The Cathedral

by Meridian

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released August 19, 2014

Meridian is:

Maxwell Stern: vocals, guitar, banjo
Jacob Stern: guitar, vocals, banjo, piano
Timothy Carlson: drums
Jeremy Provchy: guitar, bass
Steve Gibson: bass

Luke Dumm: cello
Zak Kazynski: trumpet
Robert Tolson: trombone

Engineered, mixed & produced by Dan Scheuren at Bad Racket Recording Studio and various living rooms in Cleveland, OH. May 2013 - April 2014

Mastered by Adam Boose at Cauliflower Audio

Thank you to all of our families and friends who have supported us
through these rambling years. We love you.

All songs by Maxwell Stern © 2014 (ASCAP)



all rights reserved


Meridian Cleveland, Ohio

a group of five nice midwesterners that play tunes for you. currently spread across Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and occasionally reconvening to make music, drink whiskey and play pinball.

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Track Name: The Cathedral
I heard your voice reverberating off of the back wall of the cathedral. It echoed off the wedding bells and disappeared down Route 18. At first I tried to guide it back towards the strings of my heart where your hands pulled, but it was faster and more devious than I could ever hope to be. So I racked my brain for days and days hoping I’d find some magic combination; some special set of syllables to send your heart back to my door. But progress can’t be made if you’re the one who keeps on doing all the changing, and every sentence that I say to you seems to fall just short. If I could change you, I don’t think that I’d have the guts to. My roots have shown through and there’s no room for you here to get stuck in the ground. The distances we drew between did not present a clear and present danger; and when we finally noticed them they were too heavy to move on. And somewhere between Madison and Bellingham I thought I had an answer, but by the time I got to Denver I could plainly see that it was gone. I found you in the night with the porch lights shining bright. In the dead of the fall, that was where I lost it all. Could you be more to me than a future memory of a girl, weighed down by the circumstances found and floundering under the weight of all we’ve yet to be?
Track Name: Ten Extra Seconds
I don’t know what to do with your pictures. I can’t look at them and can’t throw them away. I don’t blame you for leaving. It’d just get more complex if you were to stay. Now I’m thanking this stoplight for the ten extra seconds it gives me with you. I’ve been waiting my whole life for someone to challenge me just like you do. Our speech, as dense as Manhattan. I don’t blame you for shying away from my love. For now, I’m content to sit and watch you do dishes and stack barstools while a TV glows softly above. So call me for whatever reason. I’ll answer regardless of location or time. If you’re feeling doubtful of the path you’ve chosen, I’ll be there whole-hearted even if you’re not mine. I’ll answer regardless even if you’re not mine.
Track Name: If You Let Me
Make a great big list of your belongings. You have no use for such things. Now neatly print my name. Maybe it’s for the best to sever. Give you the space you need to weather the coming change. Easy, it’s easier to just let everything you’ve ever worked for all just turn to shit. But still I wish you’d would tell me, tell me that you need more and that yours is a love I have to work for. I gotta earn it back. I can only be there for you if you let me. I can only be there for you if you let me in. We’ve got parts to play and I know my role: the supporting cast in a one-man show. Calloused. A heart slowly descending. I wish that I could stop inventing these scenarios. And now I don’t sleep ‘cause every room is haunted. Maybe this isn’t what we wanted, but it’s what we chose. And now I’m wondering “should we maintain communication?” or if that’s backwards motivation for a stagnant soul. I guess that’s the toughest thing ‘bout growth in progress: it’s so goddamn hard to notice. Yeah, it moves so slow. I can only be there for you if you let me. I can only be there for you if you let me in. And I’ll scan my sights for the faintest glow of a lover’s light burnt out long ago. You say “it’s good to be reminded”. Well darling, I think you’ve been blinded by what you let go. I can only be there for you if you let me. I can only be there for you if you let me in. When your foundation’s falling through the floor, I can build you up. I can make you whole.
Track Name: 6 Train To Spring St.
The facial recognition segment of my brain overloaded on the train downtown today. I spent the next seven stops struggling to place familiar eyes that met my own. A broken turnstile and rush hour delays confined me to a cold and claustrophobic space. And when I surfaced there the sky spit blue and grey into my red and wandering view. A cup of coffee and a keepsake with your name fading from the side like a chalk drawing in the rain helped keep track of my agenda for the day: Don’t be a fool. Stay on the run. You aren’t fooling anyone. So I scrawled a message in the slowly melting snow: “It isn’t just from our successes that we grow.” But if hope built ships, I’d make the ocean floor my home and stare up at outlines floating on. Make me a vessel, great then gone.
Track Name: Gabriel
I was following you back there, down the red brick street where you used to stay. I was hoping you would take the hint and not show up for a while. Hushed whispers in a back room of a party I was terrified to go to. I should be careful what I’m singing; sometimes I write it, then it’s true. Gabriel, won’t you open your door? I don’t think that we could ever be the people that we planned to be by now. So hold me up to a light now. See what reflects back into your soul where you keep all the things that you discovered about yourself and that you swore you’d never share. I don’t wanna be a martyr. I’m not ready to die, but love has the strangest way of making things that should be dead feel so alive.
Track Name: Logic & Mathematics
Sequences of numbers strung together by a thread. Divide by indifference. I’m the product of what’s left. You study your politics, world leaders and the feds. I study your figure, now a foreign silhouette. I’m not capable of separating out the memories that I should keep. It all just runs together and I fade back into my home state of struggling. So I’m skipping the country, filling up my brain with new images of old friends, trying to redirect from you. But space serves as an exponent that multiplies each thought and spells out in the sky a list of exactly what I’ve got. I’m still doing what I can to maintain some kind of state of perpetual recovery. Well, I just want to make some kind of a connection. Anything. Jet lag hassles me awake and I’m alone inside the house where I grew up and left with nothing much to occupy my day but maintaining a state of struggling.
Track Name: Eyes Like Lakes (Room Within A Room)
Sunset through a Brooklyn apartment window where I've been sleeping off the extra days accrued throughout last year. I'm redefining "normal" and I think that scares me more than the months I spent embracing all those thoughts I should abhor. No, I've never known a love to be so unrelentless in the way it breaks you down and then demands all your forgiveness. And I've never known a girl to shut down so completely, and I just hope that you can vocalize your thoughts enough to greet me the next time I come through town. Darling, save me the pretext. I won't be around long enough to fantasize about what comes next. Eyes like lakes frozen over. Seventeen degrees. Bedsheets create a room within a room so I don't freeze. Pupils adjusting to an unforgiving light, and with that brightness comes the soft and creeping notion that I might be worth the time, be worth the effort, be worth the space, be worth the love, be worth so much more than you think I am in "potential value of". And yes, I know that I've been better. And yes, I know I'm not yet whole, but I also know my future isn't under your control. So if the calm precedes the storm, I must have slept like a baby. Persistence takes a human form and swims ashore as sadness sinks into the sea. // The first song that I wrote for you was bittersweet and short. A calm, repeating cadence and a couple major chords. I tried to tell the story of the warmest winter spent inside a couple cramped apartments huddled next to heating vents. The next few that I wrote for you, I attempted to process all the struggles that sustain themselves when splitting east and west. And I shouted them across state lines and hoped that you would hear, but no matter where I broadcast from the signal wasn’t clear. I started writing this one when the cold truth settled in that all my old routes led to nowhere and new roads had to begin. And though I did my best to trace my footsteps back to what I knew, all my hopes exceeded my reach and my reach fell short of you. The last song that I’ll write for you I haven’t written yet, but it seems to me that this might be the closest that I’ll get. For now, I’ll stand in this cathedral, scream and let it resonate. “When it comes to love that lingers on, don’t ever let it wait.” Don’t let it wait.
Track Name: Saints Paul & Ann
You have been loved. Isn’t that enough? Don’t forget that there are those who never get the chance. So years drag on. We sacrifice and we hold on. We etch our names into the things we think are ours and it seems so foolish now. One Random road, that Little Italian park and that kiss I stole. You held me close, hesitated for a moment, then let go. Through blue stained glass, the light and the pain and the haze, it all will pass. One single frame. Inside, entire tiny worlds contained. And I am resolved: I’m gonna let that light leak in again.