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1. Gates of the Old City [MP3]
2. Help Me Roada
'Gates of the Old City' / 'Help Me Roada'

Gates of the Old City (2:52)
Help Me Roada (3:45)

Here's the second Serious Business single from NYC lady-fronted power-pop hook factory Looker. This one, like its predecessor "After My Divorce", delivers maximum melody, lyrical sophistication and bittersweet ear-candy, leaving your finger stuck on that repeat button. Looker has two charismatic and expressive lead vocalist/songwriters in Nicole Greco and Boshra AlSaadi, and the sublime balance between the two, which this single demonstrates, is the heart of the band. "Gates of the Old City," a tuneful slab of visceral rock classicism, explodes into a soaring Greco chorus with words that keep your brain pinned to speakers. "Help Me Roada" is a laid-back AlSaadi masterwork, a truly touching gem that marries Dylan-y verses and Beatles-y chorii. Producer Erik Paparazzi (Cat Power and The Dirty Delta Blues) ran the proceedings with Serious Business recordist Travis Harrison as his first mate.

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Sonic Parthenon

"Some of their notable original numbers were "Gates of the Old City," a harmony-laden diddy, and their newest B-side, "Help Me Roada," a song so charming and sweet it sounds better than most A-sides."
Pete Spall, The Signal, TCNY


(tune in tune in) the four of us have travelled far and long
(tune in tune in) the tram has dropped us off at your front door
(tune out tune out) your voice is somewhere calling
(tune out tune out) it seems you've locked yourself inside

(tune in tune in) they're cooking up black liquid on the stove
(tune in tune in) this coffee's just as strong as bitter smoke
(tune out tune out) but something here is funny
(tune out tune out) sam's eye is bruised and bloody

maybe it's the dim dark winter days
or lack of sunshine onto your face
whatever's gone and broken your faith
your pretty vacant eyes don't see,
please don't forget to hide the key

(tune in tune in) we'll follow you through streets of neon fog
(tune in tune in) to find they've cleaned the soot off castle walls
(tune out tune out) we toast but we don't swallow
(tune out tune out) they're bringing truffles to the gallows

far apart or under the same roof
we always did what we said we would do
and all the while your heart was covered
your pretty vacant eyes don't see
please don't forget to the hide the key

(tune in tune in) i've crossed this ocean one too many times
(tune in tune in) let's take a train and leave this place behind
now i hear the sound of yesterday's words, yesterday's songs, yesterday's longings

tell me it's your broken faith now baby
don't lie and say that it's coffee your making
i changed his name to keep my face straight
i still wanted to sing this song
the person it's about is gone
i'll bury the key with your bones

the night we talked about breaking my heart, I fell asleep with my face in the couch the shock of the new sinking into my bones, watching TV while the neighbors moaned in the morning when we worked it out, just a passing storm cloud you said a plastic smile from the foot of the bed, how was i to know it was up ahead the night our castle made of sand melted into the dirty halls i tried to be strong but made myself small, tracking your shadows on the wall

oh help me roada, oh this time it's bad, i think i lost the best thing that i ever had

the day you almost broke my heart, i rode my bike on the edge of town and hated the sun for shining so strong and hated the runners for movin on the night you almost broke my heart, every bar was playing some song while friends bought me drinks and passed me along til a welcome sleep held me but not for that long

oh help me roada, oh this time it's bad, i think i lost the best thing that i ever had

in the morning when i came around, i had to tell you things that i saw
a tall dark plant that doesn't need too much light
a glass of molasses rum and crushed ice
the warm blue glow of grenadine light
a tug on my belt loop when i get too close to the tracks
the best thing that i ever had, the best thing that i ever had