The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost

by Young Elk

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Introducing the debut full-length LP from Young Elk, "The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost."

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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What people are saying:

"This is a consuming effort that wears its emotion evidently, yet without coming across as saccharine or overly pleading. It’s a very well-written track from this Portland, OR-based quartet that will have me tuned in to their future releases."

-Obscure Sound
on the title track "The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost"

"Imagine taking the slow-burn bitterness of Bazan, adding the sinister undercurrent of Water Liars and sprinkling an almost Berningerian knack for imagery both mundane and melodramatic, and you’ll be getting somewhere close to how it plays."

-Wake the Deaf
on the title track "The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost"


released November 18, 2016

Young Elk is:

Ezekiel J Rudick - Guitar, Vocals, Keys
Tony Reyes, Guitars, Vocals
Bruce Reed - Bass, piano, organ, synth
Nic Moen - Drums, Percussion

Additional Musicians:
Hannah Glavor - Vocals
Lisa Adams - Violin

All songs written by Ezekiel J Rudick
All songs arranged by Young Elk
Recorded and Produced by Young Elk at AudioCinema in Southeast Portland
Mixed by Jordan Richter at Room13 in Portland, Oregon
Mastered by Gus Elg at Sky Onion in Portland, Oregon


all rights reserved



Young Elk Portland, Oregon

Distant, melodic, and at times, crushingly bleak, Young Elk take their more subtle musical cues from introspective americana, shoegaze, and minimalist 90’s indie rock, falling somewhere between Pedro The Lion, Low, and Slowdive.

Young Elk is Ezekiel J Rudick, Tony Reyes, Bruce Reed, and Nic Moen
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Track Name: God is Cruel
calling all preachers who hide behind these tv screens
calling all liars, can’t seem to say exactly what they mean
calling all assholes, the ones who lack integrity
calling on everyone who puts their trust into the guarantees
our god is cruel
our god is cruel

calling all daughters, the ones who have to break the rules
calling all fathers who think they have to tell them what to do
calling all prophets, locked down the corner market on what’s true
calling all saviors, who want dominion of your living room
our god is cruel
our god is cruel
our god is cruel
so fucking cruel

calling all ministers, who hunt for vulnerability
deep in the process, where human beings reclaim their dignity
calling all missionaries, exploiting opportunities
calling all martyrs, who bled to death to prove their loyalty
our god is cruel
our god is cruel
our god is cruel
but man so are you

i woke up fearing all was lost
so i got on my knees and prayed that i was wrong
no goddamned good for anyone
so we rewrite the words to our favorite songs

we pray for strength to carry on
when we could be shaking booty ‘til the break of dawn
tattooed these bible verses on brittle, broken bones
so we don’t have to say we’re sorry when we’re wrong

but i believe
i believe
and i believe
i believe
Track Name: Paper Cuts
we drink the blood on saturdays
from paper cuts found in alleyways
where you say things, you should not say
on bended knee, under stained glass window panes
the reverend installed himself
now you’re wondering how your father felt
when he drove away just to save himself
and your mother cried over 20 dollar bills

so you
so you
so you
could tell the truth

and pretty girls don’t call you back
they wanted you to just relax
so you sing songs that will not last
on borrowed hope you can not give back
and lightning strikes, but not for long
the joy you had was all but gone
to pretty places you don’t belong
you start to cry, but instead you carry on

so you
so you
so you
could tell the truth

and i’m keeping secrets so i don’t let you down
i’m keeping secrets so i don’t let you down
and i fall to pieces while you burn down this house
and i’m keeping secrets so i don’t let you down
Track Name: The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost
how i wanted to be dangerous
but i also want big business
raised up again like lazarus
like a suicidal mistress

now i want to be alone
just play Molina on the stereo
and hear the saddest songs i've ever known
but i'll never know

how i wanted to be tucked away
in the innocence of yesterday
on the car drive home from wild waves
melted ice cream on the freeway

but my heart is made of stone
and my mind is set on growing old
because there's a dark side to the holy ghost
the holy ghost

on the same day
that we're punching clocks with
terror in our eyes

there are strange ways
that our hearts will stop
it will take you by surprise

and i believe in time we'll waste away
like a lazy, rainy saturday
we'll build up courage to try cocaine
and pray for shit that just can't remain

because no one wants to be alone
no matter how hard the stomach groans
we're all just longing for the undertow
that sucks us underneath

Track Name: Should Have Done Something
you don’t have to see the light
but you can walk the streets at night
you can drive another car
or you can forget who you are

walked into the living room
after drinking in the woods
my mother smelled some whiskey on my breath
for a minute she thought that i was dead

when i got up out of bed
my brother lost his shit again
he grabbed my sister by the throat
should have done something
but instead my limbs just froze
Track Name: Hold Your Breath
you have put me in these bones
could not leave well enough alone
i tried but i just could not come back home

it seems that you have hid your face
the kids are in the bunker singing amazing grace
it seems it’s you that gets their way

that don’t make me a liar
cause every night
i call up your number and i hang up the phone

i smoked a cigarette at dawn
i kissed your cheek and went to sleep
with every light we had turned on
does that make you feel at home?
or does that make you feel alone?

now they wont let me try
because i know tonight
you’ll hold your breath underwater
until everything’s gone

but somebody’s gotta try
to make it right
somebody’s gotta try
to make it right
somebody’s gotta try
to make it right
somebody’s gotta try
but not tonight
Track Name: No Victory
terrified by her gaze
that goddamned look upon her face
when she pulled me aside
she began to say
we’ve been faking it for weeks
so don’t bother trying to speak
because i’ve already packed my things

true love doesn’t want to talk
she just wants it all to stop
so she keeps moving
and malice mumbles every word
before she writes another verse

but who are we kidding?
no one’s winning

stared down an empty room
started drinking her perfume
started burning every picture
i had left of you
found some whiskey in the drawer
so i poured it on the floor
started wondering what i
was even drinking for

borrowed time it doesn’t stop
it just runs out the clock
until there’s no victory
now we’re speeding on to death
trying to cherish all that’s left
but who are we kidding
no one’s winning
Track Name: Seasons of Evil
we’re all just gathering stones
we think we notice, but we don’t
that we will all die alone
that we’ve got some place to go

but there is a cloud
that follows you around
and there is a prayer
that you can’t say out loud
so you feel let down

no one is listening now
the vomit is spilling out your mouth
your words don’t make any sounds
don’t want to speak up anyhow

but there is a king
who gave away the keys
to thise big rooms
filled with books you don’t want to read
so you lie here with me
Track Name: No Lights
death keeps coming like a storm
in your heart
you can’t tall me when it’s dark

sorrow’s beating like a drum
in the band
one that wont heed your command

can i get a witness?
can i get a witness?
can i get a witness?

can i get a witness?
can i get a witness?
can i get a witness?

there will be no lights when we’re gone
but there will be songs
and we’ll just sit and hum along
we’ll play football on the lawn
until our fathers are all gone

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