Family Vacancy

by Pelican Rodeo

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On June 27th, 2015, Pelican Rodeo launched their debut album, Family Vacancy, an album years in the making. The songs take the listener on a journey through existential angst, grief, and love carried by the melodic tunes of the band’s indie, folk, and rock influences.

Pelican Rodeo was formed in 2009 as a two-man group with Eric Wendt and Kyle Embke, playing small acoustic shows at local venues. The pair would spend hours practicing and writing new songs deep into the night.

In 2013, Pelican Rodeo expanded into a full band, adding three new members: Kalli Johnson (vocals/violin/bass), Jeremy Holt (keyboard), and Trevor Franz (percussion). After a busy first few months adapting the new instruments to the existing songs (oftentimes entirely changing the sound and melody), the band spent the summer playing shows at venues such as the The Hideout, The Waiting Room, and The 402 Arts Collective.

On May 23 of 2014, Pelican Rodeo released its first single, Winter, on internet distributors. In the following winter, they began work on Family Vacancy.


released June 27, 2016

Eric Wendt - Vocals & Guitars
Kyle Embke - Vocals, Guitars & Bass
Kalli Johnson - Vocals, Violin & Bass
Trevor Franz - Drums
Jeremy Holt - Keyboards

Written & Produced by Eric Wendt & Kyle Embke
Recorded, Mixed & Produced by Cody Bailey of Bailey Recording
Mastered by Doug Van Sloun of Focus Mastering
Executive Producer - Nina Franz

This album is dedicated to:
Nina Franz & Ryan Mathias
Even in the next life you continue to inspire us.


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Pelican Rodeo Omaha, Nebraska

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Track Name: I Gotta Soul
I gotta soul but I don’t got a home

I gotta soul but I don’t got a home

I gotta soul but I don’t got a ho Oh oh oh oh ome

I don’t know why these lows and highs are all centered on you

And I think it’s time that we say goodbye ‘cos I need something true

Well I hope that you open your eyes and see the stars in the skies

Even though they say you’re blind

And I hope that you open your mind and maybe realize

That you were closer than you know

I’m stuck in my head with too many regrets all wasted on you

I’m doing just fine nursing bottles of wine living out an excuse

Away, Away, Away
Track Name: The Tree Song
I think something’s snapped inside my head
Yeah I think I’ve finally come unglued
Seems to me I’ve made a mess of things
If I roll the dice this time I’m gonna loose

Where did this go wrong
To save a tree I burned the forest
Now ’m laying face down in the coals
Where did I go wrong
Tried growing up but failed the test
Maybe I just dont fit the grown up mold

Maybe it’s time I take a big step back
Yeah, Look at life through brand new eyes
Everyone gets burned at some point
Pick myself up and give something else a try

I won’t let this destroy me
Get knocked down, gonna get back up
Track Name: Winter
Do you remember December when I wasn’t there

The cold had distain for it’s victims it would not spare

The lake’s frozen over you reach for my over coat

I wasn’t there but you knew that I had to go

OHHH where nobody knows

OHHH that’s where my heart goes

Put your head on my shoulder and let me take you home

Put your head on my shoulder and let me lay you down

Put your head on my shoulder and let me take you home

We danced as if our feet were up off the ground

We fell so far in love, we were no where to be found

You saw my heart, you saw my heart fade away

You said you saw my ghost and he was doing okay

Miles and miles of this frozen wasteland and

I’d still come home to your smile

After years and years of these failed escape plans

We both lived in denial
Track Name: Solomon
We lay in flowers; we lay for hours in the sun

Your legs are towers and they crumble when we’re done

You keep me guessing; you’ve kept me guessing from the start

Your blood is pumping; your blood is pumping through my heart

I taste the salt on; I taste the salt upon your skin

To you I confess; to you I confess all my sin

I see a river and it’s covering the road

I see you shiver and I give you self-control

We built this house up for a life we call our own

We’ve come so far now and there’s nowhere left to roam
Track Name: Monsters
I know there’s monsters living right outside your door
But you don’t need to think of them anymore
We can eat dinner on the kitchen floor
We will make a life that you will adore

monsters, monsters everywhere
But baby you don’t need to care
You’ll be alright, alright, alright

Lets separate the lies from the truth
We’ll do our best to always be honest with you
If there comes a day when we are no longer here
Just carry on and keep fighting my dear

Please don’t lose your sense of adventure
There is a great big world for you to explore
I know there’s fear inside of us all
Just don’t fear to let your imagination soar

I know there’s monsters’ living right outside your door
Track Name: The Civil War
I left home, to fight off the slavery

Now you’re having a baby and it ain’t mine

Now I’m back home, though I died in the trenches

And I don’t know what this is, I thought you were mine

You left home, been gone for so long now

Had to get along somehow, oh how I’ve tried

You’re back home, but now things are different

And I feel just as distant, as when you were gone

Come back, come back, come back, come back home

All this fear and death I’ve shouldered on my own

I’ve been, I’ve been, I’ve been, so alone

So come back home

In my hands is a dead man’s rifle and he’s clinching a bible while saying a prayer

A shot rang out, now his life is over and I’m suddenly sober at what I’ve become

My father died a victim of murder and no one thought further To how I’d get by

Now I’ve grown with nothing for family and it ain’t how it should be
Cause you took a life
Track Name: Dastardly Devils
You caught me in a bad way, I think it was a Saturday

It couldn’t have been a sadder day

didn’t want to hear what you had to say, couldn’t look you in face

Just wanted to run away

There are dastardly devils hiding deep in the shadows

With their eyes on the prize, and the prize is your life

If you ended up dead, I would still be your friend again

Oh my God, what have you done

To every single one you love

Am I just selfish, that I am hell bent

On forgetting this

You only drink when you’re outta town

You only cheat when you fool around

You took your love to the bank and burnt it down,

You took your love to the bank and burnt it down
Track Name: Tell
If you were a cup, and water was your passion

You’d fill it up, and drown out all the ashes

From the fires you put out within you eyes

If you were in love, and the walls started to close in

Would you give up, and bury all you close friends

In the rubble from the bridges you burnt down

So won’t you tell us how the story goes

And won’t you tell us when the truth finally broke

And if you can’t remember, then I’ll refresh your memory

Just tell, won’t you tell…

If you were corrupt, and lied to all you cared for

Would it disrupt, what we’re really here for

Which is, love lost in the lies you have portrayed

I you were our god, and we were but your servants

Would we look up, and ask for you to save us

From the crimes we did not do but were punished
Track Name: Cry Me A River
Cry me a river and I’ll take on all your shame

Cry me a river and I’ll fall on you like rain

Cry me a river and I’ll give up all my dreams

Cry me a river and I’ll never hope again

And this ship has sailed and may it sail again
(Left us drowning in the bay last night)

And our love has failed, but it can’t fail again
(Left us freezing in the bay last night)

Cry me a river and I’ll give up all my joy

Cry me a river and I’ll turn into a boy

Cry me a river and I’ll trust in you no more

Cry me a river and throw me overboard
Track Name: Correspondence Of Former Friends
You can say I’m angry
Or that I’ve lost my mind

You can say I’m hateful
And I’m not worth your time

You can say I’m eager
To give up on my life

I could say you’re bitter
That my sister was your wife

I was dead to you
And you were dead to me
And we lived life

You came running back
Now I’m half the man
That I used to be
That I used to be

Oh this air bit you shrewdly
And it’s cold at your back

Your muse is forgoing
As you wait to attack

Fortune is your focus
And your fame is at risk

Your words spoken sideways
As they struggle to exist

I was dead to you
And you were dead to me
And we lived life

You came running back
Now I’m half the man
That I used to be
That I used to be

As if arguments were dreams
Or simple visions in my mind

Now you come back to me
With intentions undefined

Now I don’t think you’re evil
Or a soul beyond repair

I just think that it’s safer
To guard my heart from despair

I was dead to you
And you were dead to me
And we lived life

You came running back
Now I’m half the man
That I used to be
That I used to be
Track Name: Reaper
Thorns and thistles and loaded pistols

Empty bottles – got nothing to lose

I look down at, at my body I hear sirens and they’re coming for me

Yeah, they’re coming me – Yeah, they’re coming…. for me

The Grim Reaper came and took your soul

The Grim Reaper came and took it’s toll

And there’s no coming back from that

Prayers and bibles and lost revivals

And flowers placed on this box built for one

I look up through six feet of dirt and I see tears and they’re falling for me

Yeah, they’re falling for me – Yeah, they’re falling…. for me

And so we go into the unknown home away from here we go

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