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Dead Pets, Old Griefs

by Interbellum

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Distortion 02:13
feel it all slipping unraveling once again fourteen years going we fought for the day and lost again I know it feels it'll last forever but soon enough we both will be just fine we stood there blinking hollowed out, nearly blind but listen close the dark is rising and in time this broken world will seem so far
Another Day 02:54
wasted years in the August sun and you've been dreaming of the places that you can run to but the oracle's spoken and it looks like smoke all the way down from the headlines to the horoscopes as a kid you prayed it wouldn't come if it did you'd let yourself grow numb another red sunset another day and the colour of the year is antiseptic gray now will you sleep through summer like you slept through spring and in the fog of that fever see the shape of things to come and go don't you know this happened once before I suppose it'll happen evermore time stands still time beholds the bodies on the hill years go by leave us staring at the sky time will wait out the drift in secondary plates shape and shake we'll never see it coming wasted years in the August sun sixteen centuries come and gone another red sunset another day another red sunset another day
First Light 03:05
thunder crashes in the sky dailies flash across my eyes past and plans and awful things loose ends like lanterns flickering I think the snowdrops are in bloom but there are no windows in this room and I can't tell the time or anything turn off the lights but the shadows cling I shake and burn up cold, cold sweat I light another cigarette and take shallow asthmatic puffs the anaesthetic's wearing off as first light seeps through the gaps here's sleep I take shallow asthmatic puffs the anaesthetic's wearing off and first light seeps through the gaps
her bruises crust the mirror bright with dust she just stands and cries "there's no use my dreams all lack conclusions and I don't know why" always head in hand past the forgeries of fear I peaked over the hedge of years and saw through the dark and muddy night frozen fields aflood with light will thaw traffic lights swaying in the night as she speeds ahead they'd fled suddenly with bread in the oven and a table set for three that's the way you go in sober moments now and then my mind trips over when you were a child sunny skies and teenage flirts you flick flies off your summer skirt and smile it's all over now
sun goes black the picture cracks and folds with the falling ceiling echoes crawl around what remains of the walls and I can hardly describe the feeling everything tastes like ashes the very sky could crash it's strange to watch the day slip we're going where the wind blows out of the hatchback window cars in the tunnel look like spaceships and we're speeding away I can't hear a word that you say catch anything your glances imply the tail lights dance before my eyes I watch the air glow and the particles decay still and all I wish I'd stayed kiss my eyes and sing me to sleep we won't be around within weeks hold me through the fog and the fall I'm almost ready to dissolve we haven't learned much of anything at all
Ink 03:18
well that's where it started and I guess that's how it ends rummaging through mystical ruins rescuing tokens of friendships lost if the past is a jigsaw puzzle these are its pieces lying about I've kept restaurant bills and ticket stubs but most of the ink has rubbed out and I've always been pretty nostalgic but I'm also allergic to dust so I sneeze as I cradle old photographs my eyes redden when I think of us armed with stapling guns we begged for permanence but you left on that day in the fall and I haven't seen you since an old calendar wheel from my mother stretching some fifty odd years and her casual remark that she'd be gone by then that brought and still brings me to tears I chew on these moments slowly watch them unfold and unfold me time and again, till my throat hurts the air bloats and it all starts to blur I'm taken to every fork, every accident every new morning was sweet as it came and went but all things' finality makes me feel a mess slightly meaningless askew is this just all it amounts to?
PQRST 03:30
heavens charred, river spoiled the daily drops left metal in the soil and so here nothing grows spit out blood into your fist watch the morning struggle through the mist still it comes, I suppose the rubble scrapes my knees go to bed fully clothed count the candles think of those we lost toss, turn amidst alarms and battle calls I felt the silence dripping on the walls the walls... one more to the sea
For Air 02:41
oh, sweet bells jangled out of tune and my heart swells with each new quarter of the moon and through the fog, in dreams, again your face wedged between the frames I gasp and grasp for air curtains torn and defences breached and your hand ever so slightly out of reach I'm squinting back against the glare but what once was isn't there I gasp and grasp for air oh, sweet bells jangled out of tune and my heart swells with each new quarter of the moon squinting back against the glare what once was isn't there I gasp and grasp for air
Some Ghosts 03:00
you just needed someone to soften the pain your life's been devoid of much sharing and it scares me but I brush it away with a wave of my hand then find myself thinking about it and I remember yes I can almost remember how it felt narrow and breathless and looming embattled but blooming the stomping of hooves the clasp of a belt crusted with tears we were stranded and I couldn't understand the anger that coursed through our bones the nights you spent crying alone each house that called itself a home getting in fighting trim I try to stay strong but this blood and this body are useless and the truth is I've been turning away from this for far too long I'm tired of making excuses so just hold me 'cause I'm falling apart some ghosts never depart
your wristband's getting thicker and there's a rock there on your chest that's tied to your ankle that's tethered to your bedframe that's pointing to the west we swear not to speak of the past in present tense there are no new ways of living there's only new mornings to set our lives against gathering our loose ends we plotted our escape and spoke of our dreams again but they've had patents pending since they've started taking shape we staggered through the jetway past the windows wet with rain you put on Metal Machine Music to drown out the rumbling of the engines on the plane in spite of the weight of the winter in spite of it all you waited for the snowfields to thaw and aimed up at the surface with your arrows tipped with purpose and resolve


Dead Pets, Old Griefs (Ruptured, 2018) is Interbellum's second full-length album and features 10 songs that revolve around themes of memory, time, childhood, and loss. Apocalyptic imagery - real, imagined and figurative - permeates the album, and the instrumentation follows suit, warping, distorting and folding on itself. The record plays like a broken music box, its kaleidoscopic melodic songs disjointed and smeared by noise, dissonance and processed sounds.

“A mature undertaking that you can tell stems from years of experience and experimentation.” - Scene Noise

"A lovely little record" - Gold Flake Paint

“The effect is that of a music box grown sentient, breaking from the programmed jingle to communicate more sincerely, with human heart.“ - Various Small Flames

“A beautiful discovery” - Indie for Bunnies (Italian)

“A series of ten songs with unique atmospheres, evoking at once childhood, love and nostalgia in a uniform mosaic” - L’Orient Le Jour (French)

“[Mattar’s] melodic skills and knack for a stop-you-in-your-tracks lyric shine through once again.” - Arab News

“Interbellum’s songs are driven by a poppy lo-fi sound, exciting songwriting, a dose of dissonance and lots of little catchy hooks.” - I Can Guarantee (German)

Named one of GQ Middle East’s Five Middle Eastern Musicians To Check Out (2018)


released October 5, 2018

Karl Mattar: vocals, guitar, synths, bass, glockenspiel
Fadi Tabbal: synths, bass, guitar, drums and samples
Marwan Tohme: bass (5, 7, 8, 10), drums (8), guitar (7, 10)
Julia Sabra: vocals (2, 5), synths (2, 5)
Pascal Semerdjian: drums (2, 4, 5, 10)
Camille Cabbabe: guitar (4)

Songs by Karl Mattar
Recorded and mixed by Fadi Tabbal at Tunefork Studios, Lebanon
Produced by Fadi Tabbal and Karl Mattar
Mastered by Lopazz at mixmastering.de
Original Artwork by Karl Mattar, c. 1997
Design and layout by Josette ZOoz Khalil

Released by Ruptured (LB) and distributed by Cargo Records UK

Thank you to all involved, and to Mme Chandlier and Robert Leslie.


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Interbellum Beirut, Lebanon

Beirut-born Berlin-based project helmed by singer-songwriter Karl-Mattar. Sophomore album Dead Pets, Old Griefs was released by Lebanese label Ruptured in 2018 to international acclaim. A follow-up is in the works.

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