Handcrafted, painstakingly-constructed artwork painted on 30" x 25" textured cocoa cover stock, lyrics highlighted on reverse
Professionally pressed, 5-color screenprinted CD
Limited-run: Each album is handmade, uniquely assembled, individually numbered.
A ridiculous amount of extra stuff on an 8GB USB Drive:
Acappellas and Instrumentals
Drinking Gravy: 10-track bonus album of Eating Chicken b-sides
Chicken Scraps: 65-page scrapbook compiled for the album
Videoverview: 32-minute chat about the album and its creation
Podcasts: The 26 original mixes with track-by-track discussions
Tweeting Chicken: A minibook of selected tweets for some reason
Sketches + Sources: Original field recordings, highlights & demos
Music Videos: Readymade, Oh Brother, Wide Awake
Publicity Material and Photos
'Oh Brother' digital single
Total: 10+ hours of bonus material
Deluxe editions include digital copies of Decomposure's entire discography to date (including all bonus material), and featuring the original mp3s from Decomposure's ultra-rare first EP, 'uodsn - Sound Rearranged'. That's another 23+ hours of stuff right there.
Includes instant digital download
Decomposure is Caleb Mueller, a 29-year old jack-of-all-arts up in Kitchener, Ontario; or as he puts it, a “Graphic designer by day, asleep by night. Somewhere between them, music happens.” But in April 2010, the wiggle room between those two spaces suddenly shrunk, as Caleb and his wife Nicole became proud parents of a brand new baby girl. “You’re handed this tiny helpless bundle that is totally dependent on you, you literally hold its life in your hands; of course it changes you. But it actually took me awhile to truly ‘get’ it. There was no bolt-of-lightning moment where a switch flipped and I instantly matured into a fully-formed father - I needed time to process it all, and music was how I began to work it out.”
Let’s back up a bit: Caleb created Decomposure back in 2002 as a project to pursue a hyper-specific strain of elaborate experimental-polyrhythmic-glitchtronica sourced from diced up field recordings and found sound. With each passing album, he added more and more to the mix... until one day, it collapsed under its own weight. “I finally had to stop. The process had become a paralyzing slog - I was literally spending a solid month working out each minute. And when a software glitch wiped out nearly a year of work, that was the final nail in the coffin. But out of that frustration I came to realize all my theoretical clutter was premised on unlimited time. I’d set up all these challenges - sound sources, repetition, time signatures - but I’d never thought to limit my time.”
With the newfound demands of fatherhood already whittling his hours down, it was the perfect opportunity to make the leap. The solution was a simple idea: write/produce/record one full song every week, release it as a podcast on the weekend. Rinse, repeat. And so Caleb sunk every spare waking moment he could into the music, hermiting away at night to write, stealing time from lunch to hammer out a beat, layering caffeine-fueled harmonies at 3am, marathoning through weekend evenings to tie it all together. And that old abandoned album? It got a second lease on life, as salvaged bits and sketches were revived and reworked into full-fledged songs, unexpectedly integrating a sweeping 5-year arc into the project. A year later, he was sitting on dozens of brand new songs, which were polished, filtered, and winnowed into their final definitive form as Eating Chicken, Decomposure’s fifth full-length album.
You might expect Eating Chicken to be a mess of eclectic styles and ideas mashed together. Aaaand you’d be mostly right - for Decomposure, genre has always been a tool, not the toolbox, and so songs swing from sunny pop to mutant dancehall to skittering minimalism to searing noise and back again, all wrapped in his signature kitchen-sink life sampling. But beyond those superficial differences, those who stick around will find a deeper underlying unity that rewards repeat listens. It’s an album that tracks the journey from perpetual-teenageness to parenthood, examining denial and truth, art and compromise, ends and beginnings, and finally, growing up.
“Features the graphic-artist-by-day’s slightly sugary blend of electronic-pop that channels a little bit of The Postal Service, but in no way mimics them, or anyone we’ve heard recently. Decomposure is definitely a delight, and no doubt will be making its-slash-his mark on the scene soon.” - Urb Magazine, Next 1000
Special thanks to Kickstarters: Michael Carlson, Brian Carney, Mike Salvatore, Craig Moynes, Ben Perkins, Dave Rosales, Adam Frey, Brad Porter, Jamin Mueller, Hamish Hay, and Jake Bock.
What others are saying about Eating Chicken:
The Aquarian "I can almost guarantee any listener would hear something different each time they listened to Eating Chicken. Although the album is all over the place, it’s not overdone. Artists like Mueller should receive more praise for their non-conventional way of creating music. The artistic intent was evident and executed well. The album takes both your ears and mind on a roller coaster ride filled with highs and lows before coming full circle at the end. In A Word: Unexpected."
Aiding & Abetting "There's a lot going on here, and it has been well-orchestrated. Mueller knows what he's doing. And he's crafted some seriously fine pop songs. Call this what you like. These songs are impeccably attractive, and they make me smile. Mueller has a fine ear for both music and lyrics, and he's put this album together with verve and care."
Babysue/LMNOP "These tracks still feature layers upon layers of sound...heavenly arrangements...and those cool refined vocals that are the trademark of Decomposure music. Great to hear new material from this intriguing fellow. Fourteen captivating cuts here including "Readymade," "Safety Scissors," "Selah," and "Wide Awake." Top pick." (5 Babysues)
Red and Black "Decomposure’s “Eating Chicken” is like a pouch of Pop Rocks for your ears. Fun. Crazy. Unpredictable. The second you hit the play button, you can’t help but be drawn in... The thing that sets Decomposure apart is that he’s constantly creating a brand of music of his own that incorporates several genres. He embraces his unconventionality rather than fighting it. Decomposure’s talent and tendency towards groundbreaking make this album a hidden gem worth listening to."
KJHK Kansas Eating Chicken is the fantastic new album from Decomposure, a group known primarily for their compositional experiments and electronic sounds. On their latest album, they take a bit of a genre shift into baroque pop territory. Right from the first song, listeners will notice the superb Beach Boys-like harmonies that are layered all throughout this album... Eating Chicken has a strong running as a dark horse candidate for album of the year.
Surviving the Golden Age "There are sounds snuck into Eating Chicken, his fifth album, that I can only describe as a skipping CD, crackling and scratching from a record, and a melody that sounds like it would have fit perfectly into an old Nintendo game... It’s just about everything all on one album."
WLUR Radio Genre is less a rule and more a set of guidelines with this record, as you'll hear poppy Bon Iver rock with "Black Snow" and Nintendo 64 synths on "Oh Brother". Eating Chicken tracks a winding journey through perpetual-childhood to adulthood, but at least it's a journey with a few worthwhile pit-stops!
Lyrics i knew all along...
readymade on a paper plate (food for thought is a good trade) where neutral is a smiley face (or your face will freeze that way) with punctured heel, square under weight (swallowed by the creeping blank) old boss out, new boss is the same (sun may rise but will not stay)
saucers drawn back like a slingshot past the silver trails across the sidewalk their teal pits divided down to blue and green and white and black
eyes up eyes up eyes up no hardening shapes to be plucked from their dance above my wet footsteps i’m gone i’m gone i’m gone, losing a page pupils rummaging around in the back for green pens careful careful careful i cut out my heart inflating it with my last breath to set it free i fall i fall i fall it floats in the night climbing soft, growing a padded halo named color scatting lone to beat back barbecue forks and knifeblade clouds storing black snow slow rising under a phantom bridge pumping please let me cry, i need to cry, just let me cry but instead sneezes and dies and at the end of the block a truck hits it
* * *
outside my naked hopes grew cold so i kept them warm at home and went to work to buy them clothes
Lyrics who knows how it happened? retracing it, it’s clear the end was seeded from the start unnatural disasters the weight grew as it promised forever, then it fell apart
the lapse of your teamwork is bread in water lined in black, a tensionhardened glare it did not breach the surface spreading underneath, a cancer choking out the air between no, now and later - every collapse cuts into the urge to walk against the shrouded faces each beaming blank sansserif on a yellow box
i can’t handle the truth i thought i could, but i couldn’t make it through
i couldn’t drive all of 2009 because my license expired and i had to start over to reapply when i go out at night, i look toward the northern sky all the while a camera follows me everywhere and i can never leave it behind, try as i might
i know they’re right it was good while it lasted the light burns out of their eyes and i know how it happened
Lyrics oh brother i don’t know what to say should i even bother? your mind is made up anyway. oh brother i don’t know what’s become of you you follow after enraptured by the piper’s tune
i’d write you off if we were not connected by this blood as it is, how can we talk if the phone lines have been cut and all the windows have been shut?
oh brother i know you’re desperate to belong to something other to define yourself through joining clubs oh brother the price of membership has been yourself when you speak, somebody reaches through your guts to work your mouth
some say god when they mean america some say courage when they mean hysteria some say strength while they cave to terror some say bootstraps while they’re mostly carried some believe they’re smart just because they declare it, building nests of pleasant lies woven together so the painful truths can never break the barrier until the old aren’t wise and the young don’t care enough and all my life i have been oblivious do you think you could be too?
but you’re so vain you’d never know this song is about you you’re not that selfaware to pick yourself out of a lineup if someone described you living the biopic in your head dropping status updates so puffy and seethrough like an actor out of work drops names they ring the bell and you salivate on cue collect the full barbie playset
oh brother pot and kettle, i know i’m just the same i’m supposed to love you sometimes i’d rather punch you in the face oh brother i wouldn’t care if i didn’t think you knew so much better turn off the teleprompter and just be you
Lyrics comfy pants (home alone confusing whitenoise with applause) neon dance (clomping hooves all in time, call and response) pumpkin smiles (if you don’t have money, well, then i don’t strip down) in packs or piles (the world is lost, they should include us now)
it’s all water under the sugar bridge anyhow madly tapdancing until the time runs out while spamalot selling protest signs to cows got my mojo maintaining regular business hours and i don’t want to know where gravy comes out from the director of the sequel of the sequel of the sequel of the sequel of the sequel of the sequel of the sequel of the sequel of the sequel of the sequel of the sequel to saw x it’s...
safety scissors - my truth is fattening rhymes with izzle - student demonstration time pinkerton panther, phonevoice and matching since you’re paid for, it’s store credit, no refund hallelujah for a refreshing pepsi hollow hands, blank books and waterwings chase the seagull, kill it and walk away j. walter thompson, paint markers and camel legs it’s plainly different when you’re lit to cut teeth and trade blue for the spoon in your gums go go go
we’re so connected through ducts, never alone, silently followed we’re so connected hooded detainees filing into a plane go go go
yo blood money, it’s got to be the shoes don’t hold your breath for a joint about sweatshops poem words picked from drawers - grey, black, and white lost when yawning feet climb in their socks do you get mad or are you always quiet? i don’t think you know me very well. things must be said twice before they’re heard or like receipts they’re bleached and blotted out ...and are meant only ‘til they’re said out loud
how do you sleep at night?
(dot dot dot) phantom gatherings and paths unfollowed packed brittle and yellowing in boxes stains bursting across the floor, indoor snow settling down like tired kittens onearmed years buckled square under weight of undripping rain that will not evaporate, a steady eroding wash of accumulating entropy blue flame smokes, extinguished to stone days flip by like a baseball card in the spokes of a bike. tires. a lost fly in winter spinning meekly on its back running the air in prickly spasms like a dream and falling silent.
anger wrapped in blankets a padded knock of feeble fists balled pink and soft like sunday ham sliding faint down doors with weak whispers then swung lazily from shoulder gallows in narrowing cursive os mirror cracked and distended, sallow pores swallowing warm fog, widemouthed and recalibrating.
there is no fire, just a pale pleasant glow lighting swollen palms groping halfhope and heart all spun and um between words, a bare spidery sinus like a blindfold reaching back toward your ears as you walk until all you can do is walk, fumbling for a light switch, or a wall, then anything solid at all, waiting for shapes to undress from behind photocopied scenery and muffled faces shocked white and abbreviated all feeling sucking back behind your own gelatin skin until you stop.
and your ghost continues on ahead, without thought to toe or topography or thought. this is the halflife, transformed swaddled in the vast blank chrysalis nourished by the lukewarm void and drying into the shell a husk for new corn eyes, a clear container with the label scratched off, storage space for younger dreams in its very own empty theatre
Lyrics i just saw it for the awesome graphics wanted to see things asplode, watch some giants stomp through traffic, wave the flag like a burning skunk. and all of the characters talked with each other the way toys did when i was small we sat mesmerized sharing summer like we’d never grown up at all. later i wrote a song but i won’t ever sing it it cannot be sung without breaking up
driving deeper into the forest, trees swallowed the road behind i drove blindly through the dark, unsure if i’d see the sun again before i died when i broke suddenly through the treeline the car slowed, stopped and sighed facing a faraway frozen ocean under grey construction paper sky i don’t know what’s wrong. if i did, i would fix it. the highway stretches on i’ve been waiting for so long there’s no one in the distance all i can do is walk the air is growing colder the woods a dismal comfort the sea an icy desert and no one can set foot there without breaking up
Lyrics first thing you’re told in new school clothes everyone is keeping score passing notes, watching close then you leave and life keeps going life keeps going on no one’s watching, no one ever was
free is how it’s sold kids can’t die, but kids weren’t meant to live this long they must grow with young dreams starving slow but life keeps going life keeps going on the season’s changing everything must go
how do you wake up when you know you’ll do this for decades more? learn new codes, still you’re lapped when you fall life keeps going life keeps going on mostly waiting, but you don’t live all at once
i’ve sung in the dark i have worn jackets full of bullet holes down trapdoors with lines i wrote, facing north life keeps going life keeps going on nashville fading like a forgotten song
oh she has been beaten faceless her bound wrists are black and raw lying in a burned-out basement, hot blood choking off her sobs while he haunts her from the shadows through a mask of human skin though she shakes and pleads for mercy they both know how this will end it’s almost done the countdown has begun waiting for death to come
oh his skin has gone translucent, a thin marionette ghost oh his head is full of tumors, he has cancer in his lungs as his wife sorted pills, he’d ask her why won’t jesus take me home? that was back when he could speak, now he can’t talk to her at all only hug oh it won’t be long waiting for death to come
saw a squirrel laid on the pavement sprawled out like a tiny rug so symmetrically under the tree that it had fallen from its body heaved with every breath, paralysed there since something snapped inside its soft brown back, so it could not move its limbs blinking once staring down the road waiting for death to come
Lyrics i arrived at work some friday morning, early ohsix plaided out and sleepmouthed, dragging dawn for my coffee fix checked my email, waiting bolded firstname.lastname@example.org wanted to give me ten thousand dollars so macy’s could use my song
i confirmed indeed it was for real everyone i told kept telling me this could be a big deal
but i was not convinced, i did not believe boosting bright buy culture and selling sweatshop sweaters seemed antithetical to my precious integrity though intangibles aren’t accepted by collection agencies...
conflicted, i wrote back: i needed time, i asked for the weekend to talk to my wife and make a decision they said that’s fine, but summer’s coming, soon we’ll need the contract signed i researched, i waffled, i justified the money - so soothing - made it all right like a tetherball, i was drawn to the green light i’d be crazy not to, fame is waiting just like moby wrote those essays but had no such qualms when ad firms signed the cheques not everything was wrong k’naan cut the poor to wave the flag for coke nike made sure saul won’t live hand to mouth no more m.i.a. led a coup for honda’s coupe si feist counted as apple’s chinese workers died it’s worthless without a price, whatever you have inside, you’re going to have to monetize it
a man without a code is a flimsy tent that folds when a strong wind starts to blow monday i awoke and i said yes
* * *
i never heard from them again. and so my big break came and went, untangling the knot inside my chest though i’d still feel awful whenever people asked. sometimes i think the whole thing was a test devised in shadows by some dark controlling class to expose how small a sum it took to make me dance and pass around the transcripts at their gatherings and laugh about how easily i sold my soul to hold a cheque i could not cash
so i slunk back to my high horse, still in debt my songs circled like birds and taunted me i’d like to think i learned something from that when i saw myself undressed, and didn’t know the person underneath
* * *
i was working overtime when the call came down the line they said that my home was on fire
Lyrics you were dipped in liquid silver when they lifted you above the turquoise sheets you made a plaintive sound while we held hands they set you down between our faces it was true - your mom started crying, i admit i teared up too that was how we first came to meet you
you’ll reach out and grab my finger though i know that’s just a reflex thing you wake up every few hours and your tired mom gives you milk and sings but one day you’ll want food after that, before you know it, you’ll be off to school you’ve got so much learning left to do
you don’t understand a word i say but sometimes you’ll smile anyhow, without your teeth your feet are soft and smooth because they’ve never touched the ground you’ve never had a bruise your eyes grow wide and shine when something new comes into view it’s a mystery and everything is new you’ve got so much life ahead of you
Lyrics pan up from the ocean. pushed like icewhite hands in winter water stasis chasing hiscores in a forgotten arcade skipping pale before a blue screen of death and short breath and marshlands old to pave and push live freeways carry my air wherever i sleep on a spit in a fatsuit a set of split quotes fleeing cold from my back in a hot mute panic pinned selfconscious as a naked turtle. there is no doing left. bloodhounds inert in electrified cages, asymmetrical warfare sidescrolling through an abandoned city’s sprawl crossing clouds when they can see your breath and tracks bowed heads and thinning thumbs piled up at a dead end snow from a tired brown sky, an hourglass with no neck on the dogleg consulting a heineken for marriage advice where there be dragons, elves against mice, are taglines disguised as songs. why ask what year it is? bright beige food, footage of accidents in video loops when they began using their lifetime passes, dancing with the coals confined to grids, limited to perfection trackback to fill in the tendons i am a white male in my late twenties, so it has already been said. it will not end, it will not come back, like a dog in the city, like the first time you drove through a place you’ll be moving to not many are fortunate enough to sleep without dreaming, most have to live with themselves their entire life
walk out on the ice floe the distance dark with black snow
sailor bailing out the boat with wood salvaged from the hole frogger stuck with dead controls, out of time without setting foot on the road soldier in a cave alone telegraphing codes into an empty ocean shredded hands pulling the rope, it wouldn’t hurt so much if you would only let go
breath is boiled bodily steam hissing from a sealed stovepipe sprouting from iron lungs fired by the corpse of grizzled grey bird coal each sunset a railway tie, each rail a thin strip sliced from sinew and skeleton given crescendo, all conspiracy and no resolution, a forever storm told the circle of the earth would roll endlessly without edges to fall from so i busied myself painting a mural of the sunset to hang behind our graduation and devised my parting precocious words from all the borrowed humble grandiosity i could scrape together while feathers were plucked from the hollow earth burnt quills’ circling smoke sucked into its byzantine mechanical heart howling whirls of special promising ash tracing the contours of crushed snails down the entertainment dream inhale floured in possibility’s machinations, lineart sunrises and daily affirmations eagerly biting shiny nickels rendered from the priceless soot exhaled from a cagesheltered chorus of blackthroated children calling for another against the growl of their collective stomach’s engine threshing entropy to progress and powerlines, sustained by treats. hope as a veneer of young learned sarcasm a molasses desert slowscaling permanent torsos taped together my former split jaw (though not literally of course) like i’ve been engraving on winter night for weeks blueinking sleeves i cannot wear on days that don’t exist a peeled jar bleached and filled with soil, sprout planted and growing thumb on the scale and the same wait as i could reach back through the fog stolen north, tracks laid and mortgaged to a clear pinched forcedperspective painted on a wall in a bathroom stall trying to scratch a reply to myself on the wall, but i don’t have fingernails, and one by one the lightbulbs are burning out the settling ether, old men eating breakfast, the fog of summer mornings rubbing along blue streets finally scattering against the burning disc of the sun a long drape shuddering its last wide sigh for the warmth of its final petals unfolding
kids drink grape juice, grownups drink wine one who knows only sweetness remains a child
* * *
by the time i got back home everything there was gone
Lyrics we will gather there in freedom square and we will not leave until there’s freedom there in the end we’ll stand hand in hand as their machine guns rip us all in half
we shall be overcome
those who refuse to fall locked in the dark where they’ll pull our minds and bodies apart we know our coffins will be our clothes, we will sing until they cut our throats
we shall be overcome
the agents hunt our families down and take them in the night the leaders in their ballrooms feel no shame, they tell their lies the newsmen check their hair and sip champagne as they transcribe the history books recording only space between the lines forgotten as we die
they will shut us up, they will have their way our bodies ragdolls dumped in unmarked graves they’re free to roll ahead once we’re brushed aside they deserve the world we leave behind
we shall be overcome
Lyrics everybody hopes to be awake through their funeral listening in cold repose as they’re eulogized, dead but still alive to know what they thought of you all along who didn’t bother to show up to lie and hear the truth before the lid is closed
everybody hopes to be bought yet not be owned, that the narrow road is short, to eat their fill, and then hope the hollowed cake will stand who knows? if money had its own price what would you pay to make it worthwhile to hear the truth and sell the lie before the lid is closed
Lyrics blessed is the apple cored: two dozen slices packaged, each one sold blessed are the buyers’ notes: divorcing knives from the affordable blessed are the vendors’ stores: heaven unrolls, each mile collecting toll blessed is the oneway road: an apple cut cannot again be whole
the seers shout from their towers, ‘everything is infinite’ pray you don’t find they’re wrong, for you’ll be hanged for telling it
the earth is a lonely island we have been steady drinking our own urine for far too long we’ve heard the story time and time again we’ve seen the ending and know we deserve it when it comes home
turn your costumes up. remove your voicebox and roll it smooth on the counter. the second law of thermodynamics sends your eyes on a tapdance every moment on call, forever on the precipice can you decide an upsidedown teardrop written in blank numeric verse? decision points, thumbnails held open with alligator clips sinking slick ships riding black waves of the unobservable past come on, ashes - lick your chapped lips and pout for fashion vanity veins and sunrise there’s a white backdrop waiting to powerclip our hope in whatever’s in the cup, you can find someone to drink it and say it’s delicious starcrossed glasses banging pots in the kitchen the laff track swells, john galt peeking under the shells the future isn’t coming so we’re turning to salt injected in our necks like antiradiation medication fauxconscious rappers with their ation rhymes selling taster’s choice couldn’t struggle from their la-z-boys to answer the door when the poison made landfall. we cried, “i wish there was a mainstream left, so i could hide in its meniscus now all is edgeless, all is one hundred and ten percent. my friends stripped and chatter pith down the river stored in a faraway grid mined for primes and rare statistics until they’re formally replaced by scale replicas
stormfront to backstabber gathering facts in baskets that trackback to themselves on white lather the light unravels while blackness hovers over the surface of the shallow the swallow shot for the gold ticket in its beak from the gallows straining for the ground as they swung and we spin around the scene smooth and free the programmers have the camera; does it matter without tension between real and imagined? tragedy’s skin deep to an avatar, avarice rentacar observing is a hungry syringe until you’re peering through one red frame of old 3d glasses it’s so easy i don’t care where it’s from.” the angel of death peeled his eyelids off and placed two golden coin eyecups and mini tvs too in each socket singing teenage dreams as bristling electricity for eternity while its bright thorny roots pushed through the back of his skull and spread like hotcakes generations wide erecting trees without branch or leaf impaling the conscience dreamers in flight legs tight as a cramp in a dance routine dogwhistles and moral hazards, so believable can you hear their snaking chrome whispers spitting liquid smoke? i’m being followed. don’t retreat, reload. grip the wheel and explode. the end is within reach with a few more on the board from beyond the arc or slam dunk i hope you didn’t need those arms red dawn swim to shore as it erodes holla back when your bones show
Lyrics from an eyeroll to divorce flipping back to find where it went wrong signs of hope, double quotes neighbours gather when the power whimpers out
what if the apocalypse never comes and we have to keep living with all that we’ve done? what if the apocalypse never comes and we have to keep living with all that we’ve done? what if the apocalypse never comes we did not understand just how far we had gone
now we are wide awake
row by row, manacled they force their poisoned dreams into our lungs still as stone, drilled full of holes harvesting the gravy from our hearts
they cut off a little bit, then they return and they cut off a little bit, then they return and they cut off a little bit, then they return and they cut off a little bit, then they return and they cut off a little bit, then they return they don’t know we can feel it because we can’t say a word
but we are wide awake
* * *
life keeps going life keeps going on pain and beauty from the same brush
i had nowhere else to go i drove back to work alone.