Luminous Newts

by Luminous Newts

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The debut album from an eclectic, highly original progressive pop/rock band.

Quoted Reviews:
"A rich helping of excellent songcraft … ideas that are extremely original and seemingly timeless … quality work that most definitely deserves to be heard."
– Exposé Online

"Good rock and roll, sung from the bottom of the this stuff!!!"
– Dennis Bernstein, KPFA/Pacifica Radio, Berkeley, CA

"The interesting work of this American group, located at the edges of the art rock genre, certainly has a good chance of finding many fans."
– Artur Chachlowski, Radio MLWZ, Poland - (translated)

"The newt abides."


released July 3, 2015

Thea Kelley – vocals
Eric Kampman – keyboards and vocals
Alan Novidor – bass
Charles Waltmire – drums
Dean Kattari – guitar on all songs except Before I Die and Waiting (A Bridge to Nowhere)
Paul Wells – guitar on I'm Just Sayin' and Before I Die, vocals on I'm Just Sayin'

Produced by Thea Kelley and Eric Kampman

Recording: Alex Cory at Forest Floor, Eric Kampman, Dean Kattari
Mixing: Alex Cory
Mastering: Myles Boisen
Artwork and Design: Jojo Razor



all rights reserved


Luminous Newts Berkeley, California

Eclectic, original, melodic prog-pop-rock group headed by two singer-songwriters. Based in Berkeley, California.

Not derivative and not predictable. Not good at describing ourselves. Interested in hearing your take on it.
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Track Name: The Wolf Doesn't Howl So Loud
the wolf doesn't howl so loud as it used to
gotta really listen or it can't be heard
just to take my hands off my ears
takes a lot of nerve

one time when I cried I cried so long
I thought I would never stop
so I stopped so hard I nailed it down
and closed up shop

the wolf doesn't howl so loud as it used to
but it's starting to get clear
there's an ice-cold moon-fire music there
I need to hear

do you know what I mean, sweet whirlwind child,
do you know what I mean?
did you hear it through the holes of a basket on the step
or warm through the windowpane?

the wolf doesn't howl so loud as it used to
no, but I'm listening
maybe it's just as loud, I'm just
hearing it from a distance

you sound a little like a wolf yourself
sometimes with that gentleman moan
can you explain to me why your voice
sounds as close as a harvest moon?

I hear that wolf howling now
from the blackness beyond the stars
Track Name: Up and Out
up and out now, they said
up and out, so we up and went
now we're up and gone

like a dandelion seed that drifts way up high
like a prayer wheel that spins its gifts to the sky

up and out…

where I came from I was past my prime
into this and that, out of time
on the road one fine day
turned a corner, flew away
so they tell me, I can't say – I was gone –

like a dandelion seed that drifts way up high
like a prayer wheel that spins its gifts to the sky
Track Name: Before I Die
if I wake before I die
wonder what becomes of me
will I see You I to Eye
abiding in eternity?
will it be because I stopped trying?
will it be because I stopped lying?

if I break before I die
this thing I dread, but come it may
relations waving goodbye
as men in white lead me away

should I try harder, should I be softer?
would I be nearer if I sought farther?
would I be worthy if I were stronger?
would you come to me if I prayed longer?

if I live before I die
wonder what becomes of me
when love will transcend my fear
and all that is in harmony
is it just a dream?
a sad misguided scheme?
Track Name: Cult of Two (Sailing Over the Moon)
valentines, druid rhymes
sorcery, you and me, it's a spell
book and bell

beams of light, stormy night
eerie arts, haunted hearts, it's true
I'm afraid we drank the brew
cult of two, guess it's time we flew

sailing over the moon
I've been reading the runes
magic charms, we could come to harm pretty soon

frightening heights, sky-clad rites
werewolf bites, signs we might be possessed
get no rest

crystal ball says it all
midnight calls, slipping through the gate
it's dangerous to wait
getting late, let's fly to find our fate

sailing over the moon
I've been reading the runes
potion's hot, we should stir that pot pretty soon
Track Name: St. Patrick and the Snakes
for goodness sakes, Ireland has no snakes
because St. Patrick chased them into the lakes
the serpent offered an apple but St. Paddy raised the stakes
the saint he won and now it's done let's give the snakes a wake

go snakes, slithering hither and yon
go snakes, traveling, traveling on
go snakes, going and going and gone
Saint Patrick threw you in, and I hope you learned to swim

Ireland now need never bow to the king snake,
nor tell no tales of slithering scales that keep us all awake
the adder's been subtracted and the garter's on the leg
and the only dreaded cottonmouth is filling a cup at the keg

go, snakes…

Brenda's got a boa but it's just a feathered fling
Una's Ourobouros is a glossy golden ring
Tara's got a tattoo of a flying snake so fine
and Tim's got one in his trousers but it's no concern of mine

go, snakes…

they say that snakes were sacred long before St. Paddy's birth
bringing up the wily wisdom from deepest darkest earth
they gleam and glide in glory, they're gorgeous and they're good
but not inside your sleeping bag when you wake up in the woods

go, snakes…
Track Name: Flying Fish
it's like being on a boat in the middle of the ocean
where weird things are living way under the surface

show me the flying fish slicing through daylight,
back into darkness

at night you dive under and swim through the shadows
and the strange phosphorescence makes movies in your mind

when you slap into waking, what visions have followed you?
can you still see them? whose visions are they?

show me the flying fish flashing from darkness
back into daylight

a stick man who rattles his arms by the bedside
a panther who runs by the side of the road
a room that's a pond, and a friend and you fishing
for trout that hang out underneath your old dresser

show me the flying fish out of the darkness
lit by the lamplight

you drive an old coastline, huge whales in the water
they're black as the sound of Tibetan monks chanting
you want to dive deep with them
Track Name: Waiting (A Bridge to Nowhere)
the seconds tick by, the grains in the hourglass fall
I'm wondering why, if there's a point to it all

I'm waiting, I don't know if I should be walking
or running or changing my mind
so I'm waiting

the message won't come, the dial tone singes the line
am I comfortably numb? am I wasting my time?

I'm waiting…

is this a bridge to nowhere sung by a chorus of one?
does the ending draw near before the first note is sung?

the launch has been scrubbed, the ballgame's been postponed
the TV's unplugged and I'm singing alone

I'm waiting…
Track Name: Envy
the life I haven't lived, I stare at thru a window
sounds like a song and feels just like fire glow
and if I didn't love me, and I'm not sure I do
I'd long for all the things that belong to you

oh, envy, I can depend on you
the way you stick with me
all of this time through
oh, envy, you're sort of like a friend
and I know you'd be there
at the bitter end

the roses they never threw seem so much more sweet
than the chamomile poetry on the path at my feet
and if I didn't love me and I'm not sure I do
I'd just kick in your chorus line and give the whole show to you

oh, envy…
thank god I'm not just you
there's something more to being alive
that's humble and that's true
Track Name: Kommie Kitty
Kommie Kitty feeling frisky
nipping at that bourgeois whisky
kitty litter iteration
kitty literature makin'
rats and rodents have no chance
with little kitty's best-laid plans

call it karma for this kitty
wallows in the wealth of his self-pity
tagged and collared, vaccinated
combed and clean but kind of dated
rats and rodents have no chance
with little kitty's best-laid plans

dogmatic denizens please bow
kommie kitty saying
oo mao mao, oo mao mao, oo mao mao

climbing up the iron curtain
greed be wrong and that's for certain
philosophic caustic fur ball
coughing up chunks of Berlin Wall
kitty can I have this dance
just you and me the also-rans

slurping up that kitty chow
kommie kitty saying
oo mao mao, oo mao mao, oo mao mao
Track Name: I'm Just Sayin'
I got stopped by a traffic cop
coming home from the bar & grill
I whipped out my wallet and said
"here's a small contribution" a hundred-dollar bill
and he said "that's okay, you can go on your way"
'cause the First Amendment, I swear
says money is just free speech
so that's all perfectly fine and fair

I'm just sayin', I'm just sayin'
I'm just sayin' how I feel
if I have the bucks you're out of luck
hey sucker, that's the deal

now corporations must have rights
just like other people do
says a certain rich politician who is known for
chopping up a few
they've all got a heart and they're really smart
so it's just as it should be
when they have their say in their own special way
and drown out you and me

I'm just sayin'…

I bought a dose at a jam band show
had a guess what I might be getting
I wanted to see what the world looks like
when you switch off the default setting
did I break the law? oh no, not at all
'cause I know from watching the news
every penny I spent just said what I meant
just expressing my point of view

I'm just sayin'…

now, democracy is alive and well
polished up with a dip in gold
and only the cynical would ever say
that our country's being bought and sold
yeah, democracy is so safe and sound
things are just as they should be
and the story told by the mouth of gold
is the truth to set me free

I'm just sayin'…