CLIFFHANGER

Onto you I
Hang myself dry
And thinning is the air in which you rise
Far beneath me
Churns the great sea
Where our ship's imprisoned in the brine

I am a cliffhanger
You're the edge
While I'm a cliffhanger
It's not the end

I am a cliffhanger
'Cause I can't let this book
Close easily
And throw myself over you

Tell me won't you
Please descend to
Return some feeling back into my hands
With your gold key
Maybe set free
The vessel with our captivated plans

I am a cliffhanger
You're the edge
While I'm a cliffhanger
It's not the end

STORMY COUNTRY

I was walking through the stormy country
You were walking through the stormy country
And the rain, it pierced right through our hides

I gave my hand and we ran against the rain
We found a roof and everything was changed
You moved so very close to me

Underneath the falling sea
We're safe inside our submarine
To a polyrhythmic wash of sound
We wrung each other out

We bow to what until now
Was ruefully drowned
By the sovereign art
Of our solitary hearts

We made our home in the unknown
But we had all we need
To kill the cold and keep us worthy

Underneath the falling sea
We're safe inside our submarine
To a polyrhythmic wash of sound
We wrung each other out

I was walking through the stormy country
You were walking through the stormy country
It was here we saw ourselves so clear

BROTHER'S BED

Once upon a new year's morning
On brother's bed I soundly slept
Dreaming of a girl I'd marry
I made believe the truth was deft

La Da Da Da Da

Don't know why I thought it could be for good
Forget it now
Sleep again

Wisdom fell hard upon me
Cutting down the fool inside
The dream I lost was cursed already
Now it must be left to die

La Da Da Da Da

Don't know why I thought it could be for good
Forget it now
Sleep again

I GAVE ENOUGH

You're flushed with your father's blood
And I'm in contempt of your new complexion
You're a master of well-placed ink
And a dead woman escaped with my affection

I know you'd say you don't believe me
But it's easy
Just close your eyes and breathe
'Cause life will always move at this wicked speed
And we will bleed
Just give what you receive

And know I gave enough
For both of us
You know I gave enough
For both of us

Now I feel...
The air that's all around you
Is purgatory from which there's no escaping
I could run in these lost and found shoes
Or risk damnation for saying we're worth saving

All I am is a man who can't watch this all fall away
I'm losing these days
But I'm trying to keep the pace
But life will always move at this wicked speed
And we will bleed
Just give what you receive

And know I gave enough
For both of us
You know I gave enough
for both of us

BACKWARDS

Backwards moving
Just want
Some peace

I can't do this anymore

Fix this
Use your
Pretty head
Let's go
Back to bed

The nightmare could be over now

Fix this
And sing me back to sleep
'Cause I love you

In this room I've made your bed
I wait and I wait and I wait
Rewinding all the ground we've tread
Again and again and again

But I can't do this anymore

TREES

I talk to you in mind
All of the time
Every line has the power
To open your eyes

You're invited to make it all true
'Cause frankly things just aren't right

We walked the path of lose-lose
Where the earth all had dried
But somewhere our shadows are fused
Where trees never die

It's not hard to find if we turn off our minds
Your heart will tell you no lie

Take me to the place where the trees still grow
I never thought we'd leave there for such a cold
'Cause spring was just a lie. The warmth never came
But I know the trees are there still growing the same

You let the irony play
Love was withheld
When I finally found the display
Coins down the well

My wishes, a waste and you don't want a taste
Of what we promised ourselves

Take me to the place where the trees still grow
I never thought we'd leave there for such a cold
'Cause spring was just a lie. The warmth never came
But I know the trees are there still growing the same

So you've got some weight on your back
And no stable ground
I'll make sure your spine stays intact
That a road can be found

Just give me a sign and we'll travel all night
To the place we would be now

Take me to the place where the trees still grow
I never thought we'd leave there for such a cold
'Cause spring was just a lie. The warmth never came
But I know the trees are there still growing the same

JUNE

By the start of June
We'd walk Michigan Avenue
And on Independence Day
We'd throw all of our cares away
By an August sunset
We'd see my brother happily wed
Then drive to the Greatest Lake
To soak our souls in Agawa Bay

But you want to give this up
I could not give up
'Cause there's no common sense
In falling on the fence

By the start of June
I wrote another song for you
Because melody is truth
While words hide from our abuse
With Fall around the bend
You broke your silence once again
And now you're only in my mind
As a long finished film I won't rewind

You want to give this up
I could not give up
'Cause there's no common sense
In falling on the fence

REALLY SOMETHING

Darlin' you're really something
I wish you were something else
Your belly it turned so yellow
Like a leaf before it fell
But you don't seem so graceful
On your long way down

All the dirt you stirred up
Has made it into my eyes
And it burns ever so clearly
Yet I still can't say why
You lost all your spine, dear
What did you expect to find here?

Darlin' you're really something
A mary that's lost her blood
What's left here is some kind of poison
Like dried veins beneath the flood
Like roots under the river
I'll never see what they deliver

I never did agree
But still it came to be
'Cause all you did portend
Turns out what just pretense
No, I am not your friend

Darlin' you're really something
I wish you were something else
Your belly it turned so yellow
Like a leaf before it fell
But you don't seem so graceful
On your long way down
I never did agree
But still it came to be

TIME AGAIN

We have moved so perfectly
Together we
Showed up crossed stars and made them fall
Through it all

Don't you remember who I am?
I remember you
You're not this girl who let her love lie
While I stood in salute
But that's the sad truth
That girl chose not to lend a saving hand
To give me any token lovely
Time and time again

We spelled the end before we knew
What letters to
Write in their place. No spirit flowed
To inspire prose

I can't make believe we're not in love
After all that was
'Cause we held so fast the city breathed
Through our bodies

Don't you remember who I am?
I remember you
Your eyes reflected each morning light
To make the world anew
Our bodies glowed from head to toe
Our feeling fingers followed
And we were sure then
This light would happen
Time and time again

TRIALS

The earth is a child of the sun
A mother to the moon
But all we are is falling apart

I don't believe in God
But I believed in you
But all we are is falling apart

As children of forests, we've failed our fathers
Our roots never took in the soil soaked with water
Our shadows have run far away from our center
When you said they looked goddamn great together
But all we are is falling apart.

©2011 Gun Lake

April 2nd, 2013

Student filmmakers at Indiana University made a heartfelt short film for Campus Movie Fest that features our song, Trials.

Mar 22nd

We'll be recording a GBS session in April, and we'll also be working on our new EP. Balfour is turning 1 year old and I'm turning 26 years old this weekend. Anyway, check out our friends, The Seleton Birds' GBS session below. It's pretty fantastic.

Skeleton Birds from gbs detroit on Vimeo.

Feb 24th

We're SoundsThatMatter.com's Artist of the Month. We were honored to win some awards in their Anti-Grammys. Check it out HERE. Also, we're making our best efforts to show up in Austin during SXSW. Help us!

Thank you!

Feb 1st

We have been nominated for a few honors and we would be, you know, honored if you voted for us. Sounds That Matter has nominated us for "Best Artist" among other things. Click HERE to vote. Also, Ann Arbor's Current Magazine has nominated us for the title of "Best Local Artist" along with some of our good friends. Click HERE for that voting page.

Thank you!

November 20th

We now have a youtube channel HERE. We'll be posting live videos, music videos, and anything other moving images we create/want you to see over there. Here's an example:

November 3rd

Our Quilted Attic live video of Backwards is up today on SYFFAL.com

Backwards - Gun Lake - The Quilted Attic Sessions from Bigger Brush Media on Vimeo.

October 7th

After what's sure to be a great night in Grand Rapids with awesome rocknrollas, Cartography on the 15th, we are heading out East for CMJ Marathon. This is what's up:

Thursday, October 20
Pete's Candy Store with Chris Bathgate, Abadabad, and Radiation City

Friday, October 21
Googie's Lounge with Koji, Sun Glitters, Saskatchewan, Abadabad, Chrome Sparks, and Selebrities

Friday, October 22
The Living Room with Snowmine, Team Genius, Novel Ideas, and Belgrave


August 17th

We are playing Dally in the Alley on September 10th at 2pm. Our very own Macklin Underdown will be playing a solo set right before us at 1pm. Come support good things in The D. We have to take off after our set to Illinois for our first ever Daytrotter session the following morning! We're quite excited about this and happy that you'll have other ways to hear our music. This is all leading into an awesome Fall for us. We are playing Spike Hill October 19 and Pete's Candy Store on October 20 for CMJ 2011 with other exciting shows and what not in the works.

May 27th

We begin June with one of our—and suddenly one of the nation's—favorite songwriters Chris Bathgate. If you like coffee, you can get from Starbucks a free download for my second favorite song on his new record (my favorite is the title track Salt Year). Or you can cut out the corporate middle man, brew your own cup and surf over to his bandcamp. That show is happening June 4th at Woodruffs in Ypsilanti. The very next afternoon, we are playing at the Taste of Ann Arbor on Main Street at 12:55pm. The food will be cheap so hopefully people will feel like paying for music that day. We're heading back to Woodruff's the following Wednesday to play a tribute to artists of Merge Records. We'll be paying tribute to Neutral Milk Hotel and Arcade Fire. Two days later, we'll be in Detroit at The Old Miami with an awesome band called Jesse and the Gnome. I hear that Jesse guy is really awesome too. Indianapolis is the destination the following weekend with a likely stop in Toledo on our way, and a video performance for soundsthatmatter.com before our Indy show. I am still figuring out details for both of these shows, but they will be on the shows page soon. Of course, this is all working towards a climax as we are heading to Philadelphia and NYC on June 24th. We will be playing The Living Room in the lower east side on Saturday, the 25th, at midnight. This weekend is going to rule. It'll be lovely to see everyone who has moved out there. Finally, before we begin an equally busy July, we play The Strutt in Kalamazoo, MI with awesome bands Noisewaves and Cartography.

Be sure to "Like" the website, and visit often to learn about upcoming shows and what not. Oh and we'll have our Quilted Attic session on the site soon. It'll look and sound pretty.

-Mark

May 2nd

Aside from the launch of this website, we will be celebrating the release of our first album, Balfour, at the Blind Pig on Thursday, May 5th. Our great friends Lightning Love and Photographers are playing with us that night, and I feel truly fortunate to have both of those bands on the bill.

Lightning Love has played a special role in my musical growth—not only because my first lineup was two-thirds of that band, but because Leah was one of the first people who really encouraged me to play these songs and keep working on them. I have long regarded her songwriting as somewhat untouchable in its simplistic perfection; thus after recording demos of "Trees" and "Time Again" in the house that she and Ben were sharing, I heard her voice of support loudly. It is for this reason, in addition to my true love for their music, that I am honored that Lightning Love is playing our album release show.

Photographers' influence came later in the course of our development as a band. I met John and Maren at Mittenfest after they fought with the sound system through their set. I liked what I heard enough to check them out the following night at Canterbury House and I was blown away. Their arrangements were incredible, employing plenty of Rhodes and xylophone ambience underneath beautifully harmonized arpeggios and vocals. It was a set that reminded me how beautiful music can be, and I can't wait to see them again on Thursday.

For those of you who haven't read the little blurb on Bandcamp, Balfour is analagous to something beautiful with which you don't want to part. In this regard, it works as a metaphor of itself. I believe we made something special with our first album because I felt every lyric. I am happy to be writing new music now also, but I hope you will come help us celebrate our sending Balfour out into the world.

-Mark

    date
    venue
    city
Gun Lake's songs will haunt you. Heavy on both emotional and melodic hooks, this is indie-folk that sticks with you long after your first listen. The persistent bass drum of "June", the swaying eerie waltz of "Trees", or the harmonic beauty of the song "Stormy Country" will pull the listener into the world of Balfour, Gun Lake's debut album.

Songwriter Mark Fain formed Gun Lake in 2009 as an outlet for songs he composed during a time when his life was ripped apart and shocked into a new trajectory, and it shows. Since playing their first show in February of 2010, the band has set themselves apart from the typical revival-folk or alt country genre.
As one of the most arresting acts in the flourishing music scene of Southeast Michigan, Gun Lake has shared the stage with notable acts such as Gold Motel, Lord Huron and Chris Bathgate to name a few, in addition to recording a Daytrotter session and playing 3 shows for CMJ’s 2011 Music Marathon.

Influenced by the Brit-rock he grew up on, as well as his love for classic folk music, Fain's unique and evocative brand of folk rock is fleshed out with Ryan O'Reilly's inventive electric guitar work as well as an often utilized lineup of his more musical friends. While Fain's voice is always at the forefront, all other members lend their voices for awe-inspiring and flawlessly delivered harmonies.
Balfour, recorded with the prolific Jim Roll at Backseat Studios in Ann Arbor was released on March 24th, 2011. The album is named for a secluded Ontarian lake which yields exquisite beauty upon arrival but is reached and left behind only by an exceptionally difficult journey. Documenting the dissolution of a relationship with a raw intensity in the vein of Okkervil River's Black Sheep Boy or Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago, Fain's record is a portrait of sorrow, love and heartbreak that sparks universal empathy. These are songs that came to fruition out of the emotional spectrum of loss, songs that tackle matters of the heart with ferocity and brutal honesty, and the result is certain to strike a chord with anyone who has ever felt trapped in a nexus of longing and betrayal.
Interviews:

Gold Flake Paint
SoundsThatMatter.com
Current Magazine

Salem, Massachusetts' WMWM FM: