.​.​.​And the Sky

by Best Mann

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...And the Sky is the debut, self-produced LP by Best Mann (aka producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Nate Mondschein). It's an album about family, and anxiety, and love, and ghosts, and things he can’t remember as well as he wishes he could.


released October 25, 2019

All Songs Composed, Produced, and Performed by Nate Mondschein
Recorded by Nate @ Echo Base Production (Shutesbury, MA) and Andrew Oedel @ Ghost Hit Recording (Holyoke, MA)
Mixed by Andrew @ Ghost Hit
Mastered by Brian Lucey @ Magic Garden Mastering


all rights reserved



Best Mann Northampton, Massachusetts

Best Mann (the alter-ego of Massachusett-based producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist/Prince-devotee Nate Mondschein) is an obsessive over small moments. Merging Art-Rock aesthetics, Hip-Hop-adjacent pocket, and Folk-style lyricism, Nate tells stories about family, & anxiety, & love, & ghosts, and things he can’t remember as well as he wishes he could. His debut album “...And the Sky”is out now. ... more

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Track Name: MCO

Now that you mention, I’m not sure
I even know where to start

Here is the room, we stained the walls
Here is the street after dark

Here is the ending
So much quieter than I would’ve thought

Molly came over--
I think I went overboard


I watch the tv ‘till you show
I bite my lip ‘till it stings

I chase you out into the snow
To see myself on the screen

Oh it was real, oh darling
Don’t misunderstand what I mean

Molly came over--
I think I went overboard


I cross the state I cross the ocean
I keep you on my mind

I paint the walls to sing your name
I wash them clean by July

No I ain’t leaving
Swear that’s just the way it looks in the light

Molly came over--
I think I went overboard


I saw mother ‘cross the bar
I caught the bite in her eye

Can’t point the finger way I did
Hate that I still want to try

Blame me for fading
Blame me for the love i wasn’t ready to find

Molly came over

Molly came over

Molly came over

Track Name: From the Hip

December getting cold
Unsteady I wonder
When karma come to claim on the loan

The car neck deep in snow
Just bury me under
Something that’ll melt on its own

Is it all that hard to see me when I fold into the fade?
Been known to swallow dark like its something to prove

Giving up that way
Giving up that way
Giving up ain’t hard to do


Another weekend all alone
All buried in covers--
Can’t find the time to follow nothing through

Unsettled when I slow
Too anxious to wander
Still hold my breath each time I dance with you
(You know it’s true)
And I’m terrified of what it means when there’s nothing left to do

I can’t afford another fall
No, I can’t afford another fall


I can’t afford another fall
No, I can’t afford another fall
Will you call,
Will you call,
Will you…

Track Name: Hudson // Holland

On the borderline,
Crossing Jersey in a broken ride,
She caught me with a paper smile

An easy anodyne,
But I was only listening half the time,
So certain that we’d have a while

Now I’m stuck on the way that she caught the light
Figured by now I could get it right
Shake my shit and learn to cope

But I thought I was dying again last night
Selfish the way I get so uptight,
Caught my breath just like before
(I falter on the safest ground)


Turning over,
Turning in the overflow,
Unwind the story:
She carried me home again.

Ain’t it easy,
Way we bend the ending so
Unkind to holy:
I stumble alone
Hope I find my way home again.


No glory hard to find:
‘Cross the room she’s singing’ “Lilac Wine”
Like nothing ever came before

I turn the other side,
Turn again, I pray I’m goin blind--
I cannot own what I ignored

But I couldn’t now even if I tried
Hear it again and again each time
Best days, I try to make the most

Run to the city again each night
Chasing a ghost to the rooftop height
Pretend that we can see the coast
(Coast won’t clear itself/she takes me down)


Turning over,
Turning in the overflow,
Unwind the story:
She carried me home again.

In the morning
Please just warn me ‘fore you go
Unwind me slowly:
I stumble alone
Till I find my way home again


Turning over,
Turning in the overflow

Keep me honest
Keep me long as you can hold

Track Name: MST

If I were to sell you a lie
then I saw it coming from a mile
‘cross the border; when you’re gone
I only pray for snow

Empty as hard as I try--
Flip through the photos to remind
Where we could have bent the course
Now nowhere left to go.


Six month and still counting on
The wing of the swallow in the night
Keeps me up until I’m sure
I can hear you from across the room

Split ‘tween my lover & I
& we’ve got a funny way of lyin’
‘bout the empty in our home
It’s the quickest way to feel alone


Dipper watch me dig a deeper hole
Dipper don’t you see the crater grow

Track Name: On the Line

she says she’s fine
well i might
need another minute
heart on the line
i unwind
light speed to finish
but still it’s better than it was before
even when it falls apart

end of july
she drives back
part of me with her
parked on the 9
cry her name
back into the winter
she loved me better than i was before
even when i fell apart


drink till i’m dry
hide the bones
name me resistant
she cross my mind
i lie
i still believe in distance
just so much better than it was before
even when it falls apart


have i been away too long
does she still keep my name
pictured us growing old
but i never learned to wait
shouldn’t there be something more to faith
than waiting on the fall apart


she pours the wine
i rewind her another dinner
heart on the line
she reminds me
light in winter
love her much better than i could before

Track Name: Modern Love

The modern love:
Dilating stories to the bone
It keeps you up
Copperlined and hoping for the storm
Set free
Just believe
Tomorrow bends to not alone.
Just believe
On the other side there's something more
To the modern love


The modern love
Dialed in to tell me she was gone.
Now I'm wired up
Terrified that we were mortal all along
Try to breathe
Shake & drink & turn & call it something more
Please believe
How could I have known
this would be for you before?
This modern love.


I don’t wanna die
But I’m more curious now
Seven circles past
The last mercurial bow
I dreamed of you again
Woke up with dust in my mouth
I dreamed of you
I saw you again
I’m sure of it now

Track Name: Like a Knife

Done what you done, what you done, did I play a part?
Shame sneak up to the space that your leaving wrought
There’s a way I can swallow the room without a second thought--
isn’t that such a wonder

Come shadowbox like the fight ain’t already start
Skin like a knife, I ignore, gotta speak my heart
Take and I take and I still tend to fall apart--
Isn’t that such a wonder


Hey, this ain’t the story that I thought
I cry blind, but still I always play the part
If we rewind, would I give up anything unfettered


I fight the war like I know how a war gets won
How many times did I cut and forget to run?
Over and over and over and now you’re gone

Track Name: LittleHeart

i didn’t even cry
‘cause by the time
he was gone
i’d already imagined him gone for so long

it’s hard to mark the time
when they go
& it changes the way that you look at the water
changes the way that you wait
for your lover to come home


94 july
or so i’m told
death has a way
of taking away from the weather

heard me say goodbye
the story goes
(with no one left to refute, for the better)
it isn’t much
but better than
“We all go alone”


did I cross his mind?

Track Name: Gold

“when did it get so late”
He asks the rain
“i must have lost my head

haven’t been sleepin’ lately
think i’m crazy
least i’ve heard it said

& one time
truth told
slipped myself for a moment
& believed we were growing old--
watched the morning till it turned to gold”


“this is the part
you’ll hear me fall apart
each time that she’s away

machinary bone
all creak and groan
& nothing left to say

old lines
she comes in with the morning
to remind me against the cold

‘If we unwind
No less to show
Here for now, someday leaving
In between’s where the livin’ goes’
watch us spin until we turn to gold

Track Name: And the Sky

there’s something in the way--
i wake up just the same
but nothing starts

hear him say your name
fuck, i’m losing focus
now it comes apart


don’t know the way it went
all the wires in my head begin to spark

picture that i sent
blooms around the edges
story comes apart


and the sky broke
and the earth shook
and even if it hadn’t
i still would’ve known you were


blood takes more than it gave
cut ties between my name an the rest of me

now i’m singing for the grave
that’s a lie, i only sing when it comes apart


and the trees fell
and the birds left
and even if they hadn’t
i still would’ve know you were


december, full of grace
i’m cryin at the table

still see you in her face
thats a lie, i never see nothin’
comin’ for me--
only when it comes apart


and the love went
and the love came
and even if it hadn’t
i still would’ve know you were


and i broke down
and i broke down
and i broke down


drove past your place today
eyes buried in my phone

Track Name: Must Be Wrong

What makes this a marker
Don’t miss her anymore
Than I did in the morning
Or the day before

Some kind of an honor
To pick yourself up off the floor
& turn away from a warning
To make it back from the shore


I saw her face up in Boston
Summer danced around the edge
Choir sang in the market--
I didn’t know who to call

‘cause now her voice in my pocket
Hollowed out and spun around and something less
People thank us like we’re saviors
And i accept it all


She with all the color running halo round her eyes
She could cut a line across the winter from the sky
She would spark a fire just to prove we didn’t try
& she is gone
So what does that make me now


Still I’m waking up beside the love she said I’d find
Still I go to work without her running through my mind
Still I keep on breathing, I’m not empty all the time--
This must be wrong
Tell me how can it not be wrong


Not so uncomfortable with loss
As I am unsure what the cost has gotta’ be for me to leave
With my hands still clean


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