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Classic Ballroom Dances

by New Dog

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about

Anar Badalov is New Dog, but Classic Ballroom Dances is no trick; this intimate and enthralling album is the next installment in the career of this promising young songwriter. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan in the 80s, Anar’s family immigrated to Baltimore, MD during the breakup of the Soviet Union. Anar grew up in Baltimore and was in two notable bands, Metal Hearts and Travels, between 2004 and 2014.

With the dissolution of Travels, Anar began working on his own for the first time. Classic Ballroom Dances, like the first New Dog album Lost Weekend, was recorded alone in his apartment. Anar describes the process: “Not having someone to lean on, musically, is both terrifying and doubly rewarding. You work at your own pace, and set your own rules.”

The title was inspired by the poem of the same name by Yugoslavian poet Charles Simic. Simic has said that list poems like Classic Ballroom Dances are “the poetic equivalent of quilt-making.” Long before Anar read this poem or heard of the poet, this was the way he approached songwriting. “I’d like to think that at least a handful of songs on this album capture something like what Simic is talking about,” he says. Simic is one of Anar’s biggest influences. Others include Lee Hazlewood, Frank O'Hara, Mark Linkous, John Berryman, Raymond Carver, Anton Chekhov, Townes Van Zandt and guitarist Mick Turner.

credits

released June 2, 2015

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about

New Dog Somerville, Massachusetts

new dog is anar badalov, publishing guy by day, amateur boxer and songscribbler by night; formerly of the bands metal hearts and travels.

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Track Name: Love
Love is spinning out of control.
I’m staring into that hole, that well.
I used to call up at the sight of the sun light.
At night, I was a dog, I was holding my breath.
Under the weight of the moon, I was dreaming my fate was running home to you.
Time stopped and left me reeling, leaning up against that cold, hard wall.
I used to call up at the sight of the sun light.
Track Name: Classic Ballroom Dances
I came out riding on a horse; I came back crying like a dog.
A hundred million people, all hungry for the same thing.
Families on vacation, basking in radiation.
Oh god, it feels so good to be coming home.
Whenever a debt deepens, a negotiation cheapens somewhere.
But there will always be summer if you can make it through the year.
I’m gonna try not to fall, it’s not easy at all.
I’ll think of something beautiful and free,
like classic ballroom dances in the apartment over me.
Slow waltzes, rambling, while I try to sleep.
I came out riding on a horse; I came back crying like a dog.
There will always be people, and there will always be you.
Track Name: The Airport Lobby
My files are corrupt, my answers are abrupt, think I’ve had enough.
There’s no telling how far those mountains really are when you’re watching from a car.
The highways are gonna cross in this dark, dark town, where things aren’t like they used to be—
handed down, down, down.
I’ve been going to the airport and watching landings from the lobby.
These days, I’ll take on anything you could call a hobby.
There’s no telling how deep I’m finally going to sleep when I find a way to keep everything in reach.
Track Name: 23
I was once 23, 24, 25 in love with the lives of people I didn’t know.
I was once standing in a crowd, standing very still, just trying to be seen.
Now there’s people that I trust and people that I don’t, friends I could call and friends who I won’t.
But I stopped twitching in my sleep. I’m not trying to become any part of your dreams or any part of my own.
Now there are places I could be, all these things I want to say, but they’ve been said for years,
and we all think them anyway.
Track Name: Hospital Nights
Machines are humming on by the beds of flowers.
Will you walk with me down these shady alleys?
TVs are turning on, turning into family,
creeping into dreams, where the rooms are carousels.
Track Name: Out of the Blue
I was just a suitcase, caught in the jaws of a carousel.
I’m unclaimed, I’m unnamed, I’m unchained, I’m afraid.
The fog is so heavy now, I don’t think I could see you if I wanted to.
If I ever hear your voice out of the blue, well that’s alright, it’s okay if you’re just passing through.
I’m unclaimed, I’m unnamed, I’m unchained, I’m afraid.
I’m unheard, I’ve unlearned every word you ever taught me.
Track Name: Dusklands
Would you look at me? Would you look at me, please?
Would you look at me when I’m talking?
I want to see you.
Don’t think about the fun you’re missing out on.
Trust me, it’s better this way—just you and me.
In my dreams, we’re floating on a barge of ice at dusk.
The ships are waving us in.
In my dreams, the time it tells me where I am, not where I need to be.
Would you look at me, please?
I want to see you.
Don’t think about the things we left behind.
It’s better that way.
In my dreams, we’re floating on a barge of ice at dusk.
The ships are waving us in.
In my dreams, the time it tells me where I am, not where I need to be.
Track Name: Fires
Sneakers on the wire in the moonlight signify the lives of the black and white
children chasing cars. Fires are burning in the stars.
There’s a wind blowing stronger; my lists, well they’re getting longer.
There’s a hot hiss interrupting my morning bliss.
Who’s gonna be the one to step out of time?
Gonna pack up all my things and move to the back of my mind, where the dreams go to sleep.
Sneakers on the wire in the moonlight signify the lives of the black and white
children chasing cars. Fires are burning in the stars.
TVs shine at midnight through the windows—lone scenes of lovers on bikes, strangers waving hello.
Mothers asleep in the glow.
Who’s gonna be the one to step out of time?
To step out of time.
Track Name: Big Night on the Town
When you called me, I knew we were alright.
It’s been a long, long time.
The neighborhood you knew when you were a kid—all the reds and the grays, they are rust, and the blueprints are dreaming.
It’s hard to devise goodbyes, I know, but it doesn’t have to be.
That diamond ring doesn’t mean a thing to me.
I’m just glad to be watching the lights in the buildings slowly shutting off with you.