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Cargo Cult

by Actor|Observer

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In the South Pacific there are civilizations uncontacted by the developed world who, after seeing airplanes for the first time delivering goods during World War II, began carrying out superstitious rituals to summon the planes back, often with makeshift control booths and runways lined with fires to imitate the conditions they had witnessed when the planes first landed. Even when all the aircraft were long gone, this “cargo cult”—as they are known—continued their rituals in hopes that the planes would someday return. This behavior is starkly similar to the way we chase our dreams. We might try to follow in the footsteps of our heroes, repeating the same rituals that led to their success, but end up confused or frustrated when we don’t get what we want after toiling away to no avail. The reality sets in that all is not granted to those who try, despite their best efforts. Yet, we can’t fathom giving up when we’ve committed so much of our lives to a set course of action, so we continue looking to the sky with outstretched arms, waiting to reap a harvest that may never come.


That’s what I get
For worshipping false idols
Drunk, selfish twenty-somethings
Seem pretty wise
When you’re young and blind

We paid the fines
Blew past the warning signs
To be successors
To the unsuccessful

Peeled back their skin
To stretch over our limbs
But it don’t fit
Don’t feel the way that it should

I tried my best
Not to be a walking cliché
But the carpet
Was rolled out in front of me

The life we think we’re owed
Isn’t what we’re led to believe
In spite of what you’re told
This is not where you want to be

Go on
Follow in the footsteps
Of those long gone
This is the way
We are prisoners
To integrity
We’re held captive
By a self-fulfilling prophecy
All this time spent
Convincing ourselves
It’ll work out in the end

The life you think you’re owed by now
Isn’t the life you lead
In spite of what you’ve sold
This is not where you want to be

All this time spent
The sunken cost
The lives we’ve lost
All this time spent
Defying odds
How could we throw it away?
How could you throw it all away?

The throne is vacant
So where do we go from here?
The road is changing
So where do we go from here now?

We’ve all been waving
Signaling from dire straits
We’ve all been waiting
Waiting for the clouds to break


released May 8, 2020
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Kevin Billingslea at The Halo Studio in Windham, ME

Mastered by Mike Kalajian at Rogue Planet Mastering

Artwork by Alexandre Goulet


all rights reserved



Actor|Observer Boston, Massachusetts

Bred from the once thriving Boston hardcore scene of the early 2000’s, Actor Observer are the embodiment of bold sincerity and relentless determination. They use every live performance as an opportunity to draw out the raw and vulnerable feelings that isolate yet bind us all. Their debut full length Pareidolia, released in 2018 on No Sleep Records, is followed by their newest single “Cargo Cult.” ... more

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