Sultans So Old So Cold

by Sea for Miles

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A lyrical journey through winter depression, neocolonialism, the Arab Spring, and the heartache caused by distance.

"...the type of haunting album you’ll want to revisit again and again." - ☆☆☆☆ The Portland Press Herald

This album took over two years of sporadic sessions in my father's attic studio in Portland, Maine, to come to fruition. It has been incredible seeing these songs, written between long train rides in India and snowed-in nights in my Portland apartment, become collaborations involving so many talented musicians from the Portland scene. Members of Butcher Boy, Post Provost, The Waldos, and Where's My Friend, have made this album what it is. I cannot thank my friends and family enough for supporting this project. Special thanks are due for my father, Michael McInnis, who mixed, mastered, and performed on every track of this album. He gave up more of his weekends to this project than any producer ought to. It would never have been possible without his support. Thank you.


released April 15, 2014

Matt McInnis - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Uke
Michael McInnis - Synths
Elliot McInnis - Drums
Dave Gagne - Vocals, Drums
Saeko Nishimura - Accordion
Tom Blackwell - Drums
Robby Coffin - Guitar
Justin Glover - Guitar
Annika Earley - Vocals
Charlotte Royer - Vocals
Michael Burd - Bass



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Sea for Miles Portland, Maine

Sea For Miles is a Portland, Maine, based experimental folk band.

Matt McInnis- Vocals, Acoustic Guitar

Joe Perullo- Drums

Craig Reynolds- Electric Guitar

Tanner Olin Smith- Bass
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Track Name: The Dying Man's Club
thank God here comes our spring
the birds fly with missile wings
and the bees are sure to sting
but the greying skin of their brethren
will still be old and wrinkly
and in the dying man’s club,
young blood and a flashy sport suit tie
toothy smiles try to keep it down down down
four long weeks she hid while the tank brigade
slid into her home
and how her mother moaned
under a hazy moon belied
by the city lights in a country
to be renamed
and in the dying man’s club
the bank accounts are filling up
they’re filling up and on the quarterly
a face known formerly as a friend
a friend and now a foe foe foe
Track Name: Fiddleheads
the cold dry of the winter sky
sneaks up on the fall
her hair grows dark
as her skin turns white
as we slip through these nights
horn blows at noon and nine
marking the time
an eyelash falls from her eyes
a wish for no one to see
when this island’s just a prison
between the sea
the storm of those fallen
and salt on our skin
reminds us to live
just the prospect of the spring
keeps us waiting keeps her waiting
but till the fiddleheads stick their
necks up through the snow, away I will go
Track Name: Plastic Stars
plastic stars over my bed, a constellation
let's put the world back at the center
as if Copernicus never did wonder
the green glow fades into grey but I’ll illuminate
we’ll pray to the good gods instead
‘cause they’ll put a strong light over our heads
we’ll make a tent out of my sheets
so we can make believe the pharaohs and sultans so old,
so cold in this northern of lands
they’ll keep neat their camel backed fleets
and bow to kiss our feat
we’ll ride with pillows under our bums
the innocence of mankind still sucking it’s thumbs
Track Name: Stale Air
fly away in the night
stale air flown across the world
in a steel tube
interference in the clear atmosphere above
machine man, he moves because he can
we will find our way to Kerala
the Western Ghats our Shangri-La
speak the betel chewers tongue
the North Star we will ignore
the contours of the mountains pour
from a crinkled cut out map
the tourist guides we’ll burn them all
set fire to that suburban call
for a home a car and things
we will float down the Backwaters
in a houseboat we built ourselves
with the sun upon our backs
Track Name: The Window Washer's Daughter
the window washer’s daughter takes lots of pills
she slips out at night with twenty-dollar bills
the long beaded locks on the head of his little girl
all tied into knots where there once were curls
evening air clings to their shirts and their hair
as they lay in separate beds a solitary pair
but he laid awake listening to her sleep
as she danced in her dreams to electronic beats
he slipped into a well where moss ran up the sides,
where deep dark secrets like slimy creatures lie
he lost his mind, he lost all his will
he put all his heart on a cold window sill
she’s so high, so light she flies out through the window
past the buildings and forests down to the seaside
and she splashes in the water and drowns in the waves
he watches his daughter get washed away
he wakes with the sun the dew at the dawn
he looks out his window and lets out a yawn
he looks for his girl between a bear and a bed
‘neath the shelf full of books and stories that he’d read her
but he knows she’ll be gone to another man’s arms,
where pain meets pleasure meets dull-eyed charm
she says I’m so high, so light I fly out the window
past buildings and forest and down to the sea
I splash in the water and drown in the waves
and I’m sorry my father but I’m washing away
Track Name: Carl
Carl tell me how we’re all made of stars
how we’re all just slipping by on some spaceship ride
through the dark
Carl tell me, is there such thing as God?
‘cause my mind can’t grip ahold of more
but I know my grasp is small
hey hey Carl my friend is it that
we’ve reached the end of the cosmos,
I sure hope that’s so
Carl tell me, are you afraid of death?
or might it not exist but in our human heads?
Carl I have a Cashmere knit turtle-neck sweater
that I’ll wear it’s just not fair,
I still can’t see and you hold the key
hey hey Carl my friend is it that
we’ve reached the end of the cosmos,
I sure hope that’s so
Track Name: Mango
squeeze the lemon, drip drop to the bottom of my cup
a sip of tea in the shade of a mango tree
an awakened colonialist, plastic bottles of water and beer
he takes a piss on the wall of the train station hall
has life crashed all around here?
he may be young but he’s old for his years
swollen mango in hand, stale cigarette on the breath of his lungs
he snaps a photo of a beggar by the bathroom stalls
there’s mango juice running down
to his chin on its way to the ground
he feels so rich when he should be feeling poor
has life crashed all around here?
he may be young but he’s old for his years
the train’s leaving by nine, he’ll hop on to go for a ride
to the mountains where he’ll be comforted by the cold
train tracks leading west lain down sometime long in the past
trash thrown out the window glitters in the sun
Track Name: Winter Grace
your old car has been broken down for weeks
we keep pushing it to the opposite side of the street
cursing under our breath the parking police
hold on girl nine months more on our lease
as foretold New England homes are dripping with the snow
all so cold those northern bones are shivering ‘neath their cloths
she says “I’m growing old in this solemn subtle freeze”
and I can’t help but feel alone ‘neath the crooked naked trees
so close your eyes while winter blows through the cracks of our walls wraps her frigid arms around us with a chill you can't ignore pull up sheets pull out wool, to a squall we acquiesce
an apartment ghost sweeps and moans then scurries past our door
the building din, old and worn in like footsteps on the floor
we will dream of warmer things figs and orange trees
when your old car gets fixed we’ll drive a southern breeze
she says “I fear that I might never leave this place,
but it’s not so bad I guess, lest I lose my winter grace”
just close your eyes while winter blows through the cracks of our walls wraps her frigid arms around us
with a chill you can't ignore pull up sheets pull out wool,
to a squall we acquiesce