We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Almost Moving Backwards

by Derek Brink

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

    Click "Buy Digital Album" then enter your price as $0.00 to download for FREE. Or more if you're feeling generous! :)
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price


I’m getting old and irrelevant and I’m starting to watch my friends die. Let’s give ‘em hope, give ‘em sentiment, make ‘em laugh so they don’t wanna cry. Right now I’m alive and so are you. Better take a few names while we still can. ‘Cause you go around once, ‘till you’re through and you ain’t gonna get another chance. Can’t spend your whole life with your head in the clouds searching for a sign. It might be better just to live life and be kind. ‘Cause whatever doesn’t kill you might just be taking its time. Don’t take it for-granted. You’ve gotta live your own life. I’m getting bored. Always discontent. And I’m longing for the time when I was not. I’m breathing in and breathing out. So there’s still time to give it whatever I’ve still got. Right now it’s alright. It’s okay. Even if it’s not, it’s the best we’re gonna get. I’ve seen it all and I’ve seen a lot. But I think that I ain’t seen nothing yet.
Then & Again 05:48
Something reminded me of the way we used to be so unafraid; riding around in your first car. The speakers were half blown out but even so it was so loud we had to shout to hear each other say “do you know where we are?” Van Halen on the radio with the Best of Rush tape ready to go. Lost in the songs wherever we may roam. Those bands are gone now and maybe we’re getting too old to shout. But getting lost with you always felt like home. I loved you then and I love you again. And I’ve missed you, my friend. Sometimes I still think of the day I said all those things I knew I shouldn’t say. The day I broke your heart. I was angry and jealous and zealous and dumb. Thought I was right at the time, where was I coming from? We could’ve had it all, but I blew it apart. Now The RAMONES are on my stereo and I listened to The Who about an hour ago. Both make me miss the sound of your guitar. A couple lifetimes gone by and these days I’m getting too quick to cry. So I weep for the years we were apart. I love you then and I love you again. And I’ve missed you, my friend. Let’s get that drink that we both talked about. Let’s play those songs that we can’t live without. Let’s sing along until our voices give out. Let’s plug in and blow the windows out. I loved you then and I love you again. And I’ve missed you, my friend.
Rebecca 04:40
I had a dream... A bad dream of a bad place and just one name... "Rebecca..." A fortnight love affair. Such a pretty girl. I can't compare. She's a queen. Rebecca still surrounds me.. But she's gone. And she's been gone for so long. And I'm alone where Rebecca cannot reach me. I wake up in cold sweats. Regrets from the outset. I've been just a bit upset. But I don't think I'll ever forget Rebecca. I can't (seem to) do anything right. A mistake in the dark comes to the light so everyone can see that Rebecca's still above me. And when I dress up nice for a perfect night in a perfect life, I'm haunted by her still. Rebecca goes before me. Her memory's a silhouette. It's all such an ugly mess. I'm just trying to do my best. But I don't think I'll ever forget Rebecca. It's no accident that the ship sank before I got here. If anything's Heaven-sent it's the mercy of losing your fear. All it takes is one shot to prove you're not taking what you're handed. Whatever comes next, it's for the best, even if no one understands it. So let the place burn down. And then we'll leave this town. No sorrow left to drown. No need for epithets. It's just an empty threat. I'll live to outlive this yet. But I know I'll never forget Rebecca. I had a dream... A bad dream of a bad place and just one name... And the ashes blew up toward me upon the wind.
Everything is fading and I wonder just what got me here. And it bears repeating that I’ve lost track of all my doubts and fears. Needless to say I’m stranded. Needless to say I am afraid I’m lost. But I keep holding on to what I can’t see that I’m holding onto. Everything is ending and I feel like I am winding down. But I keep believing, tossed in the deep end I’ll refuse to drown. Needless to say I’m shaken. Needless to say I am afraid I’ll fall. But I keep reaching out to what I don’t know. Sometimes I think I could let go--just let go. I can only fall so far before I run out of rope. But something keeps me climbing I guess it’s hope, if only a fool’s hope. I keep believing… Everything is fading and I wonder just what got me here. And I keep repeating after the storm the clouds will disappear...
Every Day 03:59
Every day is another day... And nothing stays the same forever. It hurts to say goodbye. Sometimes it hurts to love. You’ve got to take the bad things with the good. Every happy moment is a sad one in disguise. It won’t last long even though it should. Every day… You can’t see the end right now, or maybe that’s ALL you see. Don’t lose yourself losing someone else. Of all that haunts you may the greatest ghost be love. May it lead you back to yourself. Every day… Sometimes you wake up and that’s when the nightmare starts. So sometimes you sleep the day away. But sometimes you wake up and everything makes sense. That day’s the gift that keeps you holding on. Every day...
A good friend lost her daughter. and I watched it almost kill her. Though I think we always knew she would die young. And no I will not name her; the mother or the daughter. Some things are better left unsung. We lost touch, of course, my friend and me except for anniversaries. Now birthdays and death days feel the same. We only talk to share the burden of both missing the same person. Sometimes I miss her so much, I’m ashamed. No one tells you that it never goes away. No one tells you that you’ll feel it every day. Everyone wants to say that one day you’ll move on. Someone ought to tell you that everybody’s wrong. Now her babies are both growing up hearing second-hand about their mother’s love. I know that’s tough, I sorta did it too. Sometimes love is blink and miss it and sometimes there’s no chance to fix it. Once somebody’s gone it’s hard to remember the truth. I don’t mean to speak unfairly. Love’s enough, but sometimes barely. Words don’t speak as loudly as your sin. You try so hard to keep it down, to remember the good and shut bad out. But the truth is that the worst times are the first times you live again. No one tells you that it never goes away. No one tells you that you’ll feel it every day. Everyone wants to say that one day you’ll move on. Someone ought to tell you that everybody’s wrong. Everybody's wrong. Human beings are prone to suffering. Everybody’s hurt by something. There’s no runner-up; no second best. It’s not the scars, it’s how you bear them, but even those we get as children sometimes show up darker than the rest. No one tells you that it never goes away. No one tells you that you’ll feel it every day. Everyone wants to say that one day you’ll move on. Someone ought to tell you that everybody’s wrong. Everybody’s wrong.
I remember very well when your mother left your father. Or at least that’s what the church-folk had to say. The truth is he had left her a thousand times before that and the last straw was more than anyone should have to take. You were just a baby then. And I was just a friend looking in on something that still doesn’t make much sense. I remember very well the last time I saw your father and every single lie right to my face. He was king of his castle. A smug, self-righteous asshole. And never once admitted making even one mistake. I was barely 20 then. He said I was his friend. Look again, another generation has gone by. He hardly knows you. And no, he never calls, boy. That’s not your fault, boy. Some people never change. But your mother loves you. She would die for you if she were ever asked to... ‘Cause some people never change.
I like the quiet and the chance to read my books. TV, movies, guitar strings, and learning how to cook. No one to shout me down or tell me how I look. But the world goes on outside the door and sometimes news creeps in. Another unarmed person dead and it happens again and again. When we said, “Get back to normal,” I don’t think this is what we meant. We’re so much more than black and white. It’s so insane that the fight is still happening. I can’t sit back and close my eyes. I’m living proof of Reagan’s lies, and I’ve seen it in decline for too long. And the world doesn’t need another protest song, but right now it’s all I’ve got. It’s been easy enough for me to sit at home alone. Here I don’t fear COVID-19 and I’ve got the whole world on my cellphone. Even when I’m lonely, I don’t have to feel alone. So easy to retreat... That’s the privilege that I’ve got. My whole neighborhood’s so white, I think we’ve lost the plot. I've never heard anyone say, “What if one of US gets shot?” Is there anybody listening?
Danielle 04:32
Where May meets December... ...or maybe February meets May... Too many months between us at the time, anyway. As I lay my head down in my self-inflicted cell. I still feel you missing and I wonder… Do you dream of me, Danielle? I feel like a ghost... Just the echoes all around. Sometimes I hear your laughter... Just a memory of a beautiful sound. It’s dark and I am frightened. I’m still lost inside your spell. As I feel you here beside me… ...just a phantom pain… Do you dream of me, Danielle? (Instrumental) I feel like an empty glass. You are fresh water from the well. I’m a book of empty pages. You’re the story I should tell. In the morning you’ll be gone again. The nighttime feels like Hell. The happy ending a nightmare, vanished into thin air. Do you dream of me, Danielle?
Heaven Knows 05:50
Everyone gets lost in the desert. Some of us set up a tent. Just waiting on an ocean. Just waiting on a friend. Everyone’s searching for something. Most of us just want a way out. A tender hand to guide us… A strong arm to lift us before we drown. Heaven knows if Hell is just a fairytale. Heaven knows if Jesus walks beside. Heaven knows if there were ever footprints or if they were washed away by the rising tide. The sands must fall… All of us are dying for water. Some of us lose weight in the drought. Desperate for a sacred spring or anything to quench the doubt. We all end up in the gutter. We all need cleaning up. We all could be crystal clear. Y’know it’s not hard to believe. It’s something else to trust.
Those Things 02:53
Wake me when it’s over when the world’s worth walking through. Lately things feel colder and I feel older than I used to. Some days it all seems impossible. Some days the fates seem unstoppable. I don’t know my role to play. I don’t know what else to say. So if you happen to pray for me… Tell God that I miss Her and I forgive Her, for what it’s worth. If She wants me, She knows where to find me. These scales that blind me belong to Her. Sometimes life feels so wonderful. Sometimes the world seems so beautiful. But sometimes it’s far between or it all was just a dream. And I don’t know what that means to me. But some things keep me smiling keep me trying… and those things… those things…are everything.
Futile 04:22
I’m sorry I bugged you, I just wanted in. But you seem to think we’re teenagers again. You’ve always been there, but I can’t pretend that loyalty is something you can comprehend. Everything beautiful someday must end. Even the fantasies on which I depend. You’ve made yourself clear and I don’t want to offend. So I’ll see you in three years when you remember we’re friends. I’m in Stockholm sinking lower, you’re in a bar in Illinois. I want to be a masterpiece; I am your broken toy. Lost and left to gather dust, my best efforts fade to noise. Whatever is left of me is yours to destroy. The difference between us is I don’t make you cry. But if it benefits you, then I’m yours for the night. Yet if anyone sees then you’ll spit in my eye. Still, I may not kill for you, but I would surely die. When you said, “I love you” I bought into the lie. I said, “I love you too” and never thought to reason why. Next time you say it, mean it. Feel it deep inside. Next time I say it back, know that it’s going to bleed me dry. I’m almost moving backwards, you’re posting updates from the road. I’ve never asked for anything. You tell me what you’re owed. Empty out my pockets. Every gift I have, bestowed. Yet what little you pour into me is so much I might explode. I forgive you. When we meet again, we’ll drink to your health. Sometimes living with forgiveness means you can’t forgive yourself.


This album has been a long time coming, in various forms. I had the title for almost two years before it finally got finished--which means I had the lyrics to "Futile" sitting around for just as long, since that's where the title-phrase came from. But we'll get there.

I had meant for this to be album #11. But then the pandemic hit and singing songs about girls didn't seem to fit the times. So I released "Departure" instead. I remain VERY proud of "Departure." I should do more stuff like that... But this one got put on hold. Which is a good thing. That allowed it to turn into TWO albums instead of just one very schizophrenic one... Because at one point I was going to do "Almost Moving Backwards--Side A" which would be basically this album, and then also release "Almost Moving Backwards--Side B" the same day, which is now in the form of "Happy Now?" which you can read about here.

Like most of the first-forms of my ideas, that was a bad one... The only part that survived of that idea is that the cover of this album has "side a" written on the tape in the art--which makes sense regardless, so I left it. I had intended for this album to be mastered to an audio tape before getting dumped back into digital so the cover would make a little more sense...but that was also a bad idea. Or at least one that would've taken too long and been infuriating. Instead I just treated this how I used to treat my old "direct to tape" recordings in the late 90s. The parts you hear are pretty much done in one take, layered on top of each other, in GLORIOUS mono, as God intended. It's a flawed, dangerous way of doing things that leads to stuff not quite being perfect...and that's what I love about it. The method is a step backwards in how I do things. So in that way, the title makes sense from a production standpoint. And so on... If you want songs in stereo, listen to the other album I guess. :)

So...anyway... This one became this one and that one became that one. But they're twin sisters. They share a brain and sometimes one goes to the other's biology class just to see if the teacher notices. And stuff like that. I've been describing them in brief as "Almost Moving Backwards" is about regret and "Happy Now?" is about anger. But it's not quite that simple, of course. Nevertheless, more than a year into the global pandemic, with everybody pretty much just deciding it's over even though it absolutely isn't, I decided--the hell with it...I'm putting out the albums. So here we are. These are albums from my soul. They're for me. And now they're for you, too.

As I said, both "Almost Moving Backwards" and "Happy Now?" were released on the same day. But I consider this one the be chronologically "first." This is album #12. "Happy Now?" is lucky #13. I like them both a lot and I hope you will too. But as much as I almost HAVE to talk about them together as one long process; on this page we're here to talk about "Almost Moving Backwards." So let's do that, song by song, as usual.

One last note before we start... I've realized in abbreviating the title for my own sake when I've been writing about it in notebooks and stuff that the letters "AMB" also form the initials of a good friend. If you're reading this, said friend, sometimes an initial is just an initial.

Let's (Americana) rock.


released May 29, 2021

I played everything. Etc.

Thanks, of course, to all of the usual people. In particular, Dad, Susan, Dave, Valerie, Tessa, Melody, and Patterson. And the relevant people at work. And elsewhere. And Amanda. And Becky. And Colby. And Bruce. And Jim. And Tim. And Nik. And Shane. And so on... I'm sure there's a whole list I'm failing to list, but I'm writing this late at night after a reasonable amount of vodka...

Influences on this album:
Jason Isbell, Bob Dylan, Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo, Drive-By Truckers, Slobberbone, J Mascis, Rufus Wainwright, Paul Westerberg, the Jayhawks, Bowie, The Who, and so on...

Listen to shit. Watch Shit. Read shit. It's important.


all rights reserved



Derek Brink St Louis, Missouri

If you press "Buy" and put in your price as $0.00 you can download everything here for free. Or you can pay if you want. I just want to be heard.

contact / help

Contact Derek Brink

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Report this album or account

Derek Brink recommends:

If you like Derek Brink, you may also like: