Anthonie Tonnon – Railway Lines

In his first shows under his own name, New Zealand songwriter and performer Anthonie Tonnon (formerly of the band Tono and The Finance Company) started performing “A Friend From Argentina” – a song that put listeners in the shoes of an Auckland dealer on the receiving end of an ill-fated shipment of cocaine. Influenced by long-form journalism on New Zealand’s unusual drug trade, the song set the tone of what would become Successor. The album is driven by second-person narratives inside the kinds of flawed characters Randy Newman might have written about in first-person in the 1970s – ‘The Songs Of Your Youth,’ the civic-­minded spin inside the head of a frustrated librarian in ‘Railway Lines,’ or the juxtaposed values of a cocaine dealing family man in ‘A Friend From Argentina.’

Anthonie Tonnon - Railway Lines

Anthonie Tonnon’s narrative lyrics and arresting live show have seen him perform recently with Okkervil River and Paul Kelly in New Zealand, and in the US with Sean Nelson, Shenandoah Davis and Nicolas Krgovich. He has performed on Daytrotter Sessions, placed an album on the CMJ Top 200 Albums chart as well as the Top 10 NZ Albums Chart. He was recently named in Billboard’s list of “New Zealand acts you need to know about.”

Anthonie Tonnon – Railway Lines

From ‘Successor’ – out June 30th on Misra Records and Wild Kindness (USA/EU), Flippin Yeah (AUS), and Canapé King Records (NZ)

Anthonie Tonnon – Railway Lines Lyrics:
They’re electrifying the train lines
putting public art on the bridges
and it’s just the sort of thing you’ve been writing in for

John just giggles on his saucer
he’s visiting from Australia
he’s come home for a cup of tea and to borrow your car

you say Son watch your speed on the main street
they should have kept in the crossings
they’ve turned walkers into targets out there

still it seems better now
out doing the rounds for the shopping
small grocers are appearing again
selling flowers outside

and you’re attracting smiles from the cafe
you check your hair in the window glass
and like John says
you really do look better now you’re all the way grey

always hoped to be a wise old man
when you ran for council
they called you a frustrated librarian

and you saw what they could do
with their money from developers
their people at the papers
they turned your own family against you

still you didn’t hold it against the kids
when they begged to move away
because you were born before the motorway system
and you would wait for a new day as long as it would take

and maybe it’s today
as you stare at the rain cleaned other side of the street
in new spring sunlight
maybe it’s today

as the cars bank up at the railway lines
maybe it’s today
as you step out with groceries on your shoulder
maybe it’s today
as the children snigger at the new sculpture
and a car speeds around the corner
and you try to make eye contact with the driver in time
maybe it’s today