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Back On Earth

By Arthur James

Born in Riverside, California, the oldest child in a military family, ARTHUR JAMES has been traveling all his life. His songs are the landmarks of his journey and they paint vivid landscapes of the many thousands of miles he’s seen in a struggle to find the meaning of ‘home’.

In 2012, Arthur found himself in Seattle, WA. He released an EP called The 4th Floor in 2014 comprised of songs written about his close friends lives and their real-life experiences. The 4th Floor was followed up with Anyway...Here's "Wonderwall" in 2016. This EP was inspired by Alan Lightman's novel, Mr g. After experiencing Lightman's finesse in describing what might have existed before the universe was created, Arthur wanted to try to write about just that - the absence of everything. The record includes a cover of the song, Liars, by Ron Scott which was made popular by Gregory Alan Isakov.

His new EP, Heckraiser, is now available. This album was written in an effort to further expand on Arthur's instrumental and vocal abilities. It was tracked in his home in Seattle, then sent to be mixed and mastered by Sean Downes in Minot, ND. Heckraiser includes a cover of Brittle Boned by Julien Baker and a song written specifically for his dad called Father's Size.

His lyricism lends to his patience and attention to the substance of every song, with nods to his influences, Gregory Alan Isakov, David Bazan, Beth Orton, Brandi Carlile, Dolores O'Riordan and John K. Samson.

Lyrics & Story

Lyrics & Music by Arthur James

back on earth, i drew flowers in the winter

hoping to find spring in a picture

it was all i could do with my time

before i had to leave

they lost me in the fog of the morning

throwing stones at the glory in bloom

frozen over, the clovers of autumn

the day i took my life

how we're all made of light and gold

how we run from the stories we're told

cautioning every breath

i knew love, understanding, and patience

though i faced them with eyes sewed shut

i can't tell you how badly i missed the mark

but that don't matter now

how we're all made of light and gold

how we run from the stories we're told

cautioning every breath

i remember looking up at this place

i remember overwhelming doubt

how we're all made of light and gold

how we run from the stories we're told

cautioning every breath

back on earth, i drew flowers in the winter

Track Credits

Arthur James - Vocals and Guitar

© Copyright Arthur James 2019

In 2018 Arthur James lost four people in his life. They took their own lives. These were not the first of this kind of loss he’d experienced. He doesn’t remember the number and its starting point now, but he says he’s built up an emotional callous towards it. Instead of the grief and the loss, he thinks instead about where these friends have gone after they leave us. Is it a heaven, a hell, a place in between, or a completely new life in some other universe?

Arthur said,

I watched a documentary on youtube some years ago. It began as something one might believe was about illuminati conspiracies. And it really swam in that hole for about 90% of the film. Then, at the very end, it took this crazy left turn into concluding that aliens (extraterrestrial life, little green ufo people, etc) were, in fact, demons from hell...

I laughed, I cried, etc.

Anyway, I remember thinking, like, "Well, what if that's it? What if aliens are us after we go? Like, we're just sent to some distant, unreachable place where we're afforded the means to visit ourselves and our families, past/present, here on earth, any time we wanted."

That's where this song lives. It's written from the perspective of an alien, explaining what his/her life was like on earth before they died. This alien, in particular, is someone that took their life, so there's some reflection/remorse/guilt in there somewhere.

No matter where we fall on the spectrum of belief in life after death, Arthur James’ voice and sentiment certainly captures the depth and resonance of that mystery.