Trial & Error

by Seth Benjamin

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released November 13, 2016

Seth Benjamin: vocals, guitars, bass, organ
Mert Ussakli: drums
Jenna Li: xylophone on track 5

All songs written by Seth Benjamin.
Tracks 1, 3, 5 and 8 engineered by Julian Vanasse and Seth Benjamin.

thanks to: mert, julian, jenna, brad, aleksi, venya, nathan, ethan, ty, & ben for helping me make this.




Seth Benjamin New York, New York

Seth Benjamin writes songs.

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Track Name: Nurse
another spotted gown undoes my self-medicating
she comes in with a smile but i can tell that she's faking

i know you don't believe i've got it in me
but if i hold my head, will you stay the night
i'd lose my legs for a chance to fly

well now i'm heaving dry as if my stomach could atone
but i'm not fooling her, we both know it's only for show

and i've already blown it so you're free to go
but if i keep it down, would you stay instead
i'd clip my wings just to walk again

and we'll make time for love in between our fights
i'd sell my soul if it dried your eyes
Track Name: Treading Water
his voice rings out he's glad to meet me
i lose my words and glance down at my feet
his lips curve up as he takes my hand
something behind his eyes says he's not all he seems
but i'll smile back like i can't see

it goes down easy for a few weeks
but he gets up some nights when he thinks i'm asleep
covers his tracks as the sun rises
but he can't mask his breath quite as well as he thinks
well i'll tell myself this doesn't change a thing

one year spent under his rain cloud
and i'm left treading water til the sun comes out
and now he's down on one knee waiting
my gut screams out "no" but my throat keeps it down
well i'll nod my head and pray i don't drown

broken glass and tear-soaked sheets
the neighbors don't wave back no more
i've packed my bags and changed my name
i'll smash down a wall but can't walk out the door
cause i dissolve from the shoulders down every time you're near
the queen yells "march!" but the knights turn to stone
and i don't know what it is cause all signs scream "keep out" and i still dive in
i don't know how long i'll stay afloat
Track Name: Crying Wolf
wake up on the inside of my stomach,
sent back up to keep the bugs out
hadn't slept a wink since i first felt their bite
a couple miles up,
the last wheel falls off of our train
god knows how close to hell i'd have let us ride

and to be honest, we were well on our way
but it's not always easy to see straight
and for a while every shipwreck on the screen
seemed to be captained by you and me

well i'm still seasick
and if i tell you i don't mind, please don't believe it
i'd sober up if my senses would do as i said
but i'm just passed out on the floor instead

please be kind, rewind, and so
i watch the tape ten thousand times
trying to catch some smoking gun that's always out of frame
well i can spend my days
pretending i can't read the headlines
but i know i'm just afraid of what they'll say

i know i said i'd fill the glass up past halfway
but it's not right to cherry-pick my days
when every shot i swear was aimed square at myself
was just as painful for you as well

well now i just miss
so if it seems like i'm dead on, please don't believe it
and it's a lie to say i'm trying if i won't admit
that it hasn't done me much good so far

far away voices try to keep the peace
but my head's in the sand and they just can't compete
i sharpen each word til they slice us in two
and simmer a while in my own self defeat
it's too easy to say i'd do it all different
when any chance i've had i've still never listened
hindsight sees clear but no one steers from behind
god knows next time i'll still be flying blind

so let's not pretend that's all right
because my hands haven't been clean for quite some time
and i can scream it to the heavens that i'll make amends
but i'm afraid i'm crying wolf again
Track Name: Daisy
daisy comes home to her empty flat
sets down her things, locks the door
daisy takes a drag from her cigarette,
and leans back in the corner

they said it wouldn't stay like this for long
said you'd be back on your feet
well, it's not the first time they turned out wrong
asleep on the floor, still there past dawn

daisy jerks awake twelve hours later,
not quite sure when she lost her balance
tightens her grip on the rope she holds, but
it keeps slipping through her hands

their eyes grew wide when you said that word,
said daisy, promise you're not
well, it's not the first time your word's in two
do you hear me, dad? i'll see you soon

used to play in the garden,
in the daisies he had planted there
saw the light in his warm eyes,
before he blew it out beyond repair
like birds of a feather, so they say
daisy flies away
Track Name: One Minute
it all starts tinted rose, not a wrong move in sight
i could be picasso if you turned out the light
we were married by fall, honeymooned from our rooms
put the mailman through school just to say "write back soon"

and we cried out as we cut ourselves down to words
but what else were we to do
when i would have written the rest of my life
just to have it read by you

well i'll spare you the rest, we both know how it ends
haven't seen the mailman since i don't know when
one less ticket this time as i board the greyhound
watch the fireworks that night with the sound turned down

and i won't act like none of this weighs in my chest
as i'm struck by deja vu
but these days i find it's less bitter than sweet
to recall my days with you

and i relived every fight
but i'm still not sure what for
i'm not proud of every word
but what's the use in keeping score

so i'm done laying blame, it's unfair to old selves
to read the autopsy but never bid farewell

i'll admit it wasn't according to plan
or the way we hoped it'd be
but we were gods for one minute before we came down
and that's more than long enough for me
Track Name: Chasing Ghosts
last call and i'm still upright
it's just my luck

i didn't manage but i tried
is that enough

i know they said sometimes there's no stopping these things
but i think they're just giving up

so won't you come and set me free
i spent all night awake in bed replaying the same scene
i wasn't all i swore i'd be
i know i turned my back on you, i just couldn't bear to see

and i can write off each recurring dream as just another fluke
and smother every unsure thought like i know what to do
if i labored for the next ten years would that clear up my name
or is just one night to myself too much to ask of fate
maybe i can bring you back to life if i just say it's true
and maybe if i say it twice then i'll believe it too
and maybe if i say it twice then i'll believe it too

so won't you come and bury me
i spent the year chasing your ghost and now it's all i see
and if i'm not all i swore i'd be
then i can't keep on playing dumb, i know my hands aren't clean
Track Name: Dust Bunnies
wasted two months scratching noise on a page
telling yourself you had things left to say
promised to no one the time'd be well spent
six tiny words spoken in vain
and no one knows

missed plans pass you by in each calendar slot
your epitaph spelled as each x marks the spot
last cries of things left alive only in name
that part of you forever lost
but no one knows

so rest your head, and sleep
when morning comes, you'll start again
rest your head, and sleep
well now the morning's here

burned every bridge i built
scratched out every mark they ever said was mine
i've long since forgot what page they wrote us on
the words are fading fast, so let's burn it all down
i know i should write home
but i can't seem to find myself inside a pen the way i used to
on the damp ground i knelt
and dug myself a shallow grave to stay

searching through trash to retrace your own steps
just ashes of old selves discarded too fast
no money left for the return trip back home
so find a new place where you'll last
where no one knows

so rest your head, and sleep
when morning comes, you'll start again
Track Name: Snafu
i've made enough lousy shots in my time
to know what i'm aiming for
but just because my eye is on the target
don't mean this time i'll score

i might start seeing spots
and now suddenly i'm not as sharp a marksman as i thought

the doctor says enough is enough
modern medicine won't make me grow up
and she don't mean to be too unkind
but she'd be wasting her time if she even tried

i tried my best to fall on my sword
and keep you safe from harm
but i was so focused on sticking my landing
i didn't notice you'd lost an arm

and i'll swear that i meant well
but what difference do intentions make if i still put you through hell

the doctor says that she'll do her best
but modern medicine won't clean up my mess
and all the king's horses and all the king's troops
won't make my fucking dreams come true

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