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GUV I

by Young Guv

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1.
trust me you don't wanna touch me you will lie and say you love me i wanted to be the new light in your life trust me you don't wanna love me i tried my best to tread lightly i never wanted to ruin your fantasy theres a secret runnin' through my ear i am rocky waters and you are crystal clear i can hear the whispers baby all these secrets drive me crazy colours shift between the shading i can see patterns prevailing
2.
Roll With Me 02:32
i can't place who you are so familiar and brand new what is it that you've got so effortlessly cool you don't have to look at all ya why would you anyways all i wanna do is talk i just don't know what to say and you can write me back someday all i have is time to wait but i can't wake up in my bed alone another day roll with me and step out i'll die without you around i am happy to just follow and surrender to the sorrow roll with me and step out i can't place who you are so familiar and brand new what is it that you've got so effortlessly cool none of this is real at all i watch you like a cartoon and i feel like the biggest fool trying to impress you
3.
i wish to pick you every flower i see and before you leave (please) just let me walk you to your door and i, i wish to walk with you down every street so simply i remember everything you've ever worn (so don't go now) cuz I've only just begun to get to know you and i can think of all the fun that we'd be having do you ever watch the clouds while remembering me sometimes i really don't believe you wanna hang with me are you just lonely or maybe i should give a little more and I, i sit and watch the gardens turn from green to blue thinking about you i don't know if i have felt this way before
4.
Luv Always 02:59
I'm tired of playing along tired of pretending I'm strong i haven't been home in a year so something must be wrong broken time like cracking clay and i don't know where I'm falling from in a while love always as i lie under the fiery sun ya its time to separate and reflect on whats to come you're out of work and broke lifes the biggest joke we;ve got nothing left and the wind don't even blow we've got no story to tell we're all in the same hell and I'm not afraid to admit that baby I need help
5.
everybody seems to be going through some things from what i've seen i'm feeling it bad today I'm not myself today so maybe when you see me later we could just lie together cuz I've got something on mind (i didn't even cry) i feel so terrified (i didn't even cry) how about u i'm just a stereotype with these gloomy thoughts in my mind we could walk around sometime ( didn't even cry) untangle all the knots from our spine (didn't even cry) hows that sound 2 u everybody seems to be going through some things from what i've heard how do you make things work for you how do you take all the bad news so go easy on each other i can't even cry but i wanna cuz I've got something on mind (i didn't even cry) i feel so terrified (i didn't even cry) spiralling down the slide (i didn't even cry) how do u do
6.
looking through a telescope at a letter in an envelope i can't make out what she wrote i guess i will never know like a precious stone high on my mind sitting on her throne high on my mind eyes of indigo high on my mind lying on the river bed her hair just like unwinding thread she swims up stream no place to be then she floats down peacefully
7.
reality is not my thing it exists so we can escape it how far can i go and what will it bring if i stop now i might never shake it and i don't care if life stays blue i guess this is just what i'm going through if i could tear myself away and end up in another place i might not be so sick of you how familiar a sensation it exists for me to escape it how exceptionally ordinary have all my thoughts recently become and i don't care if life stays blue i guess this is just what i'm going through pumping seeding sinking feeling
8.
i gave up thinking no search in mind don't get too clever now they'll easily find something wrong with you and say this is the only way you'll be alright don't look back at her you don't remember it anyways and things were just the same as they were in those days you're just a little older now you're not the only one whose fading out you're fading out

about

Young Guv is Ben Cook.

Ben Cook is a songwriter, a dedicated and prolific songwriter of rare talent. The real deal.

In the summer of 2018, he moved from his Toronto home to a sublet in Brooklyn, and there he began writing some of the best songs of his life.

GUV I, out on Run For Cover in August, is a collection of pop music — staggeringly poignant and infectious pop music — written and recorded by Ben Cook throughout that New York City summer.

* * *

Think of the contemporary guitar music that’s meant something to you in the last 18-odd years. Ben Cook has probably had something to do with making it or influencing it. Think of No Warning, which he’s fronted since he was in high school in the ’90s, who pioneered a self-aware, intertextual, and technically adept style of New York hardcore that has became a subgenre unto itself, dominating scenes all over the world for close two decades and counting. Think of Fucked Up, for which he’s played guitar since 2006, the aesthetically omnivorous, thematically ambitious punk-rock-deconstructing band-like entity that, unlike the bulk of their contemporaries in the late-2000s festival-circuit indie-rock boom, no one is ashamed of having associated themselves with. Think also of his behind-the-scenes presence, the co-writing and production work he’s done for a host of artists at all levels of renown (some of the names would surprise you).

But, for all that, the only place to hear music that belongs entirely to Ben Cook — music that comes into the world owing nothing to a bandmate or a client or a genre convention, whether affectionately observed or mordantly subverted — has been under the umbrella of Young Guv, or Young Governor, or Guv, or whatever he may at any given time have been calling the vehicle that, since 2008, has delivered a steady supply of singles and EPs, plus two previous full-lengths. Sometimes Young Guv songs have guitars and British Invasion harmonies; sometimes they have synths and modulated voices. But always they have choruses you’ll never forget and lyrics whose dry wit and acute depictions of intense human feeling never fail to knock you flat.

* * *

Ben Cook doesn’t like talking about his music but he understands it. “To me Young Guv songs are like people-watching in a foreign country in the morning,” he says, ever the master of the vivid metaphor. “I’m there and I’m trying not to cry from the overwhelming feeling of sadness and happiness.”

As it happened, when the new songs started coming in May 2018, Ben was in a foreign country, albeit one — the U.S.A. — where he knew his way around, and could speak the language, observe local custom, and blend in, effectively disappearing, into the streetscape, into thoughts and longings, and, inevitably, back into his Brooklyn apartment (he had to be close to the New Jersey studio where he was producing the new Terror record) in the confines of which he wrote a song every single day. The daily pattern of hard-won creativity borne of observing eternal, mysterious patterns of human behaviour, his own and everyone else’s, yielded the penetrating theme of the album’s opener, “Patterns Prevail”: “All these secrets drive me crazy,” sings Aurora Shields, Ben’s frequent collaborator. “Colours shift between the shading / I can see patterns prevailing.”

People-watching in a foreign country. Another way of putting that would be to say that Young Guv songs are about being alone. As the years have passed, as material and social conditions have conspired to make everyone feel increasingly alone, Ben has built a Guv discography out of invoking the desolation that arises when you’re isolated in physical and mental space but surrounded nonetheless by millions of other isolated, solitary people, literally any one of whom you could, for all you know, love with all your heart for the rest of your life, but almost none of whom, you’re forced to admit, will become anything more than a briefly transfixing stranger, at best a wraith that recurrently haunts your dreams. Ben encapsulates the vicious cycle on “Roll Wit Me”: “I can't place who you are / So familiar and brand new / What is it that you've got / So effortlessly cool / You don't have to look at all / Ya why would you anyways / All I wanna do is talk / I just don't know what to say / But I can't wake up in my bed / Alone another day.”

Ben calls GUV I, the new album, “a little ode to the place that blessed me such love and inspiration to create so many songs I felt comfortable sharing with everyone.” The city told him, in its aloof way, that a great record was waiting to be written and, most important, to be offered like a bouquet of flowers to the people of the world, in a humble act of love and communion. Ben’s been a true songwriter long enough to have recognized, and heeded, the coded command when it came. He’s since moved back to NYC and plans to stay awhile.

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released August 2, 2019

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