A Stone Throw From A Glass House

by Illusion of Joy

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released October 28, 2016


all rights reserved



Illusion of Joy Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Illusion of Joy is the duo of musicians Seth Warren and Maresa Whitehead based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Influenced by a plethora of alternative 1980s musicians including The Cure, Public Image Ltd. and The Bolshoi, the retro aesthetic of Illusion of Joy is balanced by lyrics that alternate between contemporary and timeless. ... more

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Track Name: Precious Cargo
Heads up! Precious cargo
Eyes out – no damages
Strapped down: constrict the movement
That’s how we deliver it

Run far away
We’ve done a bad thing
You’re my accomplice
Burn, throttle up
This is a rough ride
They can not catch us

Defiance: a shiny light
Pass a law, doesn’t make it right
Don’t speak words of rebellion
Hollow rhetoric is through
We’re the liars, but we know the truth
That crime was simply more fun


Keep it all cool
Mind the back chamber
Don’t lose your nerve
Make the voices stop
Rest for ten minutes
And we’ll move on

Say again what we do is right
Awake in such cold sweats at night
Such horrifying pictures
Tell the truth: have we both gone mad?
We’ve redefined the good and bad
Less thinking, more action


Take the long road home
Assuming we can get back
Road, river and rail
Unite me with my heartland
Take the long road home
Assuming that we have one
You filthy radicals
Redemption is a sad joke

Matted hair, formaldehyde
Let’s take these monsters for a ride
We can just do, they have all died
Let’s take these monsters for a ride
Come on, monsters – ride!

Track Name: Metamorphosis
Undertow, you can now take me
I am done, I am free
Have I given a full lifetime?
What is left? A cavity
Call the rocks and call the breakers
Gather close, witness the fall
Trace your tear trails down your features
Know this is no end at all

Learning to breathe under water
I will be a submarine
Being one in fluid motion
Render us unto the sea

Swallow salty inspiration
Cough up sickly memories
By the anger and frustration
My old habits, my disease


Open your eyes and let the burning pass
Adapt and surely you will see
Open your hands and wash away the fear
Reach out and touch and you’ll believe
Open your heart and cast away the doubt
Open your doubtless heart to me

Track Name: You Did Better?
They can crawl inside of you
Make you writhe around screaming
Until you push the infection out
Then you’re only filled with doubt
If they strip all away
Sell your useless parts for scrap
“Hey, let’s get together again man!”
You call these people your friends?

Every note that you played
Every song that you sang
Was the start of something beautiful
But you did better
You are the idol

If they shove it in your face
It’s your migraine companion
Leaves you broken and bleeding
But you bet they’ll say it’s needed
They can put you on the show
They can pull all of your strings
Abandon your insecurities
This is how you’ll make your living

Track Name: Broken Toys
And so we play with broken toys
The silence permeates, consuming all the noise
You try to hold it but your grip is loosening
No more noise
Broken toys

You lay the blade against my skin
Apply some pressure, let’s begin
You say you need it – it will kill you in the end
Bleeding skin
Let’s begin

Feels like an army marching on
A force ten million units strong
Sit down and protest – it’s your empty victory
Army strong
Marching on

And so we play with broken toys
If silence is so loud, we’re killing all the noise
You fight no longer, it’s so easy giving in
No more noise
Broken toys
Track Name: Railway Forgotten
Your rust-encrusted heart is mine
To have forsaken
Steel wheels jumped over the line
All signals mistaken

Nostalgia and apathy call out
Come with me now, sleep with me now, man
You make your connection and swallow
Roll over the wrong direction

Your moss-covered tracks are mine
Lay down for the trails not taken
Blood-blister, drag down the line
The undergrowth has forsaken

Do you hear the ghosts keep crying?
Walk with us now, dance with us forever
The skull, the stone and the contact
This is our last connection

And now let the Earth reclaim us
Destruction to dust, monuments, rust
There stands here no one to remember
That is how it should be
Track Name: Distance
There’s a little dot on the horizon
Turn your head sideways, adjust your eyelids
Leaning forward, reaching out and it’s gone
Twilight creeping in, light pricks the darkness
Smokestack, windward vision obscure the sunset
Flying over, looking down and we fall

I remember when we said, “forever”
Brushing lips on skin and it was never
Reconciled, pass to denial and done
Reconcile, pass to denial and done

Learning to be one with your enclosure
Concrete groove and hum toward a better pasture
Accelerating, acclimating, come on
Morning fading in, deep blue retreating
From pure revealing light we hide until evening
Crawling back under our usual rocks
When you say you are a god, I know that you’re not

Track Name: The Shaming
I really should just say it to your face
You self-absorbed, self-righteous waste of space
You claim you’re only helping
You body fascist, rape apologist
I know you’re so proud of your brand new life
You’ve made yourself a son and perfect wife
You are born again and baptised
You jog the straight and narrow 9 to 5

Little wounds, little pricks
There’s no room for opinions that dissent
Day by day closed some more
Lose your mind, lean your head against the door

You were not shy in pointing out my flaws
A self-deluded pervert without pause
There is no justification
When everyone else tells you to preach on
I don’t know why I’ve let you in my life
Hindsight brings no good features into light
You tell me that you’re joking
A wink makes every barb you toss all right

Jump around, monkey cage
It’s a joke – don’t get bent out of shape
Very smug for so long
Sketch me out, I can kill you in a song
Come on, bitch, now sing along

Shame – I love to take you home
You burn into my shell
I’m grateful for the immolation

Run, run, run away – it’s a pressure-cooker day
Run as fast as you can – nobody can escape
Oh, Run, run, run, run, run away – it’s a pressure-cooker day
Nobody can escape
Nobody gets away
Nobody wins the race

I’d really love to vanquish this unease
In ignorance you abort your studies
What you condemn as vices…
I see as a way towards being free

Shackles off little bird
Fly away – admit there is no cage
Dogma song…keep singing
You’re still wrong
You’ll always be the same
One more time into the flames

Track Name: Submission
Hello, come in – here, let me take your coat
Nice to see you’re thinking of what I wrote
Is there something that you wanted to see?
Come in, let’s begin, now please take a seat

Play it open, place it flat on the floor
Obfuscation? There’s no time anymore
Let us play a game of mutual chance
Respond, s’il vous plaît and bring yourself back

And you know I’m going to carry your weight
You press down; is that all that you can take?
I decline in any way to dissuade…
As you place another stone

I left a message today
You are the apple I crave
Let’s be together enslaved
From lust there is no escape

Take a breath and suck it back down your throat
Keep your eyes open, don’t you dare let go
Wrap your ribbons round and make it pretty
Transformation to the other’s conceit

Now create a world, don’t take it away
Curtains open – let them all see the play
Don’t get tired, come on – just pull on through
Light the script on fire, make up something new


And you know I’m going to carry your weight
You press down; is that all that you can take?
I decline in any way to dissuade…
And I want it so bad

Bring me to my knees
Supplication never was so sweet
Hands down, your collar frees you to care…I’m aware…

Is there nothing more to say?


You are the apple I crave
Track Name: Evolution
You and I…
An argument against intelligent design
A random mess
Dumb luck is the best explanation for how we’ve survived
Taking a piss in the gene pool
Floating upon the sea of fools

Now I’m crawling, oceans falling
I will match your evolution
Our desire, build a fire
Burning fast in evolution
It’s our nation, a civilisation
What a rate of evolution
Drop the bomb and it’s all gone
So concludes our evolution

Say goodbye…
To vestigial plans and extinct alibis
Step on up
Witness the static warnings of all those who came before you, all those who died
Splitting the atoms for a laugh HA HA HA
Watching our lives rendered in halves

You and I…
An argument against intelligent life
Track Name: Always An Afterthought
Place your little hand in mine
Keeping close I will protect you from the lie
As the pages turn in time
I hope to be absolved of my failings by design

Faking confidence
Faking competence
Carry on until you can convince yourself that you have made it
Standing on the side
Standing deaf and blind
I fear to find myself fully extraneous to this engagement

My love is baby’s breath
My love is razor blades
My love is daffodils
My love is hand grenades
Always an afterthought
They could take you away
Always an afterthought
You are not mine to claim

Sitting frozen by the shore
Recalling warmer days in which we had been here before
Wrapped up tight inside our coats
As a static winter field waits patiently to be reborn

Want to see you play
See you smile again
A momentary amnesia from all the conflicts I retain
Bound by legacy
Bound by history
A shiver that the photo framed is a mirror pointed back at me

Track Name: Pound By Pound
This is how they make you scared
This is how they wear you down
This is how they play your trust
Now is it fair to trade an ulcer for a uterus
And this is how they change the plans
This is how they take advantage
This is how they sway the doubt
Say, “dead baby” and like magic you become a god

Pound by pound, ounce by ounce
When the numbers add up, they’ll let you out
The numbers and the charts, the charts and the graphs
If you stare at them too long, they’ll drive you mad

I hold vigil
No candles to light, but my heart is on fire
Stay in control
Hold back the tears, try and make it through the night

Don’t wake me up, I’m living in the dream

Day by day, look by look
I’m holding on with every single risk we took
They’ve made you up in bed and they’re keeping a close eye
And they say I’ll be the first to know if you should die

If you’ve got hope
Keep it to yourself, like every rip-off I’ve known
How about the truth?
Is the time running out? Will we all end up alone?

Don’t wake me up, I’m living in the dream

Month by month, inch by inch
The healing process exceeds what they’ll pay for it
The price is set, now they’ve turned you out
And with clean hands they have left you to the cold of doubt

It’s no surprise
The evidence points to a murder attempt
We’re the odds defied
When Hippocrates is smothered under blanket programs

Don’t wake me up, I’m living in the dream
Track Name: Building A Society
Standing outside
Two broken boots, ten inches of snow
Pain-painted glass
Imagine the warmth, entranced by the glow
Mama take note
Is there a need for you to attend?
Outside this house
There stands a wretch and a brand new friend

Inside this house
We’re building a society
Communal bliss
A frayed, patchwork, stitched-up family
Here are the rules
Simple commands, cut straight to the point
Keep to yourself
And no one will be put out of joint

Over and over and over again
You’re a raggedy man, you’re a victim, my friend
This is an indiscriminate house, you can stay
Twisted outside brought your sordid affairs
Now a scissor misstep to a fall down the stairs
Partake of an indiscriminate path and you’ll pay

So we stand a stone throw from a glass house
Fingers clasped, convenience in hand
As we stare stalemate at each other
Mutual thieves and mutually damned

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