The Dark: Reckoning


Written by Jake Wardius

Coty Davis – Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, String Arrangement, Drums

Backing vocals provided by SmurfinJoe


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The Dark: I’ll Let You Go

I’ll Let You Go

Written by Coty Davis

Coty Davis – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Rhythm Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums

Matthew Burns – Co-Producer, Lead Guitars, Keyboard


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Why Not Today?

It occurs to me that I’m an expert at finding reasons to put off things I know I should be doing. Especially this time of year. Diet and exercise goals are held off until after Thanksgiving. Then when I realize Christmas is so soon  “I might as well wait until after.” Of course once Christmas is down there’s all the leftovers that can’t just be allowed to spoil, so maybe I’ll wait until after New Years.

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Deciding Factors

Living day to day is a term we often apply to changing or controlling our behavior. In many ways it’s very comfortable to imagine starting over each and every day, forgetting troubles from days before, and living oblivious of imminent troubles surely to come in the future.

It feels much more manageable to keep our behavior in line for one particular day than to imagine going without for, say, a year or a lifetime. This may contribute to the failure of New Year’s resolutions.

On the other hand, living moment to moment seems agonizing. Unlike deciding we will go without a cigarette or avoid drinking for a particular day, then reassess our choices tomorrow, making that decision over and over every few minutes feels like a doomed strategy. We know we are bound to let our cravings get the better of us or just simply grow too fatigued to battle anymore.

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Songwriter’s Journal: Silence Out Loud

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Sometimes I find myself in the position of having something to say, but with no one to say it to. Worse is the feeling that something should be said, but I’m just not sure what it should be. Silence is often golden but too much becomes oppressive. While it’s not the greatest character trait to ramble your every thought out loud to a willing, and sometimes unwilling, audience, it is a good practice to hear yourself express thoughts. I have become a proponent of journaling but not for the sake of documentation. For the sake of uncluttering my mind of thoughts and ideas. Writing my thoughts forces me to place them in a relatively linear narrative. Once laid out, it becomes easier to fit them into a bigger picture.

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Songwriter’s Journal: Atlas Will Shrug

Jake Wardius is probably my favorite songwriter on the planet. I’ve known him for many years now and we served in Iraq together during our Marine Corps days. He has warehouses full of songs and a very recognizable delivery of them. I hope this is the first of many guest posts by Jake.

Enter Jake

Atlas Will Shrug was an attempt by a novice songwriter to explain how he feels about a complex epic tapestry that dealt with class, culture, and capitalist structure in twentieth century America. When I first started writing songs, it was strictly motivated by love or angst. I was in the formative stages of the craft, which I have yet to gain much more ground from, and held the belief that those two topics to be all-encompassing and final. However, life has a strange way of showing you down an alternate route that makes you see sights you otherwise would have not.

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Responsibility And Independence

In my early twenties I recognized that those that were highly independent were also highly responsible. I decided that in order for one to be truly independent they must be significantly responsible. As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that responsibility isn’t merely necessary for independence, but independence itself is simply a high level of responsibility. Just as you rise through the ranks of a specific source of employment, picking up more and more responsibility as you go, ultimately the absolute top leaves you independent of other management within the company. It also carries the entirety of the responsibility for the company and all its actions and decisions.

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Steps To Being Somebody

There are two fundamental steps to being treated like somebody: look like somebody and act like somebody. Either action alone won’t convince people for long. They are both needed, but if you can only manage to pull off one of them, you’re headed in the right direction.

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Songwriter’s Journal: To Spite Letting Go

We often remind ourselves about the dangers of making bad decisions. Worse is the potential to hold onto a situation that has given us every reason to believe it’s going to end horribly. This serves as a self-defense that ultimately makes us think twice about certain life decisions. I’m sure just about everyone can look back on something, or several things, they regret and wonder why they didn’t pull out earlier. Why they ignored red flag after red flag and just kept charging down a road they knew would lead to the cliff’s edge.

That scenario is common. However, a scenario that doesn’t get enough attention is the road checkered in red flags that ended in success. If you think about it, everyone that is truly world class had plenty of notable moments where they did, or reasonably should have, questioned if they were doing the right/smart thing. If they were going the right direction.

Many times the real achievements that we can be proud of gave us plenty of opportunity to quit. But we were too stubborn. We believed in the desired outcome so blindly that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sometimes it’s smart to fold up the cards and walk away from the table. But sometimes the only way to get where you really need to be is to play through no matter what.

To Spite Letting Go

written by Coty Davis

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Songwriter’s Journal: The Dirt Road

When I was a teenager we used to drive the back roads at night. Nice and slow, listening to country gold. There was no reason to be in any kind of hurry because we were merely waiting. We were always waiting. Finding things to occupy our time while we waited for life to come to us. While we waited for eighteen years old. While we waited for Marine Corps boot camp. While we waited for college. Always looking forward.

Now in my thirties I never feel like I’m waiting on anything. I’m always moving toward something. I’m always trying to make something happen. Sure, that’s worked out for me so far but it feeds a sense of nostalgia for a more simplistic time when I had the luxury of simply waiting.

Rolling along those gravel roads never felt like a waste of time. It never felt like I was missing an opportunity. It was merely an activity to keep me occupied. Something to do while adult life slowly worked its way to me. Now, for better or worse, I feel as though everything I move toward only takes me farther away from an ability or the opportunity to guiltlessly preoccupy myself. I haven’t found a replacement for the slow drive on the dirt road.

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