Lost Hills

by State Shirt

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There is this recurring dream that I have. At some point in my future, everything I grew up with and everything I know about my past—the places, the memories, the pets, my family, my friends—are replaced with a sprawling empty city, devoid of any life. I drive around at night, homesick, frantically looking for any sign of my past but can only find an orange glow of city streetlights, and a maze of buildings, concrete, and asphalt—all in decay. It's taken me years of reliving this dream to finally realize what it was trying to tell me, with the help of Alan Watts: "The past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is."

I started writing music for Lost Hills as a way to set free this illusion of past and future, to let go of the nostalgia of my childhood and release the persistent, crippling anxiety over what is to come. Lured back to the memories of my 1980s youth, Lost Hills is a collection of weird, slow-motion future-retro synthpop saturated with Betamax-modulated, reverb-drenched synths, delay-soaked staccato guitars, obsolete nu-disco grooves, ice particles floating above peaceful harmonies, along with intimate stories of loss, unmanageable fear, and paralyzing regret. A record inspired by the synthpop of the past, and a sentimental dream of synthpop from the future. Lost Hills is depressing music you can dance to.


released August 11, 2015

All songs written and performed by State Shirt (Ethan Tufts)
except "The Him" written by Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Gillian Gilbert, and Stephen Morris
"You are a Child" backing vocals by Snowflake (Emily Richards Nogawski)
"Stars Fall" lyrics by Ethan Tufts and Angela Heine


Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.



State Shirt Los Angeles, California

State Shirt organizes the sounds of obsolete electronics and thrift store guitars.

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Track Name: Stars Fall
Look into my eyes
Let's live on forever
We burned all of our regrets
There is nothing more to remember

When death knocks at our door
We won't answer, we won't go
We'll be running through the trees
We won't look back, now or ever

When we've reached the top of the hill
We'll watch the cities fall and rebuild
We'll live to see the end of the world
We'll know our love will never be killed

Burning down around us
Everything we know laid bare
When the stars fall from heaven
Where will they land?

Listen to my voice
Let's love always together
We've counted all of the stars
They don't seem that far at all

This is the last night.
As the ashes fall from the sky
The calm settles in
What do we do now?
Track Name: Walk With the Dead
why are you scared of emptiness?
why are you frightened by silence?
why do you struggle with vacancy?
why are you fearful of kindness?

you are amongst the only ones
paralyzed without the sun
you can’t deny you’re on your own
caught in a field that’s overgrown

you can walk with the dead
you can walk with the dead

be alive.
Track Name: This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
there are laws of the universe, and we have broken every one
the world is in chaos, how can we last another 100 years?
the truth is, we were not meant to.
we never knew what we had.
it's not about the rising seas, it's not about the polar bears
it's only about your God-given right to fuck everyone over.

this is why we can't have nice things.
Track Name: Dancing Sad
i envy you in a way
but you always circle like a buzzard on rotting flesh
it's really noble of you to keep this place so spotless
like the blood was never there.

all those gray hairs
are from doing the opposite of what i had planned for you
hold on to my hand now
do you regret this at all?
we're gonna find out.

if you sing this song again
you'll be dancing sad again
if you see my face again
you'll feel sorry for your sins

if you feel like you can't win
you'll be dancing sad again
if you see my face again
you'll feel sorry for your sins

i miss you in a way that i cannot explain
like a friend that guides you home
how very naive of you
so disorderly, coded, tangled and exploding
follow me, forget of those dreams
and all those sketches of hope
they're unattainable now.

hold on to my hand now
do you regret this at all?
we're gonna find out.

am i nothing?
are you near?
Track Name: Take Down the Sun
you’re set on destroying yourself
listen to the words that you say
shouting it from the rooftops
it seems the whole world has gone away
the risk i take to be your man
i can’t take to save your life
high above the rooftops no
you can take your life tonight

it’s so cold
freeze your soul
planes fly low
dear god, no

it’s a sign

take the step and you don’t fall
float away we don’t care much at all
rise above and grab the lights
it burns your head, you’re filled with spikes
look below we are ants you can crush
one by one they are all meaningless
it burns your eyes it burns your eyes
what have you done
it burns us all
it’s all undone.

take down the sun
Track Name: Dead Pixel
You're like a dead pixel
I never see the full picture
You're like a dead pixel

I can't keep up with your misery
What do you want from me?
I left my life behind for this?
You're too far gone, you're always high.
The pain grows inside
I'll just jump from this speeding car
And leave you on your way.

I think we met each other in a bad year.
I've always dealt with your shit
But now we are so low.
Has it ever been so dark?
Without the orange glow of city lights
Look up to the desert sky
I'm lost with you and I'm lost without you

It's not enough to throw it away
Just enough to drive me insane
I'll try to make it all okay
Just so you know, i don't care at all.
Track Name: You Are a Child
hold me tight
don't let go
it seems tonight
i want it to end, right now.

my feet are old
my eyes are old

you are young, again.

my body has failed
my soul is frail
it's my time to be young again

you are young, again.
Track Name: The Him
Some days you waste your life away
These times I find no words to say
A crime I once committed filled me
Too much of heaven's eyes I saw through
Only when meanings have no reason
They're taken beyond your sense of right (and wrong)

Small boy kneels, wandering in a great hall
He pays pennance to the air above him
White circles, black lines surround me
Reborn, so plain my eyes see
This is the reason that I came here
To be so near to such a person

I'm so tired, I'm so tired
Track Name: Flight 17
Here I am