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 




In the afternoon we came to
like a knot around a rope:
never come undone but only loose
until we tightened and we choked.
There was a warning sign
in her smile to me
a memory of her father
as he sipped from empty dreams.
I could see
she wasn't clean.
When I entered through the door
she took me all the way
into that same room
where as a child she used to stay.
I could still recall
the bottle like a vase
that held her yellow rose
its petals in decay.
It seemed to me she was the same.

She was there and I could see her
like a fracture in a view:
everything was there but misaligned.
We were the lines of my confusion.
Life is never heavy when you're free
but you can't be alive
when you ain't got the gravity.
How else could we be?
Life got heavy when her parents passed away
on that midnight road
just off the interstate.
They were coming home.
They were never out so late.
Now I've come home too
to a town never awake
to a girl caught up in fate.

In the afternoon I was dressed
to the nines at her door
in a suit and tie that I thrifted
but nobody would known
holding in my hand a yellow rose
and a plastic jug of vodka
like the ones we used to hold
to our lips out in the cold.
We were younger then.
We gambled with ourselves.
We were not the only ones
to raise some hell.
Back then I could tip
a bottle in the air.
Back then she could slip
a throttle into gear
without any fear.

I wasn't who I used to be
but I was what I always was.
I was always hearing for the sound
always reaching for the touch.
When she pressed herself to me
I could feel her tremble
like a wave out of the sea
how it breaks and then recedes.
I tried to still her.
She was hard
and hardly there.
I told her I was home.
I wasn't going anywhere.
I asked her if she had
an extra bed to spare.
"Follow me," she said.
"You can lie down anywhere.
But leave your baggage over there."


from How We Were Then, released April 27, 2014
Christopher Hughes - vocals, guitar, percussion
Pablo Burrull - bass
Hillary Early - pedal steel
Sarah Lynn Fisher - keys
Petra Kelly - violin, vocals
Mark Moncrief - guitar
Ramon Muzquiz - percussion



all rights reserved


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

contact / help

Contact The Calmative

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code