Four State Solution

by Pop Co-Op

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Tyler Rutt
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Tyler Rutt "Four State Solution" is an amazing collection of power pop songs that manages to pull off the almost impossible-paying tribute to the great powerpop bands while managing not to sound cutesy or slavish to the past.

You can hear echoes of great pop from the Beatles to the Move to Raspberries to Big Star, even the Who ("It Ain't Easy Being a Boy", which is like a great update/answer song to their classic "I'm a Boy").

Four musicians recording across four different states = one amazing lp! Favorite track: It Ain't Easy Being a Boy.
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Pop Co-Op’s debut CD came together as a result of Spongetones bassist Steve Stoeckel inviting friends on social media to collaborate in songwriting: Stoeckel threw out titles and music, asked for lyric snippets, assembled the snippets from contributors into full song lyrics, and recorded the song. Along the way, Stoeckel enlisted the guitar talents of Joel Tinnel, who introduced him to Bruce Gordon (aka Mr. Encrypto , who had several CD's to his credit). Gordon subsequently introduced Stacy Carson to the group.
    The four had so much fun creating a first song together that they decided to form a band and release an entire album. The effort was truly cooperative: each member wrote, recorded, engineered, produced, and mixed these 12 songs in every combination. "Pop Co-Op" was the obvious band name.
    One problem the band encountered was that each member lived in a different state, making in-person collaboration impossible.They overcame this issue by each member using compatible recording software in his own studio and sharing song files over the internet---hence the title "Four State Solution".
    Pop Co-Op are: Steve Stoeckel (bass, guitars, keyboards, vocals); Joel Tinnel (guitars, vocals); Bruce Gordon (guitars, keyboards, vocals); and Stacy Carson (drums/percussion, guitars, keyboards, vocals).
    ... more

      $10 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of Four State Solution via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      $12 USD or more 




Power pop and rock music influenced by Beatles, XTC, Squeeze, Byrds, Beach Boys, Fountains of Wayne, Big Star, and Spongetones. Guitar-driven and melodic.

Purchase this album for download on Bandcamp and receive free bonus tracks.


released February 8, 2017

Steve Stoeckel, Bruce Gordon, Stacy Carson, Joel Tinnel, and many more.



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Pop Co-Op

Powerpop, rock, psychedelic, and alt-country by Steve Stoeckel (Spongetones), Bruce Gordon (Mr. Encrypto), Stacy Carson, & Joel Tinnel. New album, Four State Solution, out in early 2017!

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Track Name: If Everything Was Easy
I'm sorry about your birthday
I never thought they'd spell your name with a 'k'
And then two 'y's
I guess it wasn't wise of me
To order cake by phone
Another sin to be atoned

I'm sorry about the weekend
Your friends all said they'd be along by 8
I said that's great
We'll wait until you get there
We won't start without you
But there's no doubt about it, that

I let you down again
We know it's true, it's what I do, and
I made you frown again
But here's a thing I bet you never knew

If everything was easy, I'd be you
caught in the comfort of a world so neatly planned
colors outside the lines are more than you can stand
I'm sorry 'bout your life
The lovely movie with the perfect end
It's all pretend
I thought that I might bend your will
And overcome your doubt
The only thing I'm right about is that

I won't let you down again
My best will never pass your test
I won't make you frown again
Be happy since
I found the simple truth:
If loving you was easy, I'd be you
Track Name: I Didn't Know
If something’s hidden right before your eyes
Or in disguise

Without a ripple in a clear blue sky
It makes me wonder why

The way that you trembled in my arms
Heaven surrender
I didn’t know
I was in love with you

If something’s written in a foreign hand
Too opaque
To understand

It’s hard to read it into words I know
One thing’s clear
There’s no two ways to go

The way that you trembled in my arms
Heaven surrender
I didn’t know
I was in love with you

The world outside
Won’t be denied
I know I’ve tried

Beyond the universe of here and now
Love begins
I don’t know how

You’ve got to listen to what fortune says
Can’t say no
When all signs point to yes

The way that you trembled in my arms
Heaven surrender
I didn’t know
I was in love with you

The world outside
Won’t be denied
I know I’ve tried

The world outside
Won’t be denied
I know I’ve tried

The world outside
Won’t be denied
I know I’ve tried
Track Name: Feint of Heart
She slips on her mask assumes her position
one arm up, the other pointed straight at my chest
my guard is up and I feel the movement in the air

after all these years I can't guess her intention
I haven't got a clue but I always try my best
To figure out her moves when I turn around she's never there

Love is hard It can keep us apart
It's not for the feint of heart

Every night is like a puzzle every day is like a duel
And everyone around me tells me that I'm just a fool
For giving my attention and wasting my affection
On a woman who could be so cruel

Love is hard
If you can't play the part
You shouldn't even start
It's not for the feint of heart

Every time I think of leaving these battles all behind
and what I'd have to pay to buy some peace of mind
she takes my hand puts it on her face takes me to the place where I find

Love is hard
Right from the start
It's not for the feint of heart
Track Name: Forgotten Secrets
If I ever told you What you asked me
Something tells me I'd remember
What I’m holding down

As I stand here looking back A certain fact is making me
Feel tender You can’t hold me now

Lighting the dark was the spark of our secret
No longer bright in light of who we are
In the day

Talking to my other half
She starts to laugh She doesn’t know
The last words That I said to you

What were those words I said to you I never said those words to you
Track Name: Lila
Listening for Lila, thinking I hear her voice now in the room
Echoes of anger, words that linger in the air now, like sad perfume
Waiting so hard for any sound to appear
The forest is empty, the tree is down, and there's no one left to hear

Looking for Lila, finding her face in everywhere that I turned
Sealing my sadness pockets of paper, a prize to be earned
"Worst lead, worst play, and the winner is . . ."
Stands as the crowd turns -- stabbed by the spotlight, the moment is his

Memorizing every single word that was wrong
Trading my mistakes for the foolishness of a song

Laughing with Lila, breathing her in as the smiles melt her face
Pictures I left too much long in the tray now begin to erase
Try as I might to make them persist
Light spills the dark room they cease to exist
Track Name: Malaprop Girl
She's just the kind of a girl now
Who’s got a way with words now
They tumble in and out and turn a-round
And go back again
And when she says "Do you love me

Are you enameled of me?"
I tell her "yes", she says "well That makes it anonymous!"
And I don't know where she gets just what she's got
But it makes me smile each time I remember what I thought
When my Jenny say what?

She says that love is infernal
A never ending journal
As constant as the swallows that fly home to cappucino now
She's been searching so far for a knight in shining armoire
She'll be his Joliet, and he will be her rodeo
I like the way she looks at life and loves a lot
Even though sometimes she's clear, sometimes she's not
When my Jenny say what?

Jenny in her malapropy jalopy
driving in circles again
Every time she opens her mouth
she sets my head in a spin.

She wants a ceremony
of holy acrimony
exchanging sacred vowels, and then we'll be insufferable
We'll live heavily ever after
inside our laughter
and then a child or two would only make our love concrete?

there's not a thing she says that would make me love her less . . .
I won't be confused or care what else she says
if my Jenny say yes
Track Name: Sensible Flats
She’s walking on the mild side
She lives a life that’s simplified

There’s a secret behind her success
It's a most fitting form of address

And she lives in Sensible Flats
With a modest collection of hats
Good foundation
Here in Sensible Flats
Wearin’ Sensible Flats

Some people need to shake things up
She doesn’t seem to, very much

But you never know where there’s a spark
Or who might like to dance after dark

Then she lives in Sensible Flats
Here among the gray habitats
But every night she
Trips the light she’s
Wearin’ Sensible Flats
Here in Sensible Flats

Does she . . . dance

There’s a spring in her step more and more
That just hadn’t been noticed before

And she lives in Sensible Flats
It’s a gift, as a matter of facts
And when she’s old and grey
She’ll walk the blues away
Wearin’ Sensible Flats
Here in Sensible Flats

Here in Sensible Flats
Wearin’ Sensible Flats
Wearin’ Sensible Flats
Wearin’ Sensible Flats
Wearin’ Sensible Flats
Wearin’ Sensible Flats
Track Name: A Trick of the Light
Is that your hand upon my arm
A butterfly lands – electric and light
Is that your lips upon my cheek
A hummingbird wing – suspended in flight

My eyes are disbelieving
My heart isn't even beating right . . .

Did I hear my name upon your breath
Musical word pirouette
Is it really you standing in that light
One dazzling love silhouette

My eyes are disbelieving
My heart isn't even beating right
Can you really be mine
Or is it a trick of the light?

You’re drifting out of my dreams now
Flickering in time with my heart
Is anything just what it seems?
Is this reality or just the finest art?

My eyes are disbelieving
My heart isn't even beating right
Can you really be mine
Or is it a trick of the light?
Track Name: Bad Idea
When you talk about the things you think about
It makes me think of all the things you're doing
That are not the kind of things you'd wanna tell me that you're doing
And it makes me want to shake you til you stop it

I was dreaming of a cliff where I found your body stiff
And your bloody broken nails from the safety rope that failed
And I woke up in the dark from the sickening shock
Cause the rope had my name on it

Why am I the one who gets the call to pull you from the fire
Why do I catch you when you're falling from your high wire
I'll never leave you in my past
It's a bad idea but it won't be my last

I'm still wasting my time, looking at the life lines
that are creasing my hands, they don't reveal your plans
I want to reach out and stop the things that are drifting through your
Head like vapor, and thin as paper

Time gone - and you're still singing the
Same song, the band has left but you're still on -
You won't leave the stage and the rage is like blood on your lips

I paid my fare I'm driving you out of my mind
I've had my share Your sympathy card has been declined
I'll come for just like before
It's a bad idea, but I've got plenty more

From the bottom of a well
A tiny circle of blue sky
Through the wrong end of the telescope
You can barely see me

And once again I can tell
From the look that's in your eye
You think again that I'm your best hope
A shining sword to set you free

You're alone now at the brink, and it's closer than you think
And we've both been here before in this private little war
I can't make you understand while you're reaching for my hand
I've already given up

In my mind I saw a cliff where I found your body stiff
And your bloody broken nails from the safety rope that failed
And I woke up in my bed with a sickening dread
Hoping it was really a dream

I won't be the one to pull you from the line of fire
You won't have me to free you from the razor wire
If I don't leave you in my past
It's a bad idea, it might be my last
Track Name: Only Me
Autumn rains, red and gold I see you scuffing down the lane
I catch your eye, a tiny smile No one will ever see
Only me
Only me

Violet days, the pain of The Lonely pounding through my veins
With the touch of your skin would the sunlight begin, and set me free again?
Only me
Only me

Too many times have I watched you walking,
your eyes seem to drink in
Everything but me

Days start, days end
Breathe out, breathe in
Clouds move, rain drops
Heart beats
heart stops

Out of the shadow, into the open Waiting for skies to clear
Rush of emotion; suddenly someone But nothing for you to fear. It’s only me
Only me
Track Name: It Ain't Easy Being a Boy
When I first came into this world
And got my first look at a girl
It didn’t take long to understand
It ain’t easy being a boy

And all through my teenage years
They held my doubts and deepest fears
In softest silken golden hands
It ain’t easy being a boy

Girls hold the mystery the secret book of codes
Boys can’t read the signs beside the road

Girls are the riddle, leaving clues like crumbs behind
Boys blunder through the brush clueless and blind

When girls first come into this world
Slowly spinning hair uncurled
Sweetly smiling, making sure

It ain’t easy being a boy