Living Room Tapes EP

by Jesse Hill

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about

***All purchases will go towards funding a full length record I've been writing for the past year or so. Thanks!***

After spending the past six years singing and writing songs in Over the Ocean, I realized that I had accumulated a lot of songs that would never make it to a record. Looking through these songs, I found that I wasn't ready to just forget about all of them, so I decided to pick a few and record them as simply as I could at home.

About the songs:

1. "Internet Courses On Mindfulness"
When I sent an early version of some of the songs I was doing for this EP to my brother-in-law, Ben (plays bass in Over the Ocean), he said that I needed a different first track; he suggested I write about something that scares me. I don't like thinking about what scares me, but the next day this song came out, including several extra verses I decided to save for another time.

2. "Preachers of Morality"
This song has evolved in bits and pieces since 2008. At first it was a brief intro to another song I used to do, and then it became a sort of narrative piece about a fictional character, but it never seemed quite right. When my first son was born, I realized what I had been trying to write about all this time without understanding.

3. "I Remember That Night"
I wrote this song for my wife's birthday after our second year of marriage. In typical form, the song didn't feel right when her birthday came around, and I wound up first playing it for her a week later.

4. "A River Running Red"
When Over the Ocean's 2nd LP, Be Given to the Soil came out, I was eager to write another record right away. I wrote several songs for the new record, and played some of them at a fundraiser for the local NPR affiliate. After the fundraiser, I lost the notebook that the songs were in, and immediately forgot all of them but this one.

5. "December"
I wrote this song the day after Thanksgiving our first year of marriage. The year before, we were managing a long distance relationship, with Natanya four hours away at college. I was always eager for December to come, because it meant she would be home for nearly a month.

credits

released June 15, 2015

Recorded to cassette in my living room using a Tascam 424 MkII Portastudio, some old mics, and a pile of guitar pedals.

All songs written and performed by Jesse Hill, additional vocals by Natanya Hill.

Painting for album art by Natanya Hill.

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about

Jesse Hill Hamilton, Ontario

Sometimes I think I should stop writing songs; it's time consuming, frustrating, and not at all profitable.

I keep writing songs because in a ridiculous, irrational way, I believe songwriting is an an essential part of the human experience. I believe that songs can transcend the capacity of language in connecting us to one another, to God, to nature, to our truest selves.

Cheers,
-Jesse
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Track Name: Internet Courses On Mindfulness
sometimes you ask me where do I go
and I tell you baby I just don't know
but the truth is
that I'm a million miles from home.

and in the kitchen where I'm drifting off
our family picture hangs on the wall
and laughter of children
echoes from down the hall

I held my sons when they were born
soon I won't hold them any more
and it would kill me
to see us drift apart

I'd like to kiss you like our first time
get carried away, and close the blinds
but I just can't get
imagined futures off my mind


and the source of your life
is tangled up inside
the winding ribbon of time

you're moving forward
but looking back
you can't perceive
what any of this means

so hold still
cause right now
is everything


see revolutions around the world
cruel dictators being overthrown
but we're too distracted
for insurrections of our own

and all this self help adds to the mess
internet courses on mindfulness
you won't believe these
ten new ways to feel content
Track Name: Preachers of Morality
hey now kid,
they’re gonna try and make you
just as sad as they are
hey now kid,
they won’t stop accusing
‘til you’re all but dead and useless

it’s too easy to get confused
make things more complicated than they really are
we all forget the simple truth
that you can’t see the stars
when you’re standing underneath the streetlights

it seems easier,
to live by man made rules
than to live by the spirit
so they’re gonna baptize you
push your little head under the water
speak the old religious words
tell you that you’ve been made new
they’ve got everything you need but the fire that never dies away
Track Name: I Remember That Night
I remember that night
when we sat on the curb
and all our friends talked about us inside
and we spoke in uncertain terms
about the way
we thought our lives could go

I was afraid to say it then
but this is how i dreamed that things would be
and every day my love for you grows truer
filling this heart that is bursting at the seams

I remember that day
when we stood on those steps
and all our friends watched us and smiled
and we spoke in such certain terms
about the way
our love would never die

I was afraid to dream it then
but this is how we said that things would be
and every day my love for you grows bigger
filling this heart that is bursting at the seams
Track Name: A River Running Red
I put beauty on you
like it’s the thing you never had before
like a blanket on a rose bush
my words are caught
frayed on your thorns
which with the wind
are tearing me apart
you’re tearing me apart

when I see you in my dreams
one of us is bleeding
you are a river running red
you are a river running silver

you are dividing me
the sword in your mouth
cutting marrow from bone
spirit from soul
do I divide you, too
and pit your mercy against you
am I some kind of conflict
or are you past my comprehension

when I see you in my dreams
one of us is bleeding
you are a river running red
you are a river running silver

I am a river dry and dead
I am a river running over
a grave
the hollow of a hidden life
a city full of roses
Track Name: December
December always came so slowly
I remember this time last year
when I couldn’t kiss you on your mouth

But now I kiss you every evening
and you sleep beside me in this room we share
and the autumn’s flying by outside our window

can you hold the room
I am reeling
I am reeling