize my arms were empty cause my mind was never thinking about your heart. I'm sorry. Forgive me if you can find a place in your heart." - Ben

"I know that you're sorry. I am sorry too. We fucked up, you with your drugs and me, when I ran away but should have stayed. Thank you for accepting me as I am. I wish that I had done the same and tried to help you get back to being who you became when I watched you growing from being just a boy with just a name to a person who could decide what he wanted every day. Yeah I'm sorry. I was part of why we found ourselves so shamed. Why'd I make us spend our money on a bunch of childish games? Can we forget about the moments when we tried to kill each other or maybe keep them close to remind ourselves not to repeat the past." - May

"And while we're at it, let's throw out our phones and be together all the time. And while we're at it, we'll throw out our pens to force us to say what's on our minds to each other. We'll say, 'I love you.' We'll say: 'Don't do that. It hurts my eyes to see you bleeding.' These are things I should have; said but in due time, we'll get better. I am with you. We'll get better. I am on your side." - ???