Staring Back At You

by Transmontane

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Transmontane is a mystery. It points to the other side, across the mountains. Our breath, visible. Our soul escapes in the mist. We follow behind. Through peaks and valleys, ascent after decline, our muscles twitch with pain and exhaustion. We still endure. We must go on. We have no other choice. The songs on this record do speak with an air of desperation, of longing, feeling lost, but then the echoes return. These tiny gems roll around in your head, and a sense of hope emerges. New energy resounds. The response is overwhelming. One voice becomes a chorus of thousands, and amid so many different reflections, the same emotions that once isolated us are revealed as universal.

For his second solo record, Ryan Duncan, co-founder and owner of Chicago’s Sick Room Records LTD, turned to masterful engineer Luke Tweedy at Flat Black Studios in Iowa City, IA. Luke has worked with the likes of William Elliott Whitmore, Peaking Lights, STNNNG, and many other fine midwestern bands. The result is an excellent 11-song album available in a limited edition of 300 colored LPs w/CD.

Musically, friends and others have kindly compared his work to Dean Wareham(Galaxie 500/Luna), Smog, Peter Jefferies, Codeine and even Neil Young.


released June 26, 2012



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Transmontane Chicago, Illinois

This path we choose, the high road, the hard road. Transmontane. Across the mountains. We see the universe from many different viewpoints, peaks and valleys. The ascent and the descent. Looking up, looking down. Moments of contemplation and moments of struggle. The journey continues... ... more


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Track Name: Molecules
In the simplest of terms
We are all just dust

We’re ten billion particles
So why do you have to be
So particular

In the simplest of terms
We are all just dust

And just as many molecules
Whoa vibrating

Every movement is a moment
Every moment is a miracle
We are all of us moving
We are all a part
Of this miracle

In the simplest of terms
Track Name: Stone By Stone
From the day that I was born
I built this prison
Stone by stone
With my hands

Surrounded by these walls
I made them strong
I made them tall
With my hands

For every mistake I made
Another course was laid
By my hands

I have no one to blame but my hands

Always guarded never free
It’s so easy
To lock yourself away and forget the key

My heart has turned to stone
And my blood is slowly turning into sand
For every love I’ve eve known
I pushed them all away
With my hand

I have no one to blame but my hand
And I am afraid the end may be at hand
Track Name: Genealogy
The image in the mirror
Is not your own
It belongs to the past

And all of your ancestors
They are staring back at you
Through eyes that are theirs
Just as much as they are yours

Your soul
An uncertain hand
Reaching out
Towards immortality

An uncertain hand
Reaching out
Track Name: Sunset
Sunset’s dark assurance
As it falls over the city
The tragedy of daylight leaving
A death that occurs each evening

And a reminder that
When the real thing comes along
To cast its velvet curtain
And settle in our bosom
Just as certain

And if we’re lucky
Just as quietly
Track Name: Waves
I walked out to your ocean
Waves of memory
Overtake my being

Slide into the water
My surroundings disappear
Drifting from the current
All place and time lose their hold

Diving in
To those ancient dreams
Another dimension opens
And I am dreaming them anew
That’s where I find you
Track Name: Anything
If you can count on anything darling
You can count on me

You’ve got a beauty that radiates
Just like my heartbeat through time and space
Well we may be small against an endless night
When I hold you closely everything’s alright

If you can count on anything darling
You can count on me

We’re only doing the best we can
We’re merely students of God and man
Well honey you can hold your head up high
For our love’s a flame that will never die

If you can count on anything darling
You can count on me
Track Name: I Who Have Nothing
I who have nothing
I who have no one
Adore you and want you so
I'm just a poor boy with nothing to give you but oh
I love you

He, he buys you diamonds
Bright sparkling diamonds
But believe me, dear when I say
He can give you the world but he'll never love you the way
I love you

He can take you any place he wants
Fancy clubs and restaurants
But I can only watch you with
My nose pressed up against the window pane

I who have nothing
I who have no one
Must watch you go dancing by
Wrapped in the arms of somebody else when, darling, it is I
Who loves you

I love you
Track Name: Before Your Eyes
Winter’s chill will fade
Just like our fragile youth
And time can turn the truth to lies
And turn the lies to truth

Before your eyes

That which you hold dear
All that makes you sure
Can some day all just disappear
And leave you laying bare

Before your eyes

Before your eyes were the eyes of your father
And as his son you are the face of his sorrow
But looking into sorrow you’ll find mercy
And from the seeds of mercy love arrives

Before your eyes
Track Name: The Howl
The word is above
Beyond definition
Beyond explanation
Beyond recognition
The word is above

It’s hiding in your mind
Pounding in your skull
Greater than ambition
Creating an obsession
The word is above

And when it makes a sound
It starts with a whimper
And then becomes a groan
Which changes to a moan
And raises to a howl

The dogs they are a comin’
Driven by the hand
The dogs they are a comin’
And they will spare no man
Track Name: Your River
You’ve suffered so long wandered so far
Driven since dawn now here you are
You’ve come five hundred miles but you’re still so far away
Come into my arms and be forgiven or forgotten
For love and death are one and the same
When you’ve lost your faith
You have nothing left
Beside my waters

Lay your body into me
I will was away your sins
For I am your river

They never understood
So its okay to leave them
Asking why

Lay your body into me
I will cleanse you, set you free
For I an your river
Track Name: About A Shark
I have to admit your skin smells like danger
I have to admit there I fear for the future
Things are becoming unclear
Blood is in the water

I look at your body a body of water
Your lips are an ocean your thighs now in motion
Your belly is a deep blue sea
And I’m afraid I’ll never take another breath
Blood is in the water

Your skin is a horizon
A body of water

When the morning breaks
The silence is gold
When the morning breaks
Your waters are still