Horse Thief

by Kristina Stykos

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about

Kristina Stykos's 5th solo album features a healthy handful of elegantly poetic & decidedly unsentimental rural tales, adventures in self-styled folk-rap, unexpected humor, and a few lyrical heart benders, supported by a team of roots-rock and jazz inflected local luminaries.

credits

released December 10, 2015

Horse Thief © 2015 Thunder Ridge Records/thunderridgerecords.com
All songs by Kristina Stykos © 2014 Kristina Stykos/BMI/Horse Thief Publishing/kristinastykos.com
Produced, recorded and mixed by Kristina Stykos at Pepperbox Studio, Chelsea, VT/ pepperboxstudio.com
Mastered by Fred Kevorkian/Avatar Studios, NYC/kevorkianmastering.com
Package design & layout by Darryl Garland/red-garland.com
Portraits of Kristina by Jack Rowell/jackrowell.com
“The Approaching Storm” by John Churchman/brickhousestudios.com

1. Horse Thief
Kristina Stykos: vocal, guitar, keyboard
Bow Thayer: bojotars, background vocal
Patrick Ross: fiddle
Alex Abraham: bass
Matt Musty: drums

2. It’s Over
Kristina Stykos: vocal, guitars, mandolin, keyboard, bass
Jeff Berlin: drums

3. Heart in the Wreckage

Kristina Stykos: vocal, keyboard, guitars
Jeff Berlin: drums

4. Me, Myself and Moi
Kristina Stykos: vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass
Jeff Berlin: drums

5. It’ a Mystery
Kristina Stykos: vocal, guitar, keyboard, bass
Neal Massa: piano
Nikki Matheson: background vocals
Matt Musty: drums

6. By the Minute
Kristina Stykos: vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboard, banjo, bass
Steve Mayone: electric guitars
Jeff Berlin: drums

7. Let It Run
Kristina Stykos: vocals, guitars, keyboard, bass
Jeff Berlin: drums


8. You’ll Never Love Me
Kristina Stykos: vocal, acoustic guitar, mandola, keyboard
Steve Mayone: electric guitars, bass
Jeff Berlin: drums

9. Talk to Me
Kristina Stykos: vocals, guitar, bass
Neal Massa: piano
Matt Musty: drums

10. When You Love Someone
Kristina Stykos: vocals, guitars, mandola, keyboard, bass
Jeff Berlin: drums

11. Human of Peace
Kristina Stykos: vocals, guitars, keyboard, bass
Nikki Matheson: background vocals
Matt Musty: drums

12. As If Tears Could Say
Kristina Stykos: vocal, piano, guitars

13. Remembering
Kristina Stykos: piano, banjo, guitar

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about

Kristina Stykos Chelsea, Vermont

Kristina is a music producer, recording engineer, songwriter, performer and landscape gardener based in Vermont. Her recording studio, Pepperbox Studio, is solar, wind and generator powered. She has engineered & produced over 20 albums for herself and clients. Her songwriting and composing have been supported by the Ucross Foundation and Brush Creek Artist Residency in Wyoming. ... more

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Track Name: Horse Thief
HORSE THIEF

I saw the light
But it was no use
No one cared to save me
I was on the loose

I was just a horse thief
A running from the noose

who can say when I saw
the stars were not aligned
anyway, I fell in love
and put it from my mind

I was just a horse thief
I took what I could find

I gave her my answer
she believed it true
we drank from that river
I believed it too

I was just a horse thief
Drinking’s what I knew

Down by the Nechako River
she emptied my desire
then said it was over
and left me by the fire

I was just a horse thief
But she called me a liar

So I made it look easy
followed her inside
she was used to power
I had things to hide

I was just a horse thief
I only stole what I could ride

she fell then to sleeping
I loaded my gun
to protect my future
from what love had done

I was just a horse thief
I didn’t need the sun

Wolverine, Golden Dream
who will clean the slate
touch me when I’m fearful
hold me when I hate

I was just a horse thief
By some cruel twist of fate
Track Name: It's Over
IT'S OVER

It wasn’t really
Too much of a fight
He just broke what was around
Told me I was no good
I kicked the wall
Hard as I could

And I threw down my stars
And I shouted at the night
Still I couldn’t get him
To do me right

So I hung it up
And went to the local bar
And then I drove around and around in my car
I used my smile
To fabricate charm

Now the remnants of my face
Can’t make him feel that way
It’s all that I was hoping for
It’s all that’s given way

What do you do
As your lover drifts away
drifts away

He always told me
I was depressed
My restless confusion
I admit I suppressed it to try to fit an illusion
Like a bird in a net
Trying to jump up and fly

I’m not sorry that I’m angry
I’m not sorry that I’m sad
I’ve got this beautiful fever
That needs some love so bad

Heading north to my freedom

Heading north to my freedom
Yeah it’s over
It’s over
Track Name: Heart in the Wreckage
HEART IN THE WRECKAGE

brother, your mercy
for the way I’m cryin'
seeking consolation

brother, your patience
in my hour of need
my children
are so far from me

brother your shoulder
and your even hand
when my body needs you
to be a man

brother your silence
and your listening
for the heart
in the wreckage

It doesn’t seem wrong
baby what’s love for
If it ain’t for this
I don’t want it anymore
You know I can’t be strong
Every single day
You got to hold the light
Until the darkness goes

brother, your anger
you can lay it down
my gentle tears
are no enemy

brother - stop yourself
from losing ground
and killing off
all that’s good in me

It doesn’t seem wrong
baby what’s love for
If it ain’t for this
I don’t want it anymore
You know I can’t be strong
Every single day
You got to hold the light
Until the darkness goes

brother, your words
they don’t know what they say
they find no peace
in their reckoning

and brother, I see him
he who knows the way
without his mind
to the heart
in the wreckage

It doesn’t seem wrong
baby what’s love for
If it ain’t for this
I don’t want it anymore
You know I can’t be strong
Every single day
You got to hold the light
Until the darkness goes
Track Name: Me, Myself and Moi
ME, MYSELF AND MOI

Baby I miss you, maybe it’s wrong
Days turn like pages, I write another song
Watch my well-laid plans turning to ash
All those letters thrown in the trash

I must be frickin' crazy – could it possibly be true
That my short term memory - remembers you?
I try to forget you and to push your love away
But all the things you told me that keep getting in my way

My efforts to resist failed - but don’t knock it
It’s tricky keeping rainbows in your pocket
So I reflect upon the things that I have done
And honestly assess the ass [nerd/dork] I have become

Baby I still miss you in the streets of the night
One foot in the gutter of a love that wasn’t right
Where you had my attention but I could not get through
Your distain like the rain – what’s a girl to do

I need a 12 step, two step
quarter sawn fix
or a savvy zen seduction
I need clickable buttons
and a 1-5 list of simple tips
and how-to instructions,
I need, I need, I need, I need baby
Some love from
Me, myself and me, myself and I (Moi)

Hey moi .. why don't you love me like I love you?

I got to care for something, deal with things I don’t like
My car’s broke down - but I can take a bike
I feel defiant, and so I will declare myself free
From every man who ever beat the shit [crap/tar] out of me

And I’m happy, I did the best anyone could
To satisfy and mollify and gratify and testify
and make the average man feel - pretty good!
Now if I could find one I understood

I need a 12 step, two step
quarter sawn fix
or a savvy zen seduction
I need clickable buttons
and a 1-5 list of simple tips
and how-to instructions,
Let’s see… what do I need … something …
Me, myself and me, myself and I (Moi)
Track Name: It's a Mystery
IT'S A MYSTERY

I’m stuck in middle
Of what you say
And what you are doing

Silence walks these rooms
Whistling a mindless tune
It's making me crazy

Eye to eye, fear to fear
When did you decide
To bury our love and hide

All that’s left are tears
I cry but no one hears
My broken voice won’t carry

Don’t let it be said
Your faith in me was blind
Don’t mix me up with any other person
Don’t tell it and slant it
The story’s still half mine
Now it’s time to put it to rest – it’s a mystery

All the words unsaid
Stuffed in my pillow
And underneath my bed

So so many candles burned
Useless pride don’t learn
My heart is angry with your head

Don’t let it be said
Your faith in me was blind
Don’t mix me up with any other person
Don’t tell it and slant it
The story’s still half mine
Now it’s time to put it to rest – it’s a mystery
Track Name: By the Minute
BY THE MINUTE

His garden of secrets
What he didn’t say
The half that went missing
The half he shrugged away

His hidden calculations
Working overtime through the night
He led me down to the land of the lonely – I’m lonely
Persephone, all right

Now fear controls the flow of information
When the things you say are coded to mislead
As courage dies, so revelation
This conversation is getting weird

Baby, I need an ordinary kind of sanity
Fresh air not vanity
Someone who wants the best part of me
Maybe my heart on a deep blue sea

Who thinks like a window
Who opens like a door
With an appetite for love who will always
Ask for more

But fear controls the flow of information
When the things you say are coded to mislead
And as courage dies, so revelation
This conversation is gettin’ weird
It's gettin' really weird

You know - he took exception
To my every one of my suggestions
He summed me up and spit me out
I was just a bad taste in his mouth

He kept asking what I needed
How many times did I repeat it
How many ways did he not listen
And keep on asking the same question

Because fear controls the flow of information
When the things you say are coded to mislead
And as courage dies, so revelation
This conversation is getting weirder

By the minute
By the hour
By the week, the month, the year
Enough to last me a lifetime
That's clear
Track Name: Let it Run
LET IT RUN

I got you in my heart, got you in my mind
Saw you at the show, you were looking fine
Gave you up for lost, sang until I screamed
Almost put the car over in a stream

One day I’d be sure you had noticed me
Next day it was her with you on T.V.
If I knew for certain, I could live my life
Be a better person, be a better wife

Take it on the chin, figure I’m insane
Got a little complex, got a twisted brain
Maybe I’m anemic, definitely strange
Surely not a stalker, possibly deranged

Lacking in composure, low in self-esteem
Looking for an outlet, living in a dream
One among the millions who have sung along
Learned all of the lyrics to your stupid songs

Baby I like that – you don’t have to try
Don’t think about it – baby - just fly
Don’t think about it – it’s already done
You just put it in motion - and let it run
Let it run

Well, I got myself a house (you would so love it)
I finished my degree (er, online … no, not music)
I ditched a couple losers, now I’m feelin’ free
(I'm actually kind of single right now)
I could do your dishes, I could haul your trash
( I love dishes … and trash?! and recyling … )
Recycle your plastic, you won’t have to ask (Never!)

You could introduce me (I'd love to meet them!)
to your favorite ex (… but I don't want to meet them all...)
I could introduce you (I have a really great dog)
to my dog - named Rex (Rex. He's my guy!)
Once you got to know us, you won’t be alone
(ah, I've got a dog, I got a cat …)
Just give me your number - I know you have a phone!

Baby I like that – you don’t have to try
Don’t think about it – baby - just fly
Don’t think about it – it’s already done
You just put it in motion and let it run
Let it run
Track Name: You'll Never Love Me
YOU'LL NEVER LOVE ME

Ice on the river
Throwing off heat
Road up the mountain
Frozen and steep
I remember when I met you
We laughed until we cried
Now I can’t forget you
Now I can’t forget you

Your house above the water
It nearly washed me down
I only wanted comfort
To lay you on the ground
Of course she didn’t like me
So easy on the eyes
I wanted her to trust me
I don’t know why I tried

And now I don’t know why I came
I guess I thought we were the same
Just sugar shackin’ in the rain
But you’ll never love me, you’ll never love me

I saw how much you loved her
I guess I loved her too
So I asked myself a question
What am I going to do?
I’m fueled by delusion
Yet I've never been so clear
I must retract my feelings
And quickly disappear

Oh, the lives that I could mangle
The things that I could try
Like thorns all in a tangle
And love would pass me by
I’m wondering what to pray for
Hey God, could you come down?
I need a little back up
Before I spiral down

Now I don’t know why I came
I guess I thought we were the same
Just sugar shackin’ in the rain
But you’ll never love me, you’ll never love me

I took a chance, is all I’m saying
And I'm not proud of who I’ve been
Gut reactin’ schemin’ prayin’
But you’ll never love me, you’ll never love me

Ice on the river
Throwing off heat
Road up the mountain
Frozen and steep
I can’t get to heaven
So I guess I’ll take this road
And pass on by your cabin
A carrying my load

I can't forget you
You'll never love me
Track Name: Talk to Me
TALK TO ME

I’m in the darkness, baby
In the darkness, baby
In the darkness, in the dark

I thought you were visible
But now I’m just miserable
And guessing’s not a game, it’s an art

You’re the man, you’re the man
The most relevant man, and
Not just a guy but a giant

You give me no peace,
no love, no release
I’m damaged and compliant

I ‘m sick of you not aware of anything
do you care -
I feel offended for starters

After all my scheming and the dreaming
like an idiot
No longer a woman, but a martyr

Didn’t I, diddle-e-di
spend it all getting high
you were the drug of my choice

well, trouble’s addictive
but kicking it’s wicked
like trying to yell with no voice

I said, talk to me
I said, talk to me
I said, talk to me
I said, talk to me

I’m in the darkness baby
In the darkness, baby
In a lonely empty space

You’re cynical & broken looping
what your mother did to you
And I’m the one with her face

gosh I tried – diddle-e-di
to be free and satisfy
but you did not want to continue

Tell me what’s the issue
I just really miss you
Was our first click a mistake?

Talk to me
Oh baby just talk to me
Oh baby just talk to me
Baby just talk to me
Track Name: When You Love Someone
WHEN YOU LOVE SOMEONE

In a church of dappled sunlight
You decide to go on living
When you love someone

Rain turns the river inside out
Hope returns to the broken heart
When you love someone

All the stray dogs come back around
and lost meadows of trust are found
When you love someone

You’ve seen it all - you know how to fight
But you don’t waste time or need to be right
When you love someone

But I fell so hard I got blinded
I should have taken my time
He told me that he loved me
Then he changed his mind
He led me to headwaters
And now I can’t come down
I’m wearing a thin blanket
And sleeping on the ground
How was I to know -
Your work is never done
When you love someone

The bright water, it flows through the timber
To a canyon floor of cold obsidian
When you love someone

The summits are clear of aspens and gin
And tenderness returns to your skin
When you love someone

You mend your fences where the air is sweet
And stand together in the face of the heat
When you love someone

The sky, the dirt, the seeds we sow
There’s nothing more for you to know
When you love someone

But I fell so hard I was blinded
I should have taken my time
He told me that he loved me
Then he changed his mind
He led me to headwaters
And now I can’t come down
I’m wearing a thin blanket
And sleeping on the ground
How was I to know -
Your work is never done
When you love someone
Track Name: Human of Peace
HUMAN OF PEACE

If you’re lonely
baby I hear you
If you’re locked out
baby I hear you
If you don’t have a voice
Baby I hear you
You are a human of peace

If you’re standing in the wings
Baby I hear you
If you dream with abandon
Baby I hear you
If your heart's worn out
Baby I hear you
You are a human of peace

If you’ve come to be someone
Baby I hear you
But you feel like no one
Baby I hear you
If you cannot forget
Baby I hear you
You are a human of peace

If you’re restless
Baby I hear you
If you’re beaten down but still you question
Baby I hear you
If you fly into the wind
Baby I hear you
You are a human of peace

up above the world
the stars are giving light
in the emptiness of night
they know the way
I’ll wait until I know
and only then my heart will show
in darkness, what it longed to say

If your passion pains you
Baby I hear you
If you can’t move forward
Baby I hear you
If the moon is your mistress
Baby I hear you
You are a human of peace

If you’re scared
Baby I hear you
If you wake in the night alone
Baby I hear you
If love is your sword
Baby I hear you
You are a human of peace

up above the world
the stars are giving light
in the emptiness of night
they know the way
I’ll wait until I know
and only then my heart will show
in darkness, what it longed to say
Track Name: As If Tears Could Say
AS IF TEARS COULD SAY

Stay with me
Don’t put it all behind
Gone are the days of our youth
Love is the house we built inside
The stars know how to climb
But when they fall – oh, how they shine
In your kiss, the endless sky
Little fool that I am, don’t cry
As if tears could say

Stay with me
Now in this final hour
Linger beyond the sun
Taste every drop of love’s sweet shower
Ask the clouds only to sigh
And clarity grow in your eyes
What is this, passion’s blade again
Cutting deep to complete its end
As if tears could say