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Out To Sea

by Chris Orrick

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about

Let’s offer a toast to the return of Chris Orrick, rap’s poet laureate of imperial decline. It’s springtime in the dystopia, the birds are coughing up blood, the bees are dying at an alarming rate, and Michigan’s most acerbic misanthrope has emerged from winter hibernation with a clutch of doomed stanzas about cold pizza and liver destruction. His latest for Mello Music Group, Out to Sea, might not be easy listening, but it’s impossible to ignore.

Consider Orrick the wry heir to the morbid humor of Mitch Hedberg, the barfly blues of Charles Bukowski, and the caustic rust belt satire of Michael Moore. He’s an iconoclast from a proud tradition—a thoughtful and sensitive realist who uses laughter as a way to stifle the tears. The album begins with an act of contrition: a disembodied voice shakily addresses an audience: “if I brought you down, thank you very much for showing me where I’m at. I guess I don’t really have much more to do.”

But it’s more than words, as it usually is. The voice wobbles into a weird space, trembling and swaying, unsure whether it’s about to crack up or weep inconsolably. The audience doesn’t seem to know what to do—nervously giggling and half-groaning. Then he continues, “if you don’t want me to continue then I guess I won’t.” Before it fades out, he again adds, “thank you for showing me where I’m at.”

It’s testament to Orrick’s self-lacerating genius that he can’t offer anything less than uncomfortable, sliced-to-the-marrow honesty. This is where he’s at and there is never a second of subterfuge. He will be the first to call himself a drunken, overweight Midwesterner riddled with social anxiety, consumed by fear and loathing, whose primary gift and weapon is writing songs and tape recording them.

If it hurts to listen to this record, it should. It’s an anvil-split hangover, a brutal unflinching document of a 30-year old man terrified that these words could be his last. He’s watched too many friends die young of heart attacks and overdoses, cancer and suicide. He tries to numb himself because he feels too much. He is too self-aware for self-pity, but too set in his ways to change. This is reality rap of a different strain—one that lives up to Prodigy’s axiom to put “your lifetime between the paper lines.”

Out to Sea began without any overarching ideas—writing as a way of figuring out what he needed to say and as a form of catharsis. Themes of stormy weather and disastrous climate started to materialize from the fog of word. It was an easy leap to link them with mental illness and the diseased discourse that has infected the political climate in the Trump era. Out to Sea is an attempt to communicate beyond reductive binaries—not some naïve both-sides-ism bullshit but a fragile and lasting document sketched through a vale of sadness and a haunted concern for humanity.

There are, of course, the songs, messages in a bottle that alternate between comic sketches and S.O.S flares. It starts “Out to Sea,” a rum-soaked missive about being alienated from society.” “Funny Things” is a poison pill slipped to the far right, who offer mean-spirited jokes throughout our downward spiral. “Liquor Store Hustle” is a hilarious vignette about a corner store run to buy the most disgusting food that you’d drunkenly want to eat. While “A Dying Man” artfully interpolates Elliott Smith’s “Fond Farewell,” a harrowing portrait of substance abuse. The most devastating of all might be “Wallow Hard,” where Orrick stares into the abyss, considering whether all of this effort has been a waste, and assessing whether he should just give up the ghost or become one himself.

In the hands of a lesser artist, these are themes and moments that could seem melodramatic or overwrought but with Orrick, there is a rare sense of consequences and lament, a brilliant gift for dark poesy and sly self-deprecating humor. It is music to cope and as a form of survival, a chance to find meaning in a world that frequently seems bereft of it—a record that will leave you shaken to the core, reconsidering the radiation and delirium that gradually has consumed modern life. If we still exist in a few decades, we will be able to return to Out to Sea, and listen to the soundtrack of a society that seems hopelessly adrift

credits

released May 24, 2019

Recorded by Charlie Beans for Five30 Music
Mixed by Magnetic
Mastered by Joe Hutchinson
Graphic Design Austin Hart

Thank you to Kath, Dad, Mom, Steve, Mike, Jay, Mello, Austin, Charlie, Tim, Mags, Joe Hutchinson, Nolan, Suhki, S I M, Manley and Alcapella.

Executive Producer Michael Tolle

This album is dedicated to the damage done by the 2016 United States Presidential Election, Social Media and the 24 Hour News Cycle.


Sounds Beautiful Like The Truth
Mello Music Group, 2019

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about

Chris Orrick Detroit, Michigan

Chris Orrick is the patron saint of a poisoned world. The blue-collar MC writes spiteful chants for the permanently scarred, death letters for the forgotten, surly hymns for charcoal lungs. Think Bukowski on an eloquent bender, swapping wine for whiskey, a notepad for a glowing LED screen, the race track for the recording booth. These are anthems for the irate, over-educated and under-valued. ... more

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Track Name: Out To Sea
We can start at the beginning, we can start at the end
We can do the things we want or be a part of the trend
So here I am, all alone, all afloat on a boat
In the middle of the ocean with no destination known
I got my tiki cup, I got my stash of rum
I got this silly brain of mine I know I have to numb
I let the stars above become my guide, enjoy the ride
I got my fishing rod, the wish of god is by my side
I got a compass, I have studied all the shifting tides
I got a notebook and the thoughts of mine that live inside
I have escaped the daily grind and getting paid for time
Time is never of the essence I don't pay it mind
I follow daylight and the coming of the rising moon
Searching for my paradise, I hope to find it soon
But I have no need or no love for cartographers
I am a servant to the ocean so I follow her

North, West, South, East

I used to be the type that would get sea sick
I found that fighting it was not the way to treat it
In shallow water I can anchor down and have a swim
I learned when someone drowns it's usually from panicking
I'm trying to stay the course and stay away from shorelines
I like to be alone, be unconcerned with your shine
The sun it shines abundant, use it as a resource
Stock it up and use when you have a need for it
I put my letters in a bottle if you find one
Take it out and then replace it with some fine rum
Put it back to sea and hope that it gets back to me
Hope my story ends in such a fashion that it's happily
I put my eyes to rest tonight and listen to the waves
Red sky in the morning and I won't be saved
As the hurricane approaches I have found some peace
This will be my final letter while I'm out to sea
Track Name: Funny Things
I like funny people, funny faces, saying funny things
While I'm laughing so hysterically I spill my funny drink
With this funny chemical that makes me feel funny things
Instead of all this sad shit, in my funny fucking mind
And I'm struggling so desperately to block it out and try
To close the skin flaps that cover up my funny looking eyes
So I don't have to think about this funny little country
With funny little slips of paper that we call our money
With funny looking men who wore very funny wigs
That we obtain by doing variously gigs
And the government is funny cuz they take a little portion
Then they spend it all on war and make us fight about abortion
And don't forget about the funny guns
We give to funny men who think it's funny watching children run
And other funny men go on their funny little shows
And think it's funny that they way to fix it won't ever be known

It's funny, everything is funny
Everything is funny, Everything is funny
Come on everybody!
Everything is funny, everything is funny
Everything is funny!

When everything is funny, it's easier to think about the world's greatest country
I find it all hilarious, absolutely nothing going on could be nefarious
It's all so very comical, don't believe your eyes guys, none of this is possible
It's worthy of some knee slapping, only question that I have is:
Why aren't you laughing?

I think it's funny how much fun it is we're all having together
Doing funny things while up above is very funny weather
That funnily enough keeps getting funnier and funnier
It's funner when it's warm outside, it's funner when it's sunnier
It's funny when the earth is screaming, "Stop this isn't funny!"
And all the scientists with all their funny little studies
It's funny how much people don't find any of this funny
Maybe I'm the funny dummy and the rest of them are lucky
Why aren't you laughing at the funny things?
The jester's in on the joke, see he's laughing with the funny king
Who rallies up his base, that isn't actual hate in him
Casual racism isn't actual racism
And red pillers just want to know how to date women
The crazies on the fringe, it's the radicals who hate women
Relax buddy you're about to come unglued
If you weren't so fucking stuck up you might find it funny too

It's funny, everything is funny
Everything is funny, Everything is funny
Come on everybody!
Everything is funny, everything is funny
Everything is funny!

When everything is funny, it's easier to think about the world's greatest country
I find it all hilarious, absolutely nothing going on could be nefarious
It's all so very comical, don't believe your eyes guys, none of this is possible
It's worthy of some knee slapping, only question that I have is:
Why aren't you laughing?
Track Name: Liquor Store Hustle
Ten o'clock on the dot running out of booze
Only got a couple shots plus I need some food
Grab my wallet, grab my keys then put on my shoes
Hit the door, liquor store, yes I got the blues
I don't know if I'm okay enough to drive
And if I gotta ask that I probably shouldn't drive
Here we go, gas pedal, only got a couple blocks
Liquid confidence, motherfuck the cops

Do that liquor store hustle

Parking lot, park the car, yeah I made it this far
Struggling, stumble in, this shouldn't be this hard
Fluorescent, four seconds in, this is a mistake
Imaginary line on the floor for me to fixate
Headed straight for the snack aisle
They don't notice, nothing weird just another fat guy
Grab some food, grab some booze, pay the man and leave
Victory is mine and the mission is complete

Do that liquor store hustle
Back home, driveway, breathing out relief
Cops - 0 Chris - 1, relish their defeat
Inside pour a drink, microwave the pizza rolls
Yes I am a man child, love me or leave me alone
Preferably the latter
Getting older, getting sadder, getting fatter
Television Pawn Stars, I don't even like this show
Two hours late and I'm on the seventh episode

Do that liquor store hustle

Now it's twelve o'clock, still hungry, drunker than a skunk
Pizza place, call them up, they don't close till one
You remember large with banana pepper rings
Pepperoni, ranch dressing and a side of wings
Yeah, look what this world did to us
Hour later, on the couch, passed out still sitting up
Pizza man is in the window, banging on the door
I paid with a credit card, leave it on the porch

Do that liquor store hustle

Waking up 6AM, TV at a hundred still
Lights on, crack of dawn, fuck man I'm hungry still
Light bulb, great idea, pizza on the front porch
Fuck you it's cold enough, yes I'm gonna eat that shit
Untouched, unscathed, I believe in miracles
Can't think of words that rhyme with miracle
Ate it cold in the box then went straight to bed
At thirty years, honestly, I call that success
Track Name: Spent A Lot Of Time
I'm trying to put a finger on it, trying not to dwell
Exactly what decision had me wind up in this hell?
Caught up in it, I don't know if I could even change
If I wanted, can't even put it on this page
All this pain, all this doubt, all these walls that I've built
All my life, all I've wanted about to go unfulfilled
Everything that I've dreamed of
And everything that I thought had to mean something
But here we go again with this pen and my mind
Never ends, never stops, never slows by design
And I can't wake up every Monday morning
Feeling like a ton of bricks and to underscore
Got people calling me, checking in
How much longer does it follow me?
How much longer can it go like this?
My soul might quit
Better get a hold right quick

I've spent a lot of time
Trying to figure out the ways of the earth
Rearrange what I'm worth
Trying to figure how to pay back a dime
Trying to save me some time
Busy trying to explain myself
Or rearrange myself
Trying to tell me that the payments up
I think I've paid enough

I need a chaser to chase it away
This can't be the face that I face every day
A mountain of doubt, a mountain of debt
I see what I've done has amounted to death
Might hit the exit early, I'd rather sleep instead
Of me caught up in the thoughts racing through my head
Cuz this could be the last thing I write
It's last call, let's go, last for the night
It's past time I've been on my last dime
Trying to flip a miracle and turn this water to wine
Could stretch a dollar around the world if I had to
But turn a dollar into ten is what I can't do
I'm good at being broke, getting better with time
Might as well accept it

I've spent a lot of time
Trying to figure out the ways of the earth
Rearrange what I'm worth
Trying to figure how to pay back a dime
Trying to save me some time
Busy trying to explain myself
Or rearrange myself
Trying to tell me that the payments up
I think I've paid enough

Time is money, where'd the time go?
Low end theory for the high notes
Dirty money, no Soprano
You're born broke, you die broke
Turn a dollar into fame
Turn a dollar into change
Watch a dollar go insane
What's a dollar gonna change?

I've spent a lot of time
Trying to figure out the ways of the earth
Rearrange what I'm worth
Trying to figure how to pay back a dime
Trying to save me some time
Busy trying to explain myself
Or rearrange myself
Trying to tell me that the payments up
I think I've paid enough
Track Name: A Dying Man
Chris Orrick:
Let me put the pieces of myself that I don't need
In a closet with a lock, let you take away the key
Let it be, let it wallow, never let me look inside
Tell me later when I ask that those pieces of me died
So you took them, never told me, thinking I was better off
I'd forgotten they existed, you can't lose what's never lost
When it leaves, let it go, just remember how you fought
Maybe later when it's quiet you and I should have a talk
She said, "really, I just wanna dance"
Good and evil matched perfect, that's a great romance
And listen, I can deal with some psychic pain
If it'll help me put a slow down on my higher brain
I got a body full of poison, disappearing drink
And later on I'll vomit in the kitchen sink
Lately disconnected from the missing link
But, what would they think?

Chorus:
"This is not my life
It's just a fond farewell to a friend
It's not what I'm like
It's just a fond farewell to a friend
Who couldn't get things right
A fond farewell to a friend
This is not my life
It's just a fond farewell to a friend"

Chris Orrick:
You can't tell me what I know, when I've known it all along
There's a part of me that's missing and I notice when it's gone
When it's quiet and I'm tired, but I'll never fall asleep
Cuz you speak in a whisper, soon enough it turns to screams
And you beg and you ask for the fix, for the silence
And you plead and you punish for the act of my defiance
And you blame and you tell me that I'm nothing, that I've failed
Then you question if I'm loyal, had enough of that betrayal
I can see now that you're leaving me
Find yourself alone to take up with the enemy
The cold comfort of the in between
Just a little less than a human being
Just a little less than a happy high
Just a little less than a suicide
The only things you've ever truly tried

Chorus:
"This is not my life
It's just a fond farewell to a friend
It's not what I'm like
It's just a fond farewell to a friend
Who couldn't get things right
A fond farewell to a friend
This is not my life
It's just a fond farewell to a friend"
Track Name: America Online
I hope you got a sturdy soap box for me to climb on
A hill that's tall enough for me to fucking die on
A big ass box of tissue paper I can cry on
My own very personal cable news chyron
Was it a certain subject that I crossed the line on?
Check the replay from the camera in pylon
Too tough to tackle an issue, well help me pile on
Politics that's negatively charged, that's anion
If you don't like it well, buddy, you can delete me
Press that unfollow button, like when do we speak?
My Facebook wall was not designed for your graffiti
So please leave and be brief while I grab my squeegee
Scrubbing every open window of your presence
My pity party did not ask for your attendance
I'm blocking your existence, if you feel offended
I hope you find relief in my impending obsolescence

I feel very fine when America's online
So many things to choose, from recipes to news
I never waste my time when America's online
Some friends you can engage with, invite them to your page
I never lose my mind when America's online
A life is meant for sharing, the people are so caring
A whole new world to find when America's online
When America's online

I had to unfollow your mom because she's awful
Cherry picks the bible but a Facebook meme is gospel
How did the comment sections get so weird and hostile?
The links a fucking recipe to Kafka and falafel
Will someone please figure out this great debacle
Before humanity is ripped apart and toppled
Before white people lose control, show us their collective soul
And elect a dude who calls himself "The Donald"
All the world's knowledge is sitting in our pockets
And there's still people out there who don't believe in fossils
Instagram models, playing Facebook Aristotle
For adoring apostles, I'll rather play opossum
Most of my time spent online is feeling rotten
And I admit that I'm huge part of the problem
Arguing for nothing, braggadocio and ratios
I'm just gonna hang out with Pistachio

I feel very fine when America's online
So many things to choose, from recipes to news
I never waste my time when America's online
Some friends you can engage with, invite them to your page
I never lose my mind when America's online
A life is meant for sharing, the people are so caring
A whole new world to find when America's online
When America's online
Track Name: Wallow Hard
I saw a critic say I wallow too hard, took it personal
I love this shit with all of my heart
It's like, right from the start what I would write in my art
I was too afraid to talk about, afraid to even think
So, I took it like a fucking knife to the heart
I know most people won't treat it with that same type of regard
They got a job to do and I don't blame them for it
End of the day I'm just a dude who writes and tape records it
Guess I got lucky that somebody pays me for it
And looking at sales he might be fucking crazy for it
But I'm just sick of spinning my wheels
Older I get the more the shit's getting real
It's like, how much longer can the party last?
Seeing people in their thirties having heart attacks
I should be thinking about a mortgage
Couldn't do it with my credit even if I could afford it
Spending hours in my head, trying to figure what's important
To get my life sorted I might have to let the dream die
Knowing there's a version of me somewhere in my twenties
Looking at me thinking, "What the fuck, is he high?"
Or me at sixteen printing out the CD labels
Making shirts with the iron on the table
I remember listening to Eminem and Royce
Being proud thinking no one does it better than Detroit
Just a kid
Out there looking for his voice, taught myself how to rap
Never had a choice
Now I'm writing this like does it even have a point?
Just a way for me to vent, help me filter out the noise?
You know that feeling on a Sunday when a Monday's coming?
That dream where you're fighting for your life?
And you strike and you hit them with a left, then a right
Landing punch after punch
But it feels like nothing
I don't know.
Track Name: Daylight
You my friend got some learning to do
High expectations affirming your truth
Your truth is a liar, see your pants been on fire
And you can't see beyond your funeral pyre
Your usual ire is directed at self
Inwards you look, in words you tell
Everyone your thoughts, everybody your dreams
Your dream it seems might be out of your reach
Alarm clock you're on your final snooze
Hard knocks, might be your time to lose
But losing might not be what you think
Might just be the best for you, you could find a new thing
It can be confusing, find yourself refusing
To believe that moving on is improving on
Everything that you've done, everywhere that you've been
But who do I think I'm fooling?

Because I know
I got some problems with the daylight
But I still think on my way right
Somebody tell me I'm okay, right?
I'm okay, right?

Back then you would never let this even be an option
You would not accept this, feckless
Old you probably woulda told you
This is what you're meant for, you remember, don't you?
Mixtapes, sitting in the basement, chasing all roads
You've become complacent, face it, follow
Your heart, your brain lies to you
All those faces your art changes
Meet somewhere in the past when, back then
We see a future, time's what you had then
Have now, ten years you can reflect on
Let dawn be the day, daylight lead the way
And you my friend got more learning to do
But you friend still got a burning in you
And you spend all day searching for truth
So my friend, I've been searching for you

Because I know
I got some problems with the daylight
But I still think on my way right
Somebody tell me I'm okay, right
I'm okay, right?

Spending all your time in the dark
Where your heart can't grow
And you might go blind

Spending all your energy on shade
Been an enemy to daylight
Fight that shine

You can find a match in the room
You know what to do
Live a life that's plain

Or you can drag that match on the flint
Get a candle stick
And ignite that flame

Because I know
I got some problems with the daylight
But I still think on my way right
Somebody tell me I'm okay, right?
I'm okay, right?
Track Name: Flesh & Bone
out of space - out of time - out of place - out of mind
i do not - identify - with any of - this energy
out to sea - woe is me - hopefully - the end of me
speaking of - reaching out - to anyone - in need of love
even if - we don't speak - we don't see - eye to eye
idolize - I devise - proper planning - patiently
wait and see - show and prove - born to lose - born to die
born into - all of this - politics - hollow tips
fellowship - fellow friends - fellow, me - lend an ear
lend a hand - helping hand - fellow man - fellow being
developing - dialogue - dive into it - fellow cog
the machine - grinds us up - spits us out - flesh & bone
flesh is shredded - college debted - all affected - all regret it
everything - all the time - overwhelmed - trying to sell
put a price - tag it up - bag it up - born to fail
how are you? - doing well? - maybe not - that's okay

we're gonna figure this out
you and me, we're gonna figure this out
this is bigger than doubt
you feel the rain when it's pummeling down
waiting on a break in the clouds

honestly - i'm at fault - take the fall - blame it on
pay it forward - falling down - tripping up - all around
this is me - this is them - this is you - this is us
meet me in - temecula - what'd he say? - fisticuffs
lifting up - cushions on - couches find - plenty dimes
so much time - wasted on - being wasted - wasted dreams
i can't write - fast enough - to keep up - with these words
seen it on - cnn - fox nope - msn
bc - before christ - after death - millenial
we destroyed - america - eating raw - vegetables
head is full - fill it up - pile it on - shove it down
take a shot - shoot it up - i don't know - what's in my cup
wifi - cable here - need another - outlet
battery - life is low - straight ahead - found dead
hey i'm chris - it has been - very nice - knowing you
i can hope - you feel the - same as me - don't you?

we're gonna figure this out
you and me, we're gonna figure this out
this is bigger than doubt
you feel the rain when it's pummeling down
waiting on a break in the clouds

when it all - seems to be - out of reach - out of time
down the line - it will seem - less and less - that it mattered
factor in - what's at stake - what's at play - mad as sin
calm as love - open doors - welcome in - have a seat
let it be - what it was - what it is - what it will
nothing kills - only change - i believe - it'll get
figured out - maybe not - either way - we're okay
i can promise - if in doubt - everything - has a meaning

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