In the Long Light of the Failing Sun

by soft idiot

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Here is a record about change. The ways we want to grow and the ways we actually grow.


released January 18, 2019

Written, recorded, and mostly performed by Justin Roth in some houses and apartments

Mike Whalen- bass on tracks 8 and 11, guitar keys and singing on track 10
Liam Mckenna- trumpet on tracks 3 and 8

Mixed by Justin Roth
Mastered by Terrin Munawet @GBMystical

Photography by Casey Mckenna

Cicada Choir 2019


thank you sagar, my rock


all rights reserved



soft idiot Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

squeak your sallow will from your swollen windpipe:
i've lived all my life and am afraid to die!

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Track Name: You'd Grow Gills
can you let your body go?
can you look down from above and watch it float?
can you feel it in you still-
if you swim for long enough, you'd grow gills!

(i will make the words up as i go
from feelings stranded in my throat

do you feel a swelling change?
is it drowning rising up to crash like waves?
but it's pain that you must know-
it's feeling you will fight til you grow
(i will carve my place out in the sand,
be swallowed up beneath the wind)

Track Name: Concession, Pt. 2
and i watched the sky burn up your hair
such great light exploding east
devouring buildings in the blast
and i saw the unforgiving black
caught mouthful, choking on bones
coughing up crumbs like a starving dog

well do you hunger at all?
is there a pit there in the bottom of your belly
that rips you open? that leaves you fearful?

and i felt my eyes dissolving west
in a godless sky, a thoughtless wretch-
i thought myself only less

well do you hunger at all?
is there a pit there in the bottom of your belly
that rips you open? that leaves you fearful?

because you and i are a lifetime of not wanting to die
and not getting what we want
Track Name: Constant Death
oh constant death-
are you alive in me?
are you trying to see over my head?
and in my chest-
is it my air you breathe?
is it my lungs you squeeze to leave me dry and dumb?

to all the oceans there unfolding
you spend me sprawling out and holding
torn up treasure maps-
their holy light spots on the floor
but every compass held is faulty
and every magnet lies down buried
under dinosaurs and legends at the bottom of the earth
there is no hell

there's rising pine trees and stone walls splitting sight lines
pink of sky and snowy sunlight
it's everything that i exist by
nervous shaking and chronic pain
of bony skin in cabin laid
a mind at work against a body

o constant death!
you are alive in me!
you are moving my feet up ahead!
to the next
thing i'll fear today,
for all it's beauty and pain!
i watch you cradle up the sun and fall asleep!
Track Name: Darkness, Yeah
looking up, we thought we'd see the sun
and be swallowed up by the moving light and warmth
you'd see your bags by the door
though you don't live here anymore
you'd find unfamiliar comfort in the walls

but you're still here and throwing heat across
the absent plane of everything you've lost
it is real and it warm
but you can't stay there for too long
as it chews away at subway lights and breath

but im not scared
im not scared
im not scared
im not scared

and letting go of everything i love-
the creature comforts and old consuming thoughts
and all the people that i know- do our bodies really float?
i want nothing, i want to know what remains!

(hungry nothing lives with memory)

but im not scared
of static in the air
of drowning waves
of anything

(you're lying!)
im not scared!
(you're lying!)
im not scared!
(you're lying!)
im not scared!
(you're lying!)
im not scared!
Track Name: I Want Anything
i want anything
i want to hold on
to my beating heart
and all the things i love that lie somewhere beyond

i am holding on
my knuckles white and sore
nails dig into palm
to scrape away at things that can't be seen or held

you're not gonna like this
such a striking likeness
in the face you see behind the bar
and in the dark reflection of the hour

i am walking home
to an empty room
crush between the particles of air
i find the things that i will hold

i can't see you like this
your features flick a lightswitch
the particles of air inside my head
just rearrange and fall apart
Track Name: There's Always Sun in Someone's Eyes
saw you struggle to light a cigarette
with your hand cupped tight and your eyes all wet
you flicked a flame that wouldn't catch
subtle shakes, the wind too fast

tree roots crumbling concrete up
and lung pushed leaves through lazy streets
the sun sets so much later now-
you cannot run from the day!

In the Long Light of the Failing Sun
you trace your shadow on the wall
its reach escapes your arms
it stretches up to stars

you fall asleep in the growing dark
gorging dawn, the sun, and stars
swelling through the window pane
sweeping up the glass it breaks

it wraps so tight around your chest
holds you like a tiny death
and bubbling up, your belly bursts
and you fall asleep

the terrible greatness of the day
goes far beyond our sight line
it's painful light, it's perfect life
it's all that you exist by

there's always sun in someones eyes!
you cannot live if you refuse to die,
and i refuse to die
at least i'll try
Track Name: The Swelling Sea
Track Name: Rear Your Ugly Heads
o cerberus-
rear your ugly heads so i may cut them off!

you gave up the coastline to go and wallow in the sea
but you found yourself despondent when your boat- it sprung a leak
so you swam across the spawning waves, decidedly out of reach
youve got blisters on your fingers, you've got sores on your teeth
swallowing saltwater and bottle maps hiding all the keys
the gills you thought you'd have grown by now are nowhere to be seen
now you're tired from the swimming, maybe you should just be dead-
you've got sores on your teeth and a hole in your head!

o hopelessness-
rear your ugly heads so i may cut them off!

i gave up a sure thing to wallow in myself
to wander open-chested through a soft and flowered field
but on no bright horizon can i see the break of trees
there's nowhere else to go if i ever want to leave!
so i am floating through the tallest grass on the comfort of these clouds
enamored in the things i want but could never say out loud
growing resentful of the softest life that could brush across my hand-
what good is all this grass when i can only dream of sand!

o restlessness-
rear your ugly heads so i may cut them off!

well giving up the raging sea to swallow your pride and float
can seem an awful challenge but, sailor, you see you've got no boat
you must wash upon the shoreline lost among the sand
you will tear off all your blisters, plug the hole up in your head!
i will grow up my own treeline with a handful of soggy seeds
i will abandon the field and flowers- the fake things i thought i'd need
but everything still feels the same and i see where my fingers have bled
as i look around and lift my hand i feel the sand-filled hole-in-head!

o cerberus-
rear your ugly heads so i may cut them off!
Track Name: The Thunder Sang Along
i sang a song
the thunder sang along
it bellowed louder than i could
when i opened my mouth
so i screamed loud
but still my voice was drowned
i saw futility in fighting
the cavernous sound

maybe that's a lesson
that i am not the thunder
and i'm not the ground

i exist between these things
i am not the rain that falls and floods my home
but here i float
growing gills i hope
i just want to change the thing i am
i want to be alone

i want to be something
that can love and have a meaning

something more than just a living
between the ground and rain
a feeling exploding out inside a chest
greater than life, acquiesced
i wanna scream so loud!

so i sang a song!
the thunder sang along!
so i raised up my battered lungs
til my voice blew out!
but the noise went on!
and in it thunder drowned-
i became familiar with a thing i always felt
Track Name: Concession, Pt. 3 / The World's Yawn
o swelling gray cloud giving way to rain
i left my house then, my car had washed away

you spoke in sunlight there
it's beaming fingers through your hair
i felt myself strain to speak
"i love you" came out soft i think
ooh hooo

i felt it all around
the moving sunlight, the cold that stilled my throat

i hung in silence there
the words i thought i'd spoken clear
obscured by jaws escaping gasp
the world- it yawns and i breathe back
ooh hooo
ooh hooo



open your coat to allow in the cold!
feel the world's great yawn!
(it's terrible blow!)

the constant death, the sand-filled hole,
the gills you thought you'd grow-
you may know the size
but never the scope!

your long light fails with the sun!
Track Name: Storm Cloud
ship all of your problems out to sea
forget all of the words and what they mean
stay there and i'll be there eventually
you're not a storm cloud, you're a human being!

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