The Sunset Park is an album and intended corresponding performance, visual and textural project created by Sydney band The Aerial Maps.  Devised, written and recorded in the period since the release of the band’s first album, In the Blinding Sunlight, in 2008, The Sunset Park is envisaged as an immersive experience, with a number of cross-referenced components. This blog is intended as an initial “key entry point” for the whole thing, containing the text of the lyrics of the album, associated images, background writing (to come later) and information and other stuff deemed relevant – including details of activities surrounding the launch of the album, associated singles and basically anything related we can think of.

For latest news on Facebook, go here:

https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/The-Aerial-Maps/137390196290962

Set-up

The Sunset Park is a story told through the course of an album, a “song cycle” if you like, involving four main characters  – Brianne Sullivan, 19, her best friend Kristy Bennett, 24, Brianne’s ex-boyfriend Scotty Bennett (who is also Kristy’s brother), 27, and an ex Vietnam veteran named Kevin Pearce, 63.

Beginning in the city of Fremantle in Western Australia and subsequently taking in the wide, dry, hot, often apparently endless distance of Australia in a trans-continental journey which eventually ends up in something of Australia’s version of “the promised land” – the Gold Coast on the border of Northern NSW and Queensland – the story is about a quest for escape, a tale of seeking salvation in the open road, about how rough justice is often the only thing that some people can understand and ultimately about how forgiveness can be found in ways that might not necessarily be found in any bible.

Ultimately, it’s fiction … but that doesn’t mean these people don’t exist and that this story didn’t happen…

Don’t walk, you can always run

Posted in Uncategorized

1. The Port of Old Fremantle (lyrics)

the sun sets on the sea
you can see it clear from here
the sun sets on the sea
can almost see it from here

and the concrete bakes in heat
Brianne can feel it at the flat
you can feel it outside Cash Converters
converting lives to cash

you can feel it down the pub
where Scotty’s fighting someone
and therein lies the rub
such blackness against the sun / such blackness against the sun

down past Freo Oval
down past the swimming pool
his fist is hitting head again
but don’t call him a fool

the sun sets on the sea
you can see it clear from here
the sun sets on the sea
you can almost see it from here

And he’ll drink himself to oblivion
Or a version thereabouts
On pots of Emu Bitter bitter beer
And JD +  Coke shouts

Beer here oh glorious beer
Australia’s holy water:
“i’ll drink + drink + drink + drink
There’s nothing you can say
i’ll drink + drink + drink + drink
what’s it got to do with you anyway?”

he stares hard at the barman
with blue-eyed eyes of ice
and the bar bloke’s not that stupid
no need to tell him twice

you don’t mess with Scotty Bennett
not if you value your life
so just pour him another glass
and shut your mouth up tight
and spare a thought for his missus
who everyone knows she should run for her life
everyone knows she should run for her life

And the sun sets on the sea
You can almost see it from the flat
And the sun sets on the sea
It’s really as simple as that
It’s really as simple as that

In the port of old Fremantle
In Freo. In Freo.

Posted in Uncategorized

2. Positive Negative

to tell this story properly
i need to name the names
need to mark down the dates
put the faces on names

cos hair-trigger pregnancies
ran through her family
the way in others did the abilities
to sing or dance or the
other specific faculties

but bri seemed the exception
to that particular rule
for while all the rockingham boys
had come
the kit paper had never once gone blue

but she knew her periods to the minute
could time them right on cue
so this time was definitely different,
definitely different this time she knew

her sister-in-law kristy said to get a test
a proper one at that:
“those chemist kits are shithouse
go down to the clinic
if my bastard brother’s got you pregnant
at least they’re the ones to get rid of it”

“but i’ll wanna keep it,” she says
“you’re joking?
“maybe i’m not”
“not to him you won’t”
“maybe i will, maybe i won’t.
 maybe it’s my decision?”
“maybe i will, maybe i won’t.
maybe it’s my decision?”

the test comes through positive
all the signs are good
and she can’t wait to tell scotty
like she never thought she would

these people never drink water
they only drink coke
and she sits up in their flat at the top of freo
waits for him to come home

but she’s been seen down the clinic
someone’s told scotty in the pub
and he puts two and three together
and that there is the nub

mate she’s been seeing another bloke
i wouldn’t lie to ya
i wouldn’t lie to ya

and so it starts from here
while the dumptruck sun stays blazing
and so it starts from here
and so it starts from here

Posted in Uncategorized

3. How Dark is the Night

just that certain night
he’s been told
that the girl’s been getting on
with someone
well she’s been seen
she’s been spotted
she’s been definitely rooting around
oh she’s been definitely rooting around

i wouldn’t lie to ya mate
i wouldn’t lie to ya
i wouldn’t lie to ya
but i’m telling ya
it’s a lie / it’s a lie / it’s a dark night
and it’s a fight and it’s Freo

well someone’s been getting in his ear
someone’s been saying something
someone’s been saying
things they shouldn’t be saying
they’ve been talking out of school
they’ve been filling up on bullshit
oh someone’s been getting in his ear
someone’s been getting in his ear
oh she’s been rooting around mate
i seen her down there
i seen her with that bloke
oh she’s been playing up mate
don’t take my word for it
everybody knows everybody knows

but it’s not true
but it’s not true
it’s a lie /  i’m telling ya
it’s a lie / it’s a dark night
it’s a lie / it’s dark night / it’s a fight
and it’s Freo

ah but she’s got nothing to say
she’s done nothing wrong
she’s just living on the planet
she’s tryna do her best
she’s tryna make ends meet
with Scotty Bennett
that’s a chore in itself
that’s a chore in itself and that’s all kind of abuse

but the blonde man he’s a bastard
he’s charging through the streets
he’s charging past the hospital
up past old Freo jail
the blood up in his eyes

the booze up in his head
she’ll get what’s coming to her
she’ll get what’s coming to her
oh yeah oh yeah it’s no surprise
this bastard’s a bastard

she’ll get what’s coming to her
she’ll get what’s coming to her
she’ll get what’s coming to her
she’ll get what’s coming to her

how dark is the night
it brings the blood
fighting and spitting
it brings the blood

teach her a lesson
it’s no a question
fists are flying
she’ll get the message

he’s a bastard / he’s a bastard

as the sirens tear the night apart
they’re screaming in the heat
she’s lying in a mess of blood
down there at his feet
but you’re just a bloody coward mate
you’re just a weak weak man
you’re just a useless coward mate
a big man hits a womana / a big man hits a woman

oh yeah you coward

and the cops will get him this time
they’ll lock him away for sure
he’s going for a decent old stretch
they’ll get Scotty Bennett for sure

there’s no doubt there’s no doubt
just speak now / speak now / speak now
speak now
or forever hold your peace

and they pile him in the wagon
as the sun sets on the sea
and they pile him in the wagon
as the sun sets on the sea

and it’d would pay to bear in mind
and it’d pay to bear in mind
and it’d pay to bear in mind
and it would pay to bear in mind

that an AVO means nothing
to someone who cannot spell
an AVO means nothing
to someone who cannot spell
an AVO means nothing
to someone who cannot spell

Posted in Uncategorized

4. Salvation Road

They can run
the girls they’re driving
in this moment they’ll take that road
and begin everything

and they can clearly see the future
they can see it all makes sense
in this car – salavation road –
in this land of no horizon
in this car
where it all makes sense
in this car
where it all makes sense

it’s one-hundred degrees
in the old scale
why walk?
you can always run
cos we’re playing out an old tale
heading on to that place in the sun
heading on to that place in the sun

and you know the road will shimmy
and you know the road will shake
and you know it’s time to leave here

it’s one-hundred degrees
on the old scale
don’t walk
now it’s time to run
in this land of no horizon
driving on to the rising sun
driving on to the rising sun

and you know this time we’re flying
and you know this time we’re right
and you know
it’s time
to leave here

let us walk into the valley
though we know we’re almost done
let us never have to die oh let us run
let us be forever happy
till the dimming of our days
let us try to find salvation
on the way

and so they’ll take that road open wide
they’ll get up and run now
cry through the wilderness
in this land of no horizon
in this car on salvation road
in this car where it all makes sense
in this land of no horizon
cry through the wilderness
cry through the wilderness
in this distance we can find ourselves
and find our path
in the freedom that we know and hope
will always last

Posted in Uncategorized

5. The Ballad of the Nullarbor

hey
got us a few bucks tonight
we’re gonna take a ride
got a plan and it’s
straight across
to the other side

i spend a lot of time
in the places of my mind
leaving old Fremantle
leaving it all behind

it’s a hundred degrees
in the old scale
it’s a hundred degrees
in the old scale

it’s the story of the Nullarbor
it’s the Great Eastern Highway
it’s the sun rising in our eyes
Boulder, Kalgoorlie, Norsman.
Balladonia Roadhouse, Eucla

it’s the ballad of the Nullarbor
it’s the ballad of the Nullarbor

and it’s the treeless plain
it’s the treeless plain
it’s the treeless plain
it’s the treeless plain

everything is just the same
on the ballad of the Nullarbor
ballad of the Nullarbor

it’s 100 degrees in the old scale
it’s 100 degrees
in the old scale

the blond man he’s a bastard
well he throws punches in the dust
if we don’t get moving
if we don’t start runnin
we don’t start going
we don’t get up and run
we stay here
we rust
we stay here
we rust

it’s one hundred degrees in the old scale
i gotta go now
there’s the sun
we’re gotta go now
there’s the sun
we gotta run
we gotta run

it’s the straight line
border town
leaving the old town
leave him there

it’s one hundred degrees
in the old scale
it’s one hundred degrees
in the old scale
it’s the treeless plain
it’s the treeless plain

white heat
white land
white sky
white road
white hand

it’s one hundred degrees
in the old scale
with the roadhouse and
the dogs
in the dust
leave him there
you will go
leave him there
it’s a hundred degrees
in the old scale
straight line border town
Boulder, Kalgoorlie,
the children and us
riot land, quiet land
no fuss

just keep going
just keep going
just keep going

you can leave now

you can leave
it’s ok
you can leave
it’s ok
you can leave
it’s ok
you can leave
it’s ok
you can leave
it’s ok
you can run…

leave him there
go
go
go

Posted in Uncategorized

6. The Sunset Park

hey mate
it’s easy to think that the Gold Coast
is some sort of Promised Land
but it’s bloody easy to fall into the cracks
and you might just end up in a caravan

and i’ll give you this tip
i’ll say it clear
i’ll lay it right down now –
there’s no place for poets in a residential park
ah there’s no singing in the shower mate
there’s no porchlight Australiana
no McHappy meals
there’s no happy families
there’s no Summer Bay
it’s not hey hey hey hey hey hey hey
it’s a great day
no way

it’s the Sunset Park

and the concrete slabs and the water tanks
and the rank rising mangroves
beneath the Tweed Heads sky

at least it’s a good place to hide
for Kristy and Brianne
they’re straight out of Freo
and they’ve moved now to the East Coast side
with two kids
under five

everyone’s running from something
everyone’s got a secret or two
everyone’s got something up their sleeve
and some people have more than a few

this is no Promised Land
and when you can’t rent anywhere else
you get a place with no address
it’s a caravan behind the cyclone fence
and the weedy scraps and the rubbish
they’re piled and they’re never swept
never ever ever swept
no way
and the children will play in water drains
“write their contracts in the sand
it’ll be great for life”

and the shouts and sirens are best ignored
and the girls will watch for strangers
and look out for any sign of that bloke

but they’ve met this guy named Kevin
he’s got the tiger tatt, 5th Battalion
he was in Vietnam, at Nui Dat, Long Tan,
he’ll look out for them
he’s as clear on that as can be

he’s a hard old bloke
he loves a smoke
he knows the score
in the Sunset Park

everyone’s running from something
everyone’s got a secret or two
everyone’s got something up their sleeve
and some people have more than a few

everyone’s running from something
everyone’s got a secret or two
everyone’s got something up their sleeve
and some people have more than a few

ah it’s getting dark
it’s getting dark
it’s getting dark

in The Sunset Park

Posted in Uncategorized

7. Kamilaroi Highway

drive

drive

drive

Posted in Uncategorized

8. The Border Towns

have you seen the border towns
the worlds there in between
the consecrated silent towns
you can hide / be never seen

coolan-gatta what’s the matter
crash course for the tweed
fourex beers and burger kings
the holy kfcs

the parking lots for commodores
motels fried in heat
broken tyres beside the road
are worn out off their feet

have seen the border towns
the semis in the night
coming on down from brisbane
or the lismore road tonight

have seen the border towns
the semis in the night
coming on down from brisbane
or the lismore road tonight

we’re headed past the flatlands
beyond the fields of cane
the service stations lit all night
through the back of the border range
through the back of the border range
through the back of the border range

surface surfer’s paradise
where the bindis use to be
a timeshare block with swimming pool
exclusive annual fees

all the golden meter maids
sniff cocaine off the sills
and blokes with no clear means of cash
still somehow pay the bills
still somehow pay the bills
still somehow pay the bills

have you seen the border towns
the worlds there in between
the consecrated silent towns
you can hide / be never seen
you can hide / be never seen
you can hide / be never seen

and all along the promised lands
the twin towns service club
bowling greens and funeral schemes
and asian rub and tugs

and the girls will find their solace
in a van in the sunset park
behind the fence they’ll safely keep
their heads down in the dark
their heads down in the dark
their heads down in the dark

but if ya living in the sun
there will always be the shadow
there will always be a dawning day
when you find that you can’t run

but if ya living in the sun
there will always be the dark
there will always be a dawning day
when he finds the sunset park
when he finds the sunset park

and he’ll come searching out for them
they always knew he would
and he’ll come gunning on for them
he could and he should and he would
he could and he should and he would
he could and he should and he would

have you seen the border towns
the worlds there in between
the consecrated silent towns
you can hide / be never seen

have you seen the border towns
the worlds there in between
the consecrated silent towns
you can hide / be never seen
you can hide / be never seen
you can hide / be never seen

hey have you seen the border towns
with the worlds there in between
the consecrated runaway towns
you can hide / be never seen
you can hide / be never seen
you can hide / be never seen

your dreamworld never seen x 4

have you seen the border towns
the worlds there in between
the consecrated silent towns
you can hide / be never seen

in the border towns

Posted in Uncategorized

9. The Things That Make You Happy

well it’s a bloody long time
since bloody Long Tan
and our sappers were never
at Khe Sahn
that was a yanks-only affair
we were mostly down south
bugger all up there

but i’ll give Don Walker his due
his song meant a lot
and he was right to say
there were no v-day heroes in 1973
not for yonks ya see
but for some by then
it was way too late /
way too late
and she forgot those dockside guarantees
exactly as they said
and took off with her next-door neighbour
+ left me stone for dead

Well I’m not looking for angels
I’ve never seen one live
I’m not looking for angels
I’ve never seen one live

What are the things that make you happy?
Where do they all go?

so i was end to end across the country
broken hill mines and wooden floors
darwin then for cyclone tracy
u shoulda heard the roars
and the debts i was facing
from bets on the racing
the cray boats off the abrolhos
then beers with the leylands
the cooktown  badlands
and barra up in gove,
you gotta go you gotta go
so it was back to south-east Asia
sumartra, singapore, the Filo flings
and i washed up at the Red Pirate bar in Boracay
for the beers and the sun and the girls
and their lies

she was straight from the Ukraine
where things weren’t the same
said she wanted to move to Perth and
and so took me for all i was worth
played me like a fiddle
mowed me down the middle
played me like a fiddle
mowed me down the middle
Well I’m not looking for angels
I’ve never seen one live
I’m not looking for angels
I’ve never seen one live

What are the things that make you happy?
Where do they all go?

All i want now
Is a place in the sun
To stay out of trouble
That’s number one

And just fish in the river
Up past the mangroves
Each year’s the same
Oh how time goes
Oh how time goes
Oh how time goes

It’s whatever makes you happy
You can’t complain
It’s a caravan on the old Gold Coast
It never rains

Some coins in the pokies
A cold pot or two
Keep your head down quiet
No-one bothers you

And i heard somebody say
That the reason the river’s holy
Is that it’s the closest thing you’ll get to rain
the reason the river’s holy
Is that it’s the closest thing to rain

the closest thing to rain
the closest thing to rain
the closest thing to rain
the closest thing to rain

Posted in Uncategorized

10. Descending Days

Descending days
Descending days
Days descending

Descending days
Descending days
Days descending

Well he’s got one arm of his wife-beater
And it’s slung out of the Falcon
He knows the way / he knows the score
He’s on his way to find them

He’s heading cross the country
It’s the dry land it’s ripped in heat
Nothing good will come of this
If ever they shall meet
Nothing good will come of this
If ever they shall meet

Don’t look at me in that tone of voice
i’ll deafen your eyesight
Don’t look at me in that tone of voice
Or i’ll deafen your eyesight

Descending days
Descending days
Days descending

Descending days
Descending days
Days descending

Ah the sun dries the ink on my Southern Cross
As it hits my right-hand-side
All your fears are realised
With the sound of wheels and tyres

I’m heading up the north coast
There’s no drama
I just want a little chat
Just wanna see my first-born child
Is there anything wrong with that?

Don’t look at me in that tone of voice
Or i’ll deafen your eyesight
Don’t look at me in that tone of voice
Or i’ll deafen your eyesight

Posted in Uncategorized

11. This Land of No Horizon

I’ve done a lot of bad things
I’ve done a couple good
But there’s one thing I’ll never do
I’ll never hit a woman
That’s the lowest of the low
You can’t stoop any lower
You can’t stoop any lower

So I’ll save a spot for a tattoo
A place to put your name
A eulogy of a memory
In this land of no horizon
In this land of no horizon

I just want a place to sit in the sun
A place to pat my cat
Cigarettes? They’ll get me through
A cappuccino, one sugar, no chocolate on top
Thanks

There’s things I’ll never talk about
The landing at Vung Tau
The leavers offering no sympathy
For the new arrivals
Just saying,
“You’ll be sorry”
“You’ll be sorry”
And we were

These two feel like the daughters I never had
Yeah, I got a family in my home
And it feels … pretty good
And I’ll cut the throat of anyone
Who wants to lay a finger on ’em
I’ll spot anyone who wants to touch ’em
I’ll pick ’em
Anyone who wants to hurt ’em

It’s the land of no horizon
It’s the land of no horizon
You can’t fool me

It’s the land of no horizon
You can’t fool me

I know about the river
I know about the water
I know about the lot

You can’t fool me
You can’t fool me

Posted in Uncategorized

12. Beer Glorious Beer

Well the truckie’d been driving since Sydney
On a 12-hour overnight stump
Pinged the gills on five kinds of pills
Cos the boss’s got him under the pump

And he’s rounded the bend at Denira Point
On a crash course for the Tweed
Whether he’s had a nod or a micro-sleep
He’s hit the bridge at speed

And he’s taken out the guardrail
Ripped right through the gears
And he’s hit the drink at 80 clicks
400 hundred crates of beers (flying)

Beer beer glorious beer
Nothing quite like it for drowning the fear
Beer beer glorious beer
Glass after glass after year after year

And he’s hit the Tweed with a frightful splash
But his rig lands straight upright
And he’s scrambled out without a scratch
He’s out of there, he’s out of sight

Well the joint just went bananas
You should seen the place
The ord went out like wildfire
Everyone hunting a case

Blokes dug up old scuba gear
Filled an old tinnie to the brim
One chappy found an old diving bell
And promptly dived right in

Beer beer glorious beer
Nothing quite like it for drowning the fear
Beer beer glorious beer
Glass after glass after year after year

Yeah news crews flew above it
The cops came out in force
They tried to cordon the whole river off
There was stuff-all chance of course

And when darkness fell the pub was pumping
Everyone making a plan
There was shouts and general mayhem
Two bob’s worth to a man

There’s 400 crates of beer in there
It’s dead-set open slather
At the crack of dawn they’re set to pounce
On Australia’s holy water (yeah)

Beer beer glorious beer
Nothing quite like it for drowning the fear
Beer beer glorious beer
Glass after glass after year after year

And when Kevin spied this blonde dude
In the front bar having his say
Well he knew he’d seen Scotty’s photo before
He knew him straight away

You don’t need to be old Alfred Einstein
To put two and three together
That prick has finally tracked the girls
And it’s not for a chat, you’d gather

He’s chasing the pair who locked him up
They knew he’d one day come
But Kev’s not having a bar of that
Comeuppance soon will come

Beer beer glorious beer
Nothing quite like it for drowning the fear
Beer beer glorious beer
Glass after glass after year after year

Oh you must love your beer mate
Whereabouts are you from?
WA? That’s a bloody long way
But we’ve got a plan if you wanna get on

Of course Scotty was right up for it
And Kev gets him in a shout
They sink 10 rounds of Fourex Gold
And Kev susses him right out

“We’ll use the ute and a great long chain
To fish some palettes of beer out
We’ll get a relay system on the go
And we’ll sort the whole thing out
Ok, you keen to get onboard?
You keen?”

Beer beer glorious beer
Nothing quite like it for drowning the fear
Beer beer glorious beer
Glass after glass after year after year

“But here’s the thing, someone’s gotta dive down
With the chain around them tight
Then find the beer and hook a palette
Then swim the chain up right?”

“And when they swim back up the top
We’ll unhitch them from the chain
And attach that to the towbar
And if all’s sweet, we’ll do it again
Ah they’ll be sweet, don’t worry
We’ll pull ’em out, there’ no drama
Just need someone with a bit of ticker
Yeah, just a bit of ticker
You keen?”

Beer beer glorious beer
Nothing quite like it for drowning the fear
Beer beer glorious beer
Glass after glass after year after year

Well this Scotty prick’s a real big head
He thinks he’s real king shit
So he falls hook line and sinker
And Kev smiles just a bit

At 5am they rendezvous
Down there by the slipway
The ute and the chain are sweet as a nut
So Scotty is away

Just lock the chain on the weightbelt
And swim the whole chain down
Then lock it onto a palette
And bring the chain up ’round

And we’ll grab a hold of the end of the thing
And hook it on the towbar
Then pull both you and the slabs out
It shouldn’t be a drama

So the boys all get him trussed up
Like a great big fucken hero
And in he goes with a smile on his dial
But he’s gonna come up with zero

Cos Kevin’s got a decent plan
He’s a bloke who knows the river
When this fool he brings the chain back up
The tide will drag him hither

And the dopey goose he follows the script
For the great god love of beer
And when his head pops up he waves the chain
He suddenly sees it clear

Brianne and Kevin and Kristy
Up there on the slipway
Oh the look on his face is priceless
As the chain drags him awayyyyyyyyy

Beer beer glorious beer
Glass after glass after year after year

Well the sun rises on the sea
You can see it clear from here
As Scotty disappears beneath the waves
Chained to his holy beer
Chained to his holy beer
Australia’s holy water
It’s beer and it’s here
And it’s glorious
And it’s glorious

beeeeeer

Posted in Uncategorized

13. Forgiveness

The headland frames the morning
Ah this inventory of absence
Resolution gets its wings
And you will find comeuppance

The tide will take you with it
Moving heaven and earth
Cast your line at the crack of dawn
You’ll find the lessons learned

Forgiveness
Forgiveness

You don’t understand my ways
But that’s alright
That’s okay
All I ever really knew
Was what you do
Not what you say

All the raw land rolled
Under wheels and under cars
Under eyes and under faces
Under the Jim Moginie stars

The black miles of bitumen
The suns shines dry in the sky
In this house that someone built
You must try try try try

The greater good is the lesser evil
And always the time will come
When the tap water tastes like chlorine
And you’ll find the time to run

And forgive…

You don’t understand my ways
But that’s alright
That’s okay
All I ever really knew
Was what you do
Not what you say
Hey hey
Yeah
Said we can talk
About those things
Yeah
Forgiveness takes all that you have

I hope you can forgive me…

Posted in Uncategorized