Locust Avenue

by Nettles

  • Pre-order of Locust Avenue. You get 3 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it's released.

    Includes a pdf of album art, lyrics, and liner notes.
    releases 03 February 2015

     $8 USD  or more


  • Poster/Print

    The definitive physical format of Locust Avenue: a high-quality 12X12" print of the album art on 130# stock paper, complete with lyrics, liner notes, and a download code on the reverse. Hang it on your wall, or store it with your vinyl.

    Welcome the end of the CD age, and help us usher in a new, less wasteful, more meaningful alternative for experiencing an album physically. If you don't care about all that, fair play to you; think of it as the world's largest download card. A marvel and an oddity worth exploring either way, wouldn't you say?

    Comes with free download of album when released on Feb 3. First edition limited to 300 hand-numbered copies.
    shipping out on or around 30 January 2015
    edition of 300 

     $15 USD or more


(free) 04:08
Body Inside Out
Locust Avenue
The Quarry
The Knot
Rogue Body
Pyramid of Skulls


The majority of Locust Avenue was recorded during a four-day session in the summer of 2013 at Montana, a farmhouse in Waynesboro, VA graciously lent to us by Tommy and Kemp Hill for the price of a six-pack of Heineken. We recorded six people’s parts during this time, occasionally breaking for a swim in the river, to sleep for a couple hours, or to free a car hopelessly stuck in the mud. Additional recording sessions took place throughout 2014 in my home in Charlottesville, VA and Edd Kerr’s home in Durham, NC. The players were:

Guion Pratt - acoustic guitar, vocals
Christopher Campanelli - electric and acoustic guitar, vocals
Juliana Daugherty - Irish and concert flutes, vocals
Sam Bush - keys, vocals
Michael Coleman - percussion
Brett Jones - electric bass
Joseph Dickey - upright bass
Daniel Levi Goans - piano, shouting

Nettles has at various times also been fortunate to include the likes of Travis Smith, Dhara Goradia, Scott Ritchie, Sam Cushman and Chris Gelb, each of whom have left their mark on these recordings.

Locust Avenue was produced by Daniel Levi Goans, engineered and mixed by Edd Lee Kerr, and mastered by Jason Richmond, all of whom deserve a raise. Matt Kleberg and Elizabeth Stehl Kleberg used to come to our shows and then we’d go drink mirthful quantities of beer and talk about art. I’m pretty sure they introduced me to Cézanne’s skull studies which got “Pyramid” in motion. Matt and Liz collaborated on the collage image which serves as the album artwork. Matthew "Whale" Smith laid out the liner notes.

You don't really need to know this, but there are some nods throughout to Seamus Heaney, Jørgen Leth's "The Perfect Human," Maya Deren's "Meshes of the Afternoon," and less subtly, Paul Cézanne and the inimitable (trust me, I tried) Tennessee Williams. And probably some others. Lulu Miller made an excellent radio piece about locusts which inspired the title track. The Radiolab podcasts are responsible for many of the more sci-fi-ish images.

We wanted this record to sound like the rooms we made it in. There are faint glimmers of the traditional Irish folk Juliana and I started playing together 6 years ago, but mostly we've worked on crafting arrangements that are impressionistic of what is happening in the lyrics at any given time, while doing our best to keep the tools minimal and consistent. So I guess what I mean is, even at our loudest, what we're trying to give you is the songs. I hope that comes across.

And you know, that you like it.



releases 03 February 2015

All songs by Guion Pratt, all rights reserved.
© & ℗ 2014 Lapsang Records (ASCAP)



all rights reserved


feeds for this album, this artist
Track Name: Annuals
I used to drive a lot.
Thought I had vision beyond.
I am older now.

I am older now,
and I watch my dreams turn
to fit in your house.

But I am distractible still—
(how to make you see reason?)
You gotta sow me each season.

Summer comes around and the town thins out.
Autumn comes around and the work dries up.
Winter comes and the apples fall.
Spring hardly comes at all.

You gotta sow me each season;
I will not come back on my own.

With patience,
you might see the pitch drop.*
Or with great focus,
dandelion through the blacktop.
Or you might leave my orbit
to visit any other moon.

Don't be gone too long; don’t come back too soon.
I gotta sow you each season.

Wooly bear on the porch in the morning,
leopard moth on the sill at night.
The Rappahannock is a river in Virginia
and the ocean is where rivers go to die.

You gotta sow me each season;
I will not come back on my own.
Track Name: Brando
She came without calling ahead.
I slept on the floor and the girls shared the bed.
(Fair play.)

You promised she'd only stay a few days,
Then it's back to her country house two states away.
But they sent me a letter
that said she's not welcome there anymore.

I've been checking on my sources,
And the general report is
She's fond of lighting torches
And blowin' 'em out.

All the gossip on the porches
And the talk in all the churches
Is white as a forest of birches—
drier than drought,
loud as a shout,
empty as doubt.

You sing when your spirits are sunk;
I like to sit in the dark and get drunk.
(Fair play.)

I came home late, wasn't looking to fight,
still I ran your poor sister out into the night.
But I was all thunder, no lightning.
(All bark and no bite.)

This city's got alleys, side streets, and dead ends,
but they hid all the highways to keep us all in,
stuck in the slums with your kin...

… who puts drapes on the lamps
and takes bath after bath
like the world is her raincloud,
her faucet and tap!
Her own private ocean,
and we're just swimming laps!

Well, the ocean will have what it craves;
I'll win your love or roll you in my waves.
And you say you don't mind when it rains?
I'll blot out your sunlight and swallow your planes!

I threw the radio
(my first mistake),
then my hands got to flailing,
caught you in their wake.
You cried and composed yourself,
counting to ten,
while I begged from the street
for you to let me back in!

Now I sit on the curbside and cuss—
I ain't the mountain I thought that I was.
(Fair play.)
Track Name: Paw
Out of the need to make a light
(a sentinel heat dispersing the night)—
we marveled proud at a burn so bright.
(The oil leaking disregarded.)

What didn't catch when the lantern flashed
wept for the half that had turned to ash
and the singed forest of your body wretched
for its wholeness, now departed.


One for the hike, two for the road
three little pumps make it overload.
Four for the tackle and five for the code.
(All the courage he could gather.)

One on the match, two on the lead,
(three whole weeks in a hospital bed!)
four: St. John’s wort, waking the dead,
and the skin going hard as leather.

Half out of you, half out of us
(half ever more cadaverous).
Some out of pig flesh, some out of dust
will put you back together.