flashbulb memory

by orchid mantis

supported by
comradam☭ thumbnail
comradam☭ Beautiful release by highly regarded Atlanta musician, Orchid Mantis. Flashbulb Memory functions as a deeply personal, yet decisively ephemeral and obscured interpretation of the nature of memory and the flow of time within our lives. Highly Recommended! :^)) Favorite track: these things won't happen again (time stands still).
John Hernandez
John Hernandez thumbnail
John Hernandez Beautiful music, orchid mantis is what everyone needs in their life! Favorite track: these things won't happen again (time stands still).
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    includes digital lyrics sheet & extra photos.
    **cassettes also available from Track & Field Records**

      $5 USD  or more




The oldest track on Flashbulb Memory, Leaving, was written on an upright piano in my friend’s old house sometime during the summer of 2014. As I worked further on it throughout the year, it became deeply associated with my memories of that place. Now, that house is up for sale, and I’ll probably never step foot in there again. In a few years it will look very different, maybe unrecognizable. This past year and a half, as everyone I knew left for college, I stayed behind working on these songs; but whenever I tried to write about these more-recent experiences, I found myself painting with broad, impressionist brush strokes. In nostalgic fits I revisited old lyrics concerning my most vivid memories, all of them taking place in the old house. I could already feel those moments slipping from present to past, forgoing their urgency. There was a haziness in my recollection that I hoped I could capture, assembling fragments of memories that recurred ceaselessly in my dreams, each time growing more distant and pure. I don’t remember how it felt back then anymore – not truthfully at least, but these songs are about how I’m going to think it felt.

The cover of Flashbulb Memory is a film photograph I shot in high school while on vacation with my family. From our balcony we could see all the way down to the shoreline; the houses all stopped far before the sand, except for one lone house right up next to the waves. I don’t have any photographs of the old house before they moved and it went up for sale, but when I picture it in my head, it’s a similar image: The house is distant and obscured, surrounded by vast swaths of dark space. The lights are lit perpetually, but no one is home anymore.

**cassettes available from Track & Field Records**


released December 30, 2016

all songs written & recorded by Thomas Howard.
infinite thanks to Kate, Lanny, Joseph, Neil, and all other friends who helped make this everything it is ❁



all rights reserved


orchid mantis Atlanta, Georgia

found sounds, tape collages, and pop songs about forgetting.

contact / help

Contact orchid mantis

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: fog
way, way after
we left you on your own
you called, and i didn't answer
i just couldn't bring myself to move

just, just like candles
everything is melting away
if you start to feel dizzy
just fall over, it's okay

and the fog rolls in
i am lost in it
drifting hopeless
i get lost in it

lie, lie here with me
as our memories start to blur
i, i can't remember
if it was ever any better
Track Name: everything always gets old
holding it over our heads
i know i deserve it
everything always gets old
lacking a purpose to serve

nothing i need
the still, the seed
all of your dreams
come back to me
i've lost your name
this place, your face
nothing the same
i miss everything

"...feel the colors, hear the sounds, feel the wind, notice the sky..."
Track Name: somewhere you've been before
it's silent on the shore
whatever you've endured
beneath the trees
you fall asleep
somewhere we've been before

you know to follow me
i see the memories meet
you're always here
you reappear
you follow what you fear
Track Name: leaving
sunk into a darker room
i felt myself leaving myself
but it doesn't matter at all
and i won't be there when you fall
nothing means anything

save me somehow
cause i don't know how
soon you will be
leaving me

i take it back i take it
i take it back i take it

in a dream i floated
away from you
and all this time
i missed the signs
but it's over now
the fires are all out
Track Name: reoccurring
empty houses and empty parking lots
i lost myself in something that was gone
floor collapses, walls decay
entire lives forgotten
and we don't stay the same

and you know
it's all of the time
you know
just what you'll find

things reoccurring
and i am certain
i know i won't feel this way again

you are bleeding into my daydreams
intruding quietly, i don't know what it means
if we collapse and memories decay
entire lives forgotten
can we just stay the same
Track Name: these things won't happen again (time stands still)
we stayed in your room
you'd been up since last moon
i'm trying not to hear you
sinking feelings, i just wanna sleep

and the days get long
only after everybody's gone
i want you to reach into my mind
i wanna lose myself in your light

say goodbye