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in city & country

by the young novelists

  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Includes the lyric booklet (with chords!) and a JPG of the album cover and CD.
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      $10 CAD  or more

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    A shiny CD complete with all the music from the album and definitely nothing more than that. Beautifully designed by Roberta Landreth.

    Includes unlimited streaming of in city & country via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
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      $20 CAD or more 

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  • Full Digital Discography Full Digital Discography

    Get all 6 the young novelists releases available on Bandcamp and save 15%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of in city & country, made us strangers, in the year you were born, live at dublin st. church, a small town eulogy, and goodnight, young novelist. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      $45.90 CAD or more (15% OFF)

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TWO OF A KIND verse: Eb Ab (Bb Cm) Ab chorus: Bb Cm Ab Ab bridge: Gm Ab Eb x2 Gm Ab Bb Cm Ab i remember the hard nights i remember the streetlights i remember the time & the place where we kissed was he in the same place? the same look on the same face? the same sense of despair cause i know now what i missed? [CHORUS] & what are you looking for & what will you find? another look to constantly remind you're holding onto the past or falling behind? well we're two of a kind spent the night at the bandshell woke up to the church bell now even the trees & the leaves are drifting apart in the dark of the autumn when he fell & you caught him oh the end of a thread looks exactly like the start [CH] & how does this compare to our other crimes? the same heart torn apart at different times & another one that constantly reminds oh we're two of a kind [SOLO over VERSE] [BRIDGE] watching you pretend through a mirror's subtle bend a brother & a friend, how does it end? i remember the hard nights i remember the streetlights i remember the time & the place where we kissed
BACK TO THE HARD TIMES capo III verse: G C Em C G C D D pre-chorus: Am C G B7 chorus: C D C D C D G G brazen, blue on grey like secrets tucked away it doesn't hurt you the same & that makes it worse there's nothing like a parade of promises you shouldn't have made & what if you had stayed to hear the second verse? [PRE] & all these declarations leave me cold...i'm not sold [CHORUS] i keep on coming back... x2 i keep on coming back to the hard times there's a broken bike in our backyard shouldn't have to be so hard worrying at that scar is gonna leave a mark cold sand on the beach & cold stars, out of reach you're trying out your speech as the days turn dark [PRE] & all these declarations leave me cold...i'm not sold [CH] [SOLO over VERSE] this little town by the bay with secrets tucked away there's a place where you can pray & get no reply [PRE] [CH]
don't wait 04:47
DON'T WAIT verse: Dm Am (Gm F) Bb chorus: F Bb up all night, whispers in my head the MRI can't tell me what they said & the stars are out...in their eternal debate you can catch up to the answers if they'll wait [CHORUS] but they don't wait...they don't wait quick as a scar, turning your head i was allowed but i never said & the words they will form a cascade with the sun in your eyes, the mood of the place the tick of the clock, the time that we waste & i know you never felt more betrayed [CH] more betrayed...& i don't wait i don't wait, i don't wait [SOLO over VERSE] blue & red lying in bed ashamed the purple space between them goes unnamed & you might state it plain – you might be saved but i'll still lay my losses in your grave [CH] but you don't wait...& i don't wait we don't wait...on our son we both look...at the other one & they don't wait; they don't wait.
i moved on 03:39
I MOVED ON capo III verse: F C (riff) x2 F Am F C (riff) pre-chorus: Em F Em F Em E chorus: F C (riff) x2 F Am D9 F Em F F F those three long-awaited words i'm not strong enough to curse but i won't push it aside like the jealous tide it's for the best, well that's absurd just like the rest, well rest assured i can't close my eyes. i see both sides [PRE] & labour at the precipice i should have told you more or less it's too late [CHORUS] i moved on...i moved on i have gone away i couldn't stay for long i moved on autumn's wounds have laid you low an oversight...like i would know & in whom you confide; my guilt, your pride every word's a private eye a sharpened knife, a means to pry & you might pull it apart. at least you'll try [PRE] & the hearts you lay bare well don't just stand there it's too late [CH] i moved on...i moved on i have gone away i couldn't stay for long i moved on
COME ROUND AGAIN verse: F F Bb F pre-chorus: Bb chorus: F F Bb if rio is really the city of your dreams well nothing's better there but it's better than it seems i can get behind taking a break if you want when i was young, just to juxtapose i saw the world through glasses of rose but now i'm a ghost with no house to haunt [PRE] & now i know how much i tend to break the hearts of all my friends [CHORUS] but love is going to come round again is going to come round again is going to come round again well part of me is honest & part of me is false part of me has trouble returning your calls cause all of me is scared of what you're going to do but i am still an optimist an old romantic, at my best i hope that you will make this old heart new [PRE] cause i won't break if i can bend a second start is not the end [CH] & love is going to come round again is going to come round again is going to come round again
CITY & COUNTRY verse: C Em chorus: G Dm [F C] stay my hand all arrogant words we spoke & words we meant & all the places that change & we still get there the same way [CHORUS] & now...even the cities are calling out & now...all of the cities are calling out take these days they'll never last the best we were has been surpassed & save all they lost in the fall & pray that they don't take it all ...in all, they'll take it all [CH] & now...even the cities are calling out now...we live with mistakes we can't live without now...all of the colours are falling down now...the people who care have been all strung out they're all strung out & left to fade away scrape the skies will they turn blue? you needed most what needed you [CH] & now...even the cities are calling out now...all of the cities are calling out
NOW'S THE TIME verse: Am G x3 G C x2 pre-chorus: Bm Em C C chorus: G Bm C C x2 G B7 C C don't you decide you won cause you relied upon the only people who idolize until they realize they've drawn taller lines for you better times to make it true the shoulders of giants gone shows your reliance, all aloof foreign eyes provide the proof [PRE] contemplate the frame to stretch your lies bold but still ashamed to break your ties [CHORUS] but break them all, break them now's the time you say you're not afraid – another lie? you face a fall or face another climb ...well now's the time look at this rivalry seems to survive on jealousy weighing the consequence the light that you shone against throwing a shadow there what's the matter? don't you care? climb the ladder not the stairs [PRE] & exercise restraint or canonize finally find the strength to break your ties [CH]
all alone 04:27
ALL ALONE verse: A D pre-chorus: Bm D A A Bm D A F#m Bm D chorus: A E D D keep your faith but keep it away from me I had my doubts & you had me all these simple things denied if you're looking for sin you'd better begin with pride [PRE] it's simple if you look at what you're shown i'm confident there's space for the unknown...if it comes down to it i'd rather be [CHORUS] all alone... there's evidence hidden from your eyes & common sense that everyone denies an innocence that comes as a surprise & faith where there's no compromise [PRE] it's simple if you look at what you're shown etching your ideas into stone...i know we all die & we are born [CH] all alone... x3 [SOLO on VERSE] [PRE] it's simple if you look at what you're shown & co-exist with things that you don't know...it's not all you need...it's all you get [CH] all alone... keep your faith but keep it away from me
LIVING WITHOUT A SOUND I: F Dm II: Bb F III: Dm F IV: Bb Dm outro: F Eb Bb Dm Am A I. standing here shoulder to shoulder the tip of your tongue made you bolder suggesting a confident moment or facing another opponent II. a textbook, cut & dried temptation undenied III. the pressure of a silence keeping inconvenient passions steeping be careful cause the others are sleeping IV. & we're living without a sound living without a sound I. & take my shape i would compensate II. it's cheaper in a similar vein except that nothing's ever the same III. let me walk you down to the waters say goodnight to your daughters they ask you why you even bothered IV. we're living without a sound living without a sound [OUTRO] IV. we're living without a sound living without a sound
IT GETS A LITTLE LONELY verse: C F C F Am G C F chorus: Dm G C F make me over & i'll make do nights like these are precious few quiet, dark, and beautiful like a wedding or a funeral well, we learn our lessons the hard way the hard way; the hard way from every question you don't say you don't say...you don't say [CHORUS] growing older means you only get to find out it gets a little lonely let me down with one long look they tell me that you wrote the book but tell me now what kind of crook breaks the only thing they took? & you took it just to give it back in pieces sharp & black well we learn our lessons the hard way the hard way – the hard way [CH] ...find out it gets a little lonely find out it gets a little lonely


Thank you to the many, many people that we rely on to help make this music career happen! Chief among them being our tireless manager, Amie Therrien. Thanks to Howard Bilerman for the sublime guidance and endless patience, and to Shae Brossard for throwing up mics as fast as we could think of ridiculous ideas. And thank you to the very talented musicians who played those ideas and added their own to the mix.

There are not enough words to thank the venues and promoters and hosts that book us for shows and help us do what we love: play music for fantastic folks. And great, heartfelt thanks to those who come to the shows and make it such a worthwhile job.

Thanks to you who is reading this, for being the type of person who reads liner notes. Thanks to our families, your support means so much and really we would not be able to travel and play shows without it! Finally, thanks to our son, Simon, who has to come along for this crazy ride. He’s the only thing that gives us more joy than making music.


I was born in a small Canadian town called Verona – fair Verona town! as Shakespeare would say. I moved away as soon as I was able, in part because I didn't necessarily appreciate what I had when I had it. Or, maybe, it's easier to look back through the dim haze of nostalgia and realize it was a pretty good way to grow up. In any case, I do love small towns. But I live in Toronto, and I also love living in a big city. Maybe I just love living anywhere; I'm easy that way.

The songs on this album were all written about, or inspired by, or influenced by, specific small towns in Ontario. In late 2015 and early 2016 I picked a bunch of towns where I had some history or some connection, and I travelled to each of them and I did some research on their history and then we sat down and we wrote a collection of songs. Thirty or so. From those songs we picked ten that seemed to go together, or maybe that we thought people would like to hear, and we decided to record them. It sounds easy when I write it like that, but there were long discussions about which songs to include and which to exclude. Such is the nature of album-making.

In late March 2017 I had an opportunity to go to the Banff Centre for the Arts for a songwriting residency. There I met a producer from Montreal named Howard Bilerman and had a great time working on songs and doing some recording with him while I was there. When it came time for us to find a producer for this album, it seemed a natural fit. We travelled to Montreal to record the album, which was a new experience for us – our previous albums were all recorded in Toronto. It was magical to be in a beautiful city, spending our time and creative energy in a phenomenal studio, working with fun and fantastic people who were equal parts talented and devoted to the project.

The result is this album. A few years of writing and rehearsing, creating and compromising, honing and harmonizing; just doing the work to make a few songs sound decent to our ears. It may (or may not) be shocking to know how some songs come together whole cloth and others take months to find the nuanced moment that makes them work, at least for us. Hopefully they sound decent to you, as well. Thanks for listening.


released May 4, 2018

Graydon James – vocals, acoustic guitar, additional keys
Laura Spink – vocals, vibraphone, percussion

Derrick Brady – bass
Rory Calexico – drums, additional percussion
John Law – electric guitar

Howard Bilerman -- space lasers (9)
Jeffrey Louch – keyboards (1, 6, 8 10)
Lana Tomlin – viola, violin (2, 6, 8, 10)
Justin Wright – cello (2, 6, 8)

Produced & mixed by Howard Bilerman
Recorded at Hotel 2 Tango
Additional Recording at Typewriter Studio
Engineered by Howard Bilerman & Shae Brossard
Mastered by Philip Shaw Bova

All songs written & arranged by The Young Novelists

Management: Amie Therrien (balsampiermusic.com)
Artwork/Design: Roberta Landreth (designbyroberta.com)

This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters. Ce projet est finance en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privé du Canada.

We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.




the young novelists Toronto, Ontario

Exclaim! dubbed their first EP “unpretentious brilliance” and this Toronto-based folk-roots band has won critical acclaim ever since. Stephen Fearing described them as having “tight arrangements, great dynamics, and good songs with beautiful harmonies” and their live shows capture audiences with both barnstorming singalongs and heartbreaking folk ballads. ... more

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