from by The Calmative

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a 6 panel Digipack with artwork by Zac Travis. Includes lyrics and credits, as any musical document should.

    Includes unlimited streaming of How We Were Then via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days

      $10 USD or more 




There is a daughter of twelve years
a mother with dry tears no longer young
and there is a man in the corner
a husband and father
coming undone
smoking like a firing gun
blind as open eyes to the sun
smiling his mannequin smile
from the other side of the glass
that he’s hiding behind.

Daughter waits like a shadow
to wade in the shallow end of the room.
Mother loves her but wants her
to finish her homework.
She stays aloof
dealing the cards in her hand
holding her hand in her palm
there but not speaking a word
doubling down on her dime
cause she knows money talks.

And it’s a long way till a holiday.
Still her long face is always on.

Father notes from the corner
the distance between them
far wall to wall.
He shakes the drink in his right hand
stares at the amber waves in the glass
chimes of the ice ringing cold.
The lines around his eyes slowly fold.
He glows and his body grows old
too gone to mind
how the rest of the evening will go.

Daughter does her equations
reads through a chapter
looks up the words
in a thick dictionary
with bible-thin pages
easy to turn.
Twirling the curls of her hair
wondering why her father’s over there
when mother’s poker-faced in the chair
playing black jack all alone
like it was solitaire.

And it’s a long way till a holiday.
Still her long face is always on.


from How We Were Then, released April 27, 2014
Christopher Hughes - vocals, guitar, drums/percussion
Jordan Batson - banjo
Pablo Burrull - bass
Jayme Elterman - cello
Sarah Lynn Fisher - keys
Petra Kelly - violin
Ramon Muzquiz - drums (bridge)
Matt Shasteen - guitar



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The Calmative Denton, Texas

Originally conceived as a studio project, The Calmative mixes traditional songwriting and instrumentation with ambient noise, feedback and drone. It is the moniker of Texas-based songwriter Christopher Hughes, and features a revolving cast of musicians. Collaborators include members of Spooky Folk, Pageantry, and the Blurries. ... more

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