Accidental Crashes [Deluxe Edition]

by Thom Kunz & Joan Childress Wilkerson

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about

by Brian Tucker, StarNews

The third time’s the charm for musician/producer Thom Kunz and singer Joan Childress Wilkerson, who’ve written and recorded a new album, “Accidental Crashes,” and have a record release show Thursday, Dec. 14, at New Anthem Beer Project in downtown Wilmington.

Over the past two-plus years, Kunz has stayed busy writing, recording and producing material with multiple singers, including two full-length albums and two EPs. Kunz’s 2015 debut “Paper Brain” featured a handful of singers as well, with Wilkerson providing lead vocals on the concept album’s epic opener, “Cuts Like a Song.”

“Joan stepped in for many of those darker rock songs,” Kunz said. “I realized she was the kind of gifted singer who can inhabit a song, slip into its bones. It’s not about hitting all the right notes. It’s about being human, about feel and performance, about storytelling.”

Wilkerson has a rocker’s voice, heated and passionate, but her delivery on the more restrained material of “Accidental Crashes” lends additional layers of hurt and emotion.

“After our first session with ‘Cuts Like a Song,’ I knew we’d be just fine,” Wilkerson said. “We were able to have clear, direct communication without any insult. (At) the end of the project I remember looking at each other and being like, ‘OK, what’s next?’”

Wilkerson’s collection of damaged iPhones got things started. Collected in her Corolla’s center console, they held memories -- photos, voice mails -- she couldn’t access. Wilkerson wanted to make an album of six songs about six people from her life, all tied to the phones. Kunz produced Wilkerson’s 2016 debut, “iBreak iPhones.”

“Those phones she kept like a graveyard in her car,” Kunz said. “It was personal and autobiographical, I was so grateful she’d shared the idea with me. We’d already established trust as friends. After ‘Paper Brain,’ we’d found trust as artists.”

The new album, “Accidental Crashes,” is a mix of melodic and atmospheric songs. Some are quite direct, like the bittersweet “MichAgain,” whose melody Wilkerson sang into her phone for safekeeping while on a walk. On album closer “Out Loud,” Wilkerson rhymes “greener pastures” with “our great disasters” and expresses frank desperation when she sings, “Would you please get on that plane, because I still cannot say your name.”

Ideas grew from conversations about connections between men and women, and how relationships can unravel to reveal individual, damaged components when two entities stop functioning together. The idea of warped cassettes came to symbolize these thoughts. One rainy day, Kunz recorded an ambulance in the distance, knowing he would use it to open the record.

“I imagined someone walking away from the accident with cassettes, maybe from one of the cars,” Kunz said. “On them were stories. The album occasionally reminds the listener that he/she is sort of eavesdropping on someone playing them.”

It’s music with a sense of longing, and Kunz said that there are songs about affairs that need to end (“Contempt”); an abusive, co-dependent couple who can’t break up (“Home”); and the brave ones who find the courage to move on (“Out Loud”).

“The best connections are those beyond the obvious ones we initially intended,” Kunz said. “That’s one of the great unconscious things albums can do.”

credits

released December 13, 2017

Written by
Thom Kunz & Joan Childress Wilkerson
Produced and mixed by Thom Kunz
Mastered by Tom Scheponik

Recorded on S. Front Street,
Wilmington, NC
January – August 2017

Contact Thom:
thomkunzmusic@gmail.com
www.thomkunz.com
@ThomKunzMusic

Contact Joan:
jc.wilkerson@gmail.com
@the_enbrewsiast

Photo Credits:
Thom Kunz (cassette)
Mike Baxter (back & inner sleeve)
Layout and Design: O.E. Cunningham

Special thanks to:
The Alberts Family, Laurie Antonini,
Peter and Donna Antonini, Sparkly Asshole,
Charo and Mike Baxter, Kristen Bechtel,
Laurence Bergman, Caleb Churchwell,
Ben Coffman and the Boof, Teddy Durley, Nathaniel E. Hastings, Catherine Hawksworth, Rachel Holmes, Doug and Janice Kivett,
Tom and Rosie Kunz, Ron Kunz, Michael Luca, Lurve, Mary Jane Maharry, Mark Anthony Mueller, Mommabear and Daddio, Sam Schmitt,
Chris and Claire Stone, Kelly Sweitzer,
Justin Vanderlaan, Adrian Varnam,
Molly West, and all those who helped bring
this project to life.

ILMGROWN RECORDS 2017

My wife Liv for her love, brilliance, support, laughter, and friendship;
Ms. Roxy--plump, astute, feline
co-producer; Mike Ruwe for the
Ibanez summer loan;
Brian Tucker & The Star News;
Vittek Records, AT Radio, Metalhead Community, Leoswissradio, the staff at SongTradr; the CFWB family;
Charo & Mike Baxter for their artistry; Bradley Carter journals;
Master Audio Jedi Tom Scheponik;
David Wibert @ SolidMfg;
Mom, Dad, Rosie, John, Lanaya & Sammy; Rosanne Seasons 1-9;
Jack Daniels;
And to my sweet, badass friend Joan for her talent, bravery, and willingness to go on a journey.
- Thom


The Babe Brigade for their never ending support, love, and wine time;
Goose!, my patient flurf, endless fount
of laughter & calm;
Greg for simply being;
Liv--an unbelievable force of support, creativity, and warmth;
Mommabear & Daddio;
Charo & Mike Baxter for generosity
& mastering an ancient art;
my CFWB family;
Aaron & the New Anthem family;
Wilmington breweries for studio fuel; And finally, to my patient, warm,
easy-laughing friend, Thom,
for without you, no risks would have been taken and no rewards would have been relished.
- Joan

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about

Thom Kunz Wilmington, North Carolina

Thom Kunz is a musician and writer who lives in the coastal community of Wilmington, North Carolina.
thomkunzmusic@gmail.com

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Track Name: (Prelude)
Accidental Crashes (Prelude)

All the claims we made were broken.
Honesty will never clutch.
When we strip away these lies,
There’s nothing left to touch.
Track Name: Contempt
CONTEMPT

Crawl.
We never learned to walk.
Sold
A lie they never bought.
Control
Anything for you, my love.

Moral Suicide,
Oversimplified,
Nothing left to reconstruct.

Oh, did we call it love?
Did we fuck it up?
Symptomatic self-destruct

Wasting all of our potential,
A life so unessential,
Hold me in contempt.

Honesty alive,
Misidentified,
Pulled into this undertow.

Oh, Conversation dry,
Look away and hide
Like a rose of Jericho.

Wasting all of our potential,
A life so unessential,
Hold me in contempt.

Blinded, selfishly withholding.
The ending is unfolding.
Hold me in your arms.

(outro)
So alarmed.
So fucking charmed.
Our fears are gone.
Our fears are gone.
Track Name: Second Nature
Second Nature

I tempt the devil
To show me his face.
I can find him in his special hiding place.

Can you see the darkest light?
Dim as sin when burning bright.

I talk to strangers,
Push them in and pull them out.
I taste uncertainties and dreams inside my mouth.

I make you want me
When you’re lonely and afraid.
I bring you close enough and only make you beg.

Can you see the darkest light?
Dim as sin and burning bright.
Burning bright.

(Instrumental Break)

Can you see the darkest light?
Dim as sin and burning bright.
Come out and play.
Come out and fight.
Steal the sun, return to night.
Return to night

Only second nature.
Always second nature.
Calling second nature.
Loving second nature.
Track Name: Home
Home

We’re breaking furniture
We bought when we were sane.
Pointing fingers,
Perfect strangers drenched in blame.

Still, it feels like home.

Patience fading
As the fault lines begin to shake.
Sworn confession,
Crack a smile that yearns to break.

Still, it feels like home.

Moonlight highlight our regret.
Words we say and soon forget.
Still, it feels like home.

Daylight silence all our pain
Force ourselves to love again
Still, it feels like home

We would fracture all we’re after,
All the air we can breathe.

Eyes go lonely,
Mind go crazy,
Shiver sweet.

Amputating words
Before we learn to speak.

Still, it feels like home.

Colors find a way to bleed.
Use up everything we need.
Still, it feels like home.

Mirror hiding all we see.
Show us promise,
Set us free.
Still, it feels like home.

Loving taught us how to hate,
To destroy all we create.
Still, it feels like home.

Every time we say goodbye,
Nothing left to justify.
Still, it feels like home.
Track Name: Michagain
Michagain

If I could wait until tomorrow,
I would wait for you to say...
I'd stand my ground if you should ask me.
I'd tell you I don't want to stay.

So, I will go to Northern California,
And I will find my younger self in Michagain.
Do not make me remind you
That I warned ya,
That I will not be coming to this place again.

I've thrown away all this caution.
I've thrown away all control.
I saved up all my second chances,
So I can find a brand new home.

I can't promise I'll send postcards.
I can't promise anymore.
You had time, and I had patience.
You want nothing.
I want more.

So, I will go to Northern California,
And I will find my younger self in Michagain.
Do not make me remind you
That I warned ya,
That I will not be coming to this place again.
Track Name: Wastelands
Wastelands

A newsfeed delivers me a signed confession,
Burns with rage, unrelenting aggression.
Intellect crippled, a biased exchange,
I fantasize killing you.

Claws at the ceiling
When a heart stops beating at the bottom.

Flashing through the wastelands,
Find us a ticket to Graceland.

Racist, I knew you when we were sixteen,
Before our ideals could collide on the screen.
We’re no longer living in the same sane world.
I feel sorry for your children.

Imagine your life
On the wrong side of this hate machine.
Claws at the ceiling
When a heart stops beating at the bottom.

Flashing through the wastelands,
Find us a ticket to Graceland
Silently shifting, aligned on a path,
Constricting.

Would you believe the truth?
Could you believe the truth?
Would you believe the truth?
(Could you believe?)

Recover and heal from this social affliction.
Swallowing hate is a pointless addiction.

Claws at the ceiling
When a heart stops beating at the bottom.

Flashing through the wastelands,
Find us a ticket to Graceland.
Silently twisting, aligned on a path,
Conflicting.
Sadly said, the world is dead,
And I don’t want to try and get ahead
By myself.
Track Name: A Place for Odds & Evens
A Place for Odds and Evens

Purity and grace run out of style
Ignorance and hate begin to smile
No more hiding the ugly truth
Worshipping with insubstantial proof

Is it delusion that you crave?

Lock them out. Let the right ones in
Dizzy as the lies begin to spin
All our friends we once respected
Rally behind a child they fucking elected.

Is it delusion that you crave?

Truth so false and obsolete
Life is full, so incomplete
Tell me, where’d you learn to think?
So fucked, so warped, so out of sync
Racist, sexist, piggy boy
Skin so thin, the world your toy
Monster, should I be afraid
For the ending of our days.

An emergency to find
A place for us to love before we die

(Instrumental break)

(outro)

Holding hands
We stand and face the great divide,
A place to say the words
We kept inside.

Will we ever find a way to compromise?
A place for odds and evens to unite?

We are wide awake, deliver us before we break,
A place to find forgiveness for our mistakes.

On the blackest night,
The echo of our battle cry,
A place for you and I before we die.
Track Name: Turn Back
Turn Back

Someone showed me how to run
From the parts we’re playing,
We overstayed our welcome.

Someone stole away our fun.
Impossible, we follow you,
An apostle.

They took everything we stole.
They took all our self-control.

We start to laugh
Like it’s the first time,
Staring at the last time,
Fading.
No turning back.

Someone taught us how to lie
For our own protection,
Deception,
Our affection.

Someone said we’d never die,
But we blew our chances
Before our dance was over.

They took everything we stole.
They took all our self-control.

We start to laugh
Like it’s the first time,
Staring at the last time,
Fading.
No turning back.

We come together
When we’re torn apart,
Another perfect false start.
No turning back.

(Instrumental break)

We start to laugh
Like it’s the first time,
Staring at the last time,
Fading.
No turning back.

Drove away
Into the fog,
And we’re burning
All our photographs.
No turning back.
Track Name: More
More

How do we know when to cut it off?
We’re losing years.
Words float out of our mouths
Into comic strip bubbles.

We don’t understand
What’s holding us back.
You want nothing.
I want more.

How do we learn to correct a mistake?
Forgiveness never measures.
Hollow point. Shallow break.
All that truly matters to you.

We hold back our dreams.
We blame to gratify.
You want answers.
I want more.

Communication breakdown,
Blood beneath our battleground
You want payback.
I want more.

Sometimes we feed
On a lethargic revolution.
Sometimes we feel
Like we’re the problem
And the solution
To our pain.

How do we know when we’ve said enough?
We’re in need of some convincing.
Say our prayers,
Sing our psalms,
To a God who’s never listening for free.

Eyes will break a stare
We’re taking on too much.
You’re getting tired.
I can tell.

When there’s nothing left to say,
We’ll be sharpening our tongues.
So, take care.
Goodbye.
Track Name: Accidental Crashes
Accidental Crashes

All the words we found were stolen,
Pushed away, a loving shove.
When our teeth lose all their bite,
Will we hate enough to love?

Face without a name.
Can’t accept the blame.

Memories burn to ashes,
Glowing in the sky above.
These accidental crashes
Marching to their drums.

Eyes without a face.
No one left to trace.
Tell us what to feel.
Please, tell us what is real.
Track Name: Out Loud
Out Loud

When you leave,
If you leave,
Please take every single piece.
Pry them from my tired hands
When you leave, dear.
If you leave.

Did you hear me?
I spoke softly.
I was whispering.
I was scared.

Would you please get on that plane,
Cause I still cannot say your name.

When you go,
If you leave,
Don’t look back.
Don’t look at me.
Cast your glance
Toward greener pastures.
Don’t think of our great disaster.

Did you notice I was patient?
Eyes closed so tight,
Breathing prayers.

Would you please get on that plane,
Cause I still cannot say your name.
Would you please get on that plane,
Cause I still cannot say your name
Out Loud.

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