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Magic Gone

by Petal

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1.
You stay out so late - Just to build connection. They say, “Hey, man you were great.” But they don’t even have the slightest affection. That you’re really not doing okay And maybe tonight you could barely even play. The show it must go on even if they don’t even come. The colors and the callous turn you into a strange and silent one. And maybe if you were harsh? Maybe if you weren’t you people would seem to care about what it is you even do? Maybe if you tried harder to seem like you didn’t love it- but you do. But they’re better than you. Don’t give into fodder And don’t pander a smile And give yourself a second And give yourself a while. But believe all that you hear And assume that they’re all watching And force some words out of your mouth While all their eyes are watching.
2.
03:48
I saw a strange light in the sky. A fireball burning brightly. I wished the truck on the overpass would Tumble down upon me. The truth is just a piece of coal dressed as gold. I turn the heat up to feel the sting. My skin it felt the same. I felt the joint in my shoulder blade. It seemed to feel the same. I felt an ancient scream come out of my mouth. What’s the margin for error? I give myself a little. Tightrope walker, miracle clinger seeking acquittal. Who’s to say I don’t care? I’m only drenched in holy water that you stole from your father because you couldn’t help yourself. And the arc of our covenant was a rise and fall. A tailspin on my end we never saw coming. The scar on my lip I got when I was a kid transferred to you. The truth is just a piece of coal dressed as gold.
3.
04:52
Sitting on a step below you. You were sitting on a step above me. And with mouths full of spite we said goodnight. A binary system, we paced around another. One is bound to shine more bright. You are my star. When did it get so personal? I can’t remember even though i have tried. Just like a black hole we collapsed and all of our friends stayed in orbit because we lied. I’m sorry.
4.
03:16
and I’ve seen the way you look when you think I’m not looking forward. That I’m lying in a trap of scared assumption. It’s a certain kind of sickness, A wrong turn in conversation, A kiss on the trembling hand of our love. And you could barely drive when I said, “I don’t fucking care anymore.” I don’t see the point in lying for what I’m only tearing apart. And you could barely speak when I saw your reflection in the windshield fall in a space I know too well. That I am not your comfort anymore. God, won’t you please stay with me? Won’t you please live with me? I can’t survive without your touch of gentle persuasion, of rested assurance, of finding a home and having it finally stay.
5.
04:26
How can it be you’ve loved me this long, when I’ve watched your eyes roll in a deep sleep? And I can’t help but think of that line you always repeat how, “you can’t wait forever.” And I know I’m shy. My act is strong. When you push the hair away from my neck, I can’t go on. It’s a funny thing the way you look at me, like I’m some sort of treasure of the past and of what could be. I’ve seen the signs long ago that you think I’ve stopped believing. It’s a terrible crime. The tablets broke. Commandments we carved out of stone turned to rubble. And I know I’m shy. My act is strong. When you read the words off the back of my hand, I can’t go on. It’s a funny thing the way you look at me, like I’m some sort of treasure of the past and of what could be.
6.
04:21
And I swear to god, if you touch me one more time. You know the spot, between my hairline and my spine. And I swear to god, if you give a compliment I’ll take this shot and hope I forget- That I don’t even know where you’re at. And I can’t remember the last time i held you. And I can’t remember the last time I- Pulled off the table cloth and every dish stayed in place. The magic gone, and that solemn look upon your face that says, “we’re finally growing up.”
7.
04:17
You’re the tick I found at summer’s end crawling around the back of my neck. I thought you were a sun spot I’d have memories of, But you’ve embedded yourself and you’re sucking my blood. I wish I was the kind of girl who sat in cafes mid day smiling with all my teeth showing. Maybe I’m just a parrot on your shoulder, maybe I’ll be your next favorite placeholder, or maybe- I’ll just shine. Like fog that’s grazing mountain tops, you barely even touched my arms. And I knew I wasn’t your girl and I knew you weren’t my girl. And I wish I was the kind of girl who danced and played these games smiling with all my teeth showing. And I’ve been practicing my party tricks, Moving the knife between my fingers while I make my friends all nervous. Moving it faster and faster all the while hoping I miss. And I know that I’m the kind of girl who’s fire cannot be smothered. The kind who would meet their god, my Mother. Maybe I’m just the parrot on your shoulder. Maybe I’ll be your next favorite placeholder. But baby, I’ll just shine.
8.
02:33
It’s as if you cracked my skull open, peaked inside while I was sleeping, And I’m thinking, “what business do you have?” And I wish I could unsee your kindness, every upward turn of your mouth, but I cannot. So, I’ll bury it in sound, in grace, in erasing myself. I would live in the deepest cave and draw upon the walls. Ignore the sticks and stones to ignite some kind of fired. And God, will they love me if I am honest? I would starve until every bone would show just to feel a little lighter and still avoid the truth- You carved your name in me and I wish I never knew you.
9.
It’s the moment when you don’t look me in the eye. It’s the silent claws of demons at my back. It’s the silence after I finish washing the dishes. It’s the afterthought that I might be your best friend. I can’t sleep anymore, but you all want something from me. I’m not moved anymore, but you all want something from me. I don’t care anymore, but you all want something from me. It’s the way you deal in smugness about everything i care about. It’s the way that you slick back your hair and run your fucking mouth. It’s the way you lick your fingers after scraping every plate. It’s the way you make me love you, when all the signs tell me to run away. And I see you when the door is closed, and I know your mouths are moving. And I see you when the door is closed, and I know the wheels are turning. I see you. I see you.
10.
03:54
The stardust in you is so evident. I wish I could kiss every speck of it. Remnants of The Beginning now that we are at the end. You’re skeptical of sentiment. Now we’ve made our way through each other. Now we’re left with no clothes, making mistakes and getting guarded. I can’t say I didn’t love you. Now we’re living in shitty apartments with mismatched dishes, unlike our parents. Maybe we’d make good parents? Maybe not, I can’t say. I can’t say I didn’t love you. Under streetlight, you are forever mine.

about

Despite our best efforts, there are some things we just can’t outrun. Everything catches up to us in the end, no matter what we do to hide from it. It’s a reality that Petal’s Kiley Lotz examines on Magic Gone, the band’s latest full-length album on Run For Cover.

Recorded over the course of a month at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, PA, Magic Gone is a bitingly honest look at adulthood, accountability, responsibility, and mental health and the difficulties that go along with each of them. “I was a closeted queer person struggling with chronic mental health disorders,” says Lotz of the three year period that inspired the album. “There comes a moment where all the paranoia, anxiety and pain become too much and you realize the structure you built to survive is no longer is going to serve you. I had to make some very big life changes to make sure I didn’t die. It was not easy taking that level control over my life after spending many years worrying about upsetting others and being the best and most successful person I could be.”

That’s not to say that the last few years have only been negative for Lotz - there were a lot of great moments, too. She moved from New York City to Philadelphia, changed her focus from acting and theatre to music, toured with Julien Baker, Slingshot Dakota, and Kevin Devine, and chose to come out and live openly as queer, which she looks back on as one of the most beneficial decisions she’s ever made. “Coming out was the beginning of a long and continuing process of self actualization, of taking a hard look at myself and the problems I had and how I could fix them,” says Lotz.

Still, the highs of her rapidly changing life weren’t able to outweigh the lows, and in early 2017, Lotz found herself hitting a breaking point. Her mental health was rapidly declining, and after a relapse of suicidality, she made the difficult decision to prioritize her health above all else and move back to her hometown to enter intensive treatment for her major depressive and panic disorders.

It was that duality - the valley between the positives and negatives of life that she’d experienced - that inspired Magic Gone and its two halves. Side A, titled Tightrope Walker, features songs Lotz wrote before entering treatment, while Side B, Miracle Clinger, is comprised of songs she wrote in recovery. “I think those two parts of me are what kept me alive,” Lotz explains. “I became so skilled at the act of getting through every day that I trusted that ability, but knew if I slipped I could face a bad end. Still, I couldn’t help but have faith in myself and people and God and that things could be better, even though I felt so lost and hopeless.”

The culmination of it all is an album that showcases Lotz’ prowess as both a vocalist and a songwriter, drawing equal influence from ‘70s powerhouses like Queen and Nina Simone as it does modern vocalists like Solange, Margaret Glaspy and Mitski. Producer Will Yip distills Lotz down to her purest form, lending an unprecedented rawness to her sound. Themes of duality even make their way into the album’s instrumentation, specifically in Lotz’ decision to include church organ on the album; playing organ was a huge part of her life growing up, and to this day the sound of it inspires both comfort and fear in her. Track by track, the singer transforms her vulnerability from a curse into a tool with which to examine both where she went wrong and where she went right in her struggle for survival. Lotz offers a lesson for each of us on having the courage to face our demons and make the best choices for ourselves. “Really feeling what it’s like to be completely heart broken, instead of just pushing it down so deeply, allowed me to see the true strength in vulnerability. That acknowledging pain, struggle, loss and heart break, is strong. That being out is strong. That being ill takes strength all it’s own.”

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released June 15, 2018

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Petal Scranton, Pennsylvania

'Magic Gone' out June 15th. smarturl.it/PetalMagicGone

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