The Optical Shop

by Ryan Hommel

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about

The Optical Shop began as a band name. The band was Ryan Hommel, Marc Seedorf (bass) and Colin Jalbert (drums). Because bands are hard to keep alive, unfortunately this band didn't stay together in the way we think of bands for the duration of the making of this record. Fortunately, everyone agreed that the record should still get finished and that because all the songs were written by Ryan, it was also agreed that Ryan would release it as his first full length record. Everyone involved is proud of the love and work and stress and fun that went into making "The Optical Shop" and this record will forever stand for a short but very sweet period of time when Ryan, Marc and Colin enjoyed basking in that sunshine-y feeling of being in a new band.

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released October 20, 2015

See the back cover jpg!

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about

Ryan Hommel Northampton, Massachusetts

As an unrelenting songsmith and performer, Ryan Hommel delivers his old-soul vocals and sophisticated guitar legerdemain with such a discipline, ease and clarity that it has nowhere to go but straight into your soul.

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Track Name: Reds & Yellows
Reds & Yellows
Music & Lyrics by Ryan Hommel

When I get back it will be fall
And you will be all I have
The last week of summer don’t feel like a bummer
Because I know I’ll love the colors and the times that we’ll share

Together
Pointing at the reds and yellows
You make me better
Than the real leather jackets on the handsome fellows
The leather jackets on the handsome fellows

It’s easy getting stuck in the mud and the muck
When all it ever does is rain
But we can take pleasure in all of the weather
And love it as the seasons change

Together
Pointing at the reds and yellows
You make me better
Than the real leather jackets on the handsome fellows
The leather jackets on the handsome fellows

You make it easy like the river
Girl, you tease me like a sliver
Of the moon

Together
Pointing at the reds and yellows
You make me better
Than the real leather jackets on the handsome fellows
The leather jackets on the handsome fellows
Than the real leather jackets on the handsome fellows
The leather jackets on the handsome fellows
Track Name: Song For Me
Song For Me
Music & Lyrics by Ryan Hommel

I’m so damn tired of writing songs for you
I just had to write a song for me
I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong or blind
But allow me to explain my selfish side

I’ve been thinking
I’ve been drinking
About all those wasted I love you’s
Thought that I was paying dues
Love is not a bought thing
It’s not a “write a stupid song and make it better” thing

I’m so damn tired of writing songs for you
I just had to write a song for me
I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong or blind
But allow me to explain my selfish side

You can’t stop me
You can’t save
From Januaries in Belize
Chasing all the girls I please
Surely you’ve got better things
Like kissing the boy who works the spa in Saratoga Springs

I’m so damn tired of writing songs for you
So why’d it take me so damn long to see

Those songs for you really weren’t yours
Just a quiet way to cope when you were slamming all of my open doors

I’m so damn tired of writing songs for you
I just had to write a song for me
I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong or blind
But allow me to explain my selfish side
Track Name: Deep Cuts
Deep Cuts
Music & Lyrics by Ryan Hommel

Hello hello, how long has it been
Had the towers fallen, was the bastard president
I see the ring, I see the Chrystler eight-passenger

I see the deep cuts
And nothing’s changed
All this time
And nothing’s changed

I heard you moved away to wear your mamma’s gown
He was working in the building when the planes went down
You can wipe away the tears but your heart is stained

Those were deep cuts
And nothing’s changed
All this time
And nothing’s changed

Why can’t love find me
Where’s our saving hand
Could this be the price we pay
For believing all they say
When no one gives a damn

Can we put it back together and try it again
After years of broken promise, I don’t know if we can
Do we really fit the bill for loves campaign

Those were deep cuts
And nothing’s changed
All this time
And nothing’s changed
Track Name: Time, People, Control
Time, People, Control
Music & Lyrics by Ryan Hommel

Shiftin on the couch
I kissed you on the mouth
And I never got to tell you
What that was all about

There’s space in between us
And busy lives that lead us
Down hallways and highways
But it’s the distance I don’t trust

Here I go telling you I’ll keep your coffee hot
The steam’s rising fast, let’s hold on to what we got
Come along Rachel, Come along Rachel, Come along Rachel

I have trouble letting go
of time, people and control
The side of me you see as being free
You know, it’s always had its toll

Here I go telling you I’ll keep your coffee hot
The steam’s rising fast, let’s hold on to what we got
Come along Rachel, Come along Rachel, Come along Rachel
Track Name: If I wanted To
If I Wanted To
Music & Lyrics by Ryan Hommel

I watched you pull out of the driveway
Like nothing ever happened
You should have seen the look on my face
As if your car seat wasn’t fastened

Now buckle up
For the long strange ride
It goes by fast
Like highway signs
I would never slow you down
I couldn’t if I wanted to

Just as spring leaps from the winter
You leapt straight out of my arms
Now the scary thing to figure
Is letting go could do no harm

But for eighteen years
We had a good run
I’ve kept you safe
But now, you’re gone
I would never hold you back
I couldn’t if I wanted to

I breathe deeply every morning
It hurts to miss you every day
I got no reason to be mourning
Though I wish you were around to hear me say
That I would never hold you back
I couldn’t if I wanted to

Now, I wake up when I want to
No alarm set for the bus
You took a table and my sofa
For the next guy that you’ll trust

You’ll be dressed in white
Down the road
As I watch you take
His hand to hold
But I would never hold you back
I would never hold you back
I couldn’t if I wanted to
Track Name: 7 Cords
7 Cords
Music & Lyrics by Ryan Hommel

All at once the fire up and turned to smoke
Now I can’t remember the last time we spoke
Counting days is not my thing
But since you’ve taken off my ring
I’m knee deep in seven cords of oak
Chopping away, chopping away
And my heart is just as broke

All my true friends say that you’re a piece of trash
For leaving me here to questions our whole sweet past
By the way you turned on me
I think you’ve been out of love for a year or three
Now all I got are these seven cords of ash
Chopping away, chopping away
But it all burns up in a flash

I am proud to say that I’m now able
To hear your voice without a bottle on the table
But I’m sorry to decline
We’ll catch up another time
I’m knee deep in seven cords of maple
Chopping away, chopping away
As hard as I am able

The word out on the street is that you’re doing fine
And although I never wished you pain of any kind
It’ll take me twice as long
Just to see what I did wrong
I’m knee deep in seven cords of pine
Chopping away, chopping away
Oh, chopping away, chopping away
‘Til I get to the center of my mind
Track Name: Coming of Age, Again
Coming of Age Again
Music & Lyrics by Ryan Hommel

I’ve got a bone to pick with you tonight
I’ve got a mind to really set things right
I guess I’m coming of age
Coming of age, again

Do you even know how many doctors I’ve seen?
How much work I put in just to be thirteen?
I’ve been coming of age
Coming of age since then
You can’t really believe that you’ve been there all this time
Or that when I’ve done well for myself, I’ll owe you a dime
Don’t get me wrong, I love you
Just not the same way that most folks do
I’ve got a feeling inside I’ve tried
And failed to hide

When did you intend to set the record straight,
Regarding all the shit you fed me that I gladly ate?
I’ll give you this, man
It was all coming up roses for a while
You can’t really believe that you’ve been pulling your own weight
How can you be here in my heart when you’re there in another state?
I don’t think you ever had a bad intention
But all you ever had to do was simply mention
That you were afraid
Of telling the truth to my face

You can redeem yourself with a four-leaf clover
And with the notion that it’s never too late to start over,
You’ll be coming of age
Coming of age, again

We will always have the baggage of a damaged past
You can take it or leave it, it comes around fast
I choose to forgive
Over and over again
I guess I’m coming of age
Coming of age, again
Track Name: Southern Coast of Maine
Southern Coast of Maine
Music & Lyrics by Ryan Hommel

All the perfect girls at Princeton walk around like they own the world
And everything in it, can you believe it

Such blinding insecurity, they call it confidence and maturity
They don’t have either, but they wouldn’t believe it

They attract who they think are worthy and they all end up in New Jersey
And when I visit, I can’t believe it

I’m not being high and mighty here, but I start grinning ear to ear
Because you’re not them, no

Don’t let those girls drag you down
You should feel much better about yourself
At the end of the day
When the tide rolls away
You still got me and the southern coast of Maine

I got this friend you may know him well, he often puts himself through hell
And he’s got secrets, but you’d never believe them

He falls so hard for one good girl that he can’t see the rest of the world
Or anything in it, no

Don’t let those girls drag you down
You should feel much better about yourself
At the end of the day
When the tide rolls away
You still got me and the southern coast of Maine

If I told you that I love you now, would I see that furrowed brow
Or would you believe me

Everything I say is true, right down to how I feel about you

Don’t let those girls drag you down
You should feel much better about yourself
What I’m really trying to say
Is you will never see a day
That you won’t have me and the southern coast of Maine
Track Name: A Little Bit of Faith
A Little Bit of Faith
Music & Lyrics by Ryan Hommel

You never have to look so long
Before you find fear and frown
Everybody from time to time
Feels like they’re tumbling down

I am blind to the future
Just like everyone else
I try to keep my heart open
Can I live like nobody else

It feels like I’m always finding the steepest climbs
The truth is, I just need reminding sometimes

Take your shoulders off your ears
Take a breath and look around
All is not as it appears
When you can’t help from feeling down
Give as much as you can
Give a little more everyday
When you’re keeping an open hand
You’d be surprised at what will go and what will stay
You can get real far on a little faith
Track Name: Behind My Glasses
Behind My Glasses
Music & Lyrics by Ryan Hommel

My window shines like the moon when I wake up
In the middle of the night
I keep my glasses off
For all the same reasons I do when I’m in New York City

Whatever the hell you do
Bad things can happen to you
It’s just a way to keep me true
Keep me from feeling blue
But it’s not all bad times, let me tell you

I’m not ignoring reality but 17-year-old Sam Burns
Had it right
If you can help if you should never
Ever miss a party on a Saturday night

It’s not always a party here behind my glasses
But if you want to make all the dicks look like asses
All you gotta do is
Reach up and turn your four eyes into two

Whatever the hell you do
Bad things can happen to you
It’s just a way to keep me true
Keep me from feeling blue
But it’s not all bad times, let me tell you

It’s my decision
When I’m seeing crystal clear
It doesn’t have to be a prison
To let the world be blury
And let nature have its way

It’s not always a party here behind my glasses
But if you want to make all the dicks look like asses
All you gotta do is
Reach up and turn your four eyes into two

Whatever the hell you do
Bad things can happen to you
It’s just a way to keep me true
Keep me from feeling blue
But it’s not all bad times, let me tell you