Things Fall Apart

by Jonathan Vassar and The Badlands

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Buckle Down 03:34
Anna has it in for me, she won’t even look my way. i should leave well enough alone i guess -- unless that’s a mistake. we pull off on the shoulder just below the county seat. she's asks him if he'll hold her and he turns to look at me. we merge back on the main road seatbelts across our chests. we start to count the mileposts and state plates as they pass. Anna turns on the radio. i tell her turn it off. she keeps it on, turns it up and starts to sing along: “sometimes it’s better to surrender depending on who’s around from here on out we better buckle down.” that’s what will keep us together. somehow things will just work out.
that long road leads through the foothills of the blue ridge mountain range. over shenandoah, straight through west virginia, where they’re calling out our names. i better keep on driving on. every turn i see just leads down some lonesome road, some winding road. late at night drifting over the boundary of the road. driving on for miles onto guarded arms we hold, at least for awhile. i don’t know what i believe. what i know isn’t what it used to be. i keep my eyes on the horizon that has always guided me.
walk me through how you do this, and i’ll follow step by step. wait for me before you take the lead, and maybe I’ll end up where i’m led. it’s a matter of trust that’s what i talk about when i talk about us. wherever you go i go. that’s just how we get along. i’ll stay close behind until you’re too far gone and there’s nothing left to discuss. there are no two ways about it. there’s only straight ahead. am i wrong about how long we can go on like this? when is enough enough?
I found my keys next to the letter you sent and a picture of us when we were kids. your arm around my shoulder like you always did. I’m a wreck and you’re smiling. you wrote to me about how it’s hard to see beyond those you love too much to leave. it’s hard to guard against everything. everything falls apart eventually. when things fall apart, don’t let it harden your heart. i want to know how you’re holding up. it’s been awhile we’ve been out of touch. whatever i say i know it’s not enough. Like “you can count on me when it comes to us.”


Buckle Down (Patton / Vassar)
Keep on Driving (Hunnicutt / Vassar)
What I Talk About When I Talk About Us (Patton / Vassar)
Harden Your Heart (Patton / Vassar)


released December 31, 2016

Curtis Wayne Patton: pedal steel
Jonathan Cullen Vassar: vocals, guitar
Kevin Wade Inge: keys, vocals

Recorded + Mixed by Allen Bergendahl at Scott's Addition Sound Richmond, VA, 2015-16.
Mastered by Joshua Quarles.

Leaf print by Christina Gleixner

As always, a special thanks to our families for putting up with it.
Dedicated to Salvador Rose.


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Jonathan Vassar Richmond, Virginia

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