Phoenix

by Matt Morrow

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06:19

about

After 2011's Burlap and Gold, I was often asked what my next album was going to be like, and I always answered that it was not going to be as dark. Now here I am three years later with an album chock full of some real dark stuff. If you asked me at one point what this album was about, I would've said that it was about endings, but I'm in a different place now, and I like to think of it as an album about new beginnings disguised as endings. However, a warning: a good half or so of these songs are about untimely death. So have fun!

I spent a great deal of time, especially late nights, working on this album in my spare room, often with a cat in my lap. I played almost every note you hear on these songs myself (which is why some of the playing isn't very good). It was mostly a very solitary and often a very frustrating experience (which is because I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing at any given time when it comes to making an album). Without the encouragement from my friends, especially Alex, Emma, and in particular, my amazing girlfriend Solari, I'm not sure I would've seen much point in working so hard and getting it done. I also want to send my gratitude to several very talented friends who made such beautiful contributions: to Kristi Coughlin for adding her heartstring-tugging violin to four of these songs and to Bonner Black, Savannah Johnson, Michelle Solari, and my oldest musical friend Antje Duvekot for their vocals that are so much more than just BGV's. Without each one of you five, this album would be lacking so much. I also want to thank you, whoever you are, for reading this and for listening to my music and hopefully buying it. You're the reason I am able to keep doing this.

This album is dedicated to a barn owl and a "lil green-eyed cat"

credits

released June 24, 2014

All music and lyrics by Matt Morrow, except "Memory Play" - music by Matt Morrow and lyrics by Matt Morrow and Alex Hendrix

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Matt Morrow Guntersville, Alabama

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Track Name: Down
i don't really wanna get to know you
i don't really wanna be your friend
i could listen to your sad, sad story
but i probably wouldn't like you by the end
i just wanna lie with someone i don't really know and go to sleep

pretty babe, if i asked you to come out with me tonight
pretty babe, would you meet me there?
pretty babe, i would lift you to heights like you've never seen
then i would let you down

i don't wanna waste another minute
trying to figure out where i went wrong
with that little spitfire girl who left me
with nothing but a need to write a song
i just wanna lie to someone i don't really know and go to sleep

pretty babe, if i asked you to come out with me tonight
pretty babe, would you meet me there?
pretty babe, i would lift you to heights like you've never seen
then i would let you down

like a raindrop in a hurricane
like a stone thrown in the sea
like my whole world when she walked away
i'll let you down

pretty babe, if i asked you to come out with me tonight
pretty babe, would you meet me there?

pretty babe, if i asked you to come home with me tonight
pretty babe, would you follow me there?
pretty babe, i would lift you to heights like you've never seen
then i would let you down
Track Name: Evangeline
evangeline, i'm waiting for you
evangeline, i'm waiting
you loved me once like the world was gonna end
then you were gone with the wind

evangeline, where are you now?
i wonder where you're hiding
you disappeared and left me howling in the night
and walking the floor in the morning

evangeline, evangeline
I adore you down to the letter
ain't another woman in this godforsaken world
ain't another could love me no better

but evangeline, what is it with you?
what is it about you?
you come on hot and wet like a sweet summer rain
and then you dry up and leave me frozen

evangeline, evangeline
i couldn't write this story no sadder
ain't another woman in this godforsaken world
ain't another woman who matters
Track Name: Smoke
and if i was watching you while you were sleeping
then i didn't see when the other shoe fell
and if i didn't tell you that you looked like an angel
it was all i could do to tell you to go to hell
and when you said you didn't know what you were doing
you meant you didn't know what you were doing with me
and when i said you hadn't seen nothing yet
that didn't mean that there'd been nothing to see

so your heart wasn't in it
but baby just stay for five minutes
i'll let you know when the buzzer goes
and then you can slip through my fingers
while the smoke of you lingers on

baby, i'll get my coat and go out the way i came
dumbstruck by your burning eyes
and lost in the sound of your name

and if i knew just how this story would end
babe, it's only because i was the author
not in a house with a dog in the yard
not as husband and wife, not as mother and father
no, i wrote you as the mysterious stranger
like you've been to me for the last 10 years
and i was the poet who fell for you like rain
writing the poems you were too gone to hear

and in the final pages
there was one for the ages
an epic ode for you to decode
but will it slip through your fingers
while the smoke of it lingers on
Track Name: Deathbed Song
i've lived my life by no man's code
just right and wrong, and that was all
soon i'll lay down my heavy load
think of me that way as i fall

i'm afraid of that day
i'm afraid to let go
i'm afraid of that day

there's nothing that you didn't know
there's nothing that i kept from you
just hold me when it's time to go
and i will sleep that dark night through

but i'm afraid of that day
i'm afraid to leave you
i'm afraid of that day

i'm afraid of that day
i'm afraid to let go
i'm afraid of that day
i just wanted someone to know
Track Name: I Oughtta Know
i once had some dreams, i once had time to make them grow
i once had a rudder to combat the undertow
i don't know anymore what i'm more terrified to see
what i have become or what i never got to be
i thought i'd be a phoenix, feathers glistening by now
rising from the ashes of all these fires that just burnt out
maybe i've got feathers, i've got wings, and i can fly
but i am just a buzzard picking bones of dead loves dry

and i can't bear to hang around here no more
i can't bear to go
and i can't tell you what i do it for
we've all got something that we'll hold onto till our hands bleed
i oughtta know

life was once a fairground, cotton candy, ice cream cones
but the sun went down, the lights went out, and everyone went home
i could've been somebody, i'd be living it up and riding high
but i am just a ghost haunting a life that's passed me by

and i can't bear to hang around here no more
i can't bear to go
and i can't tell you what i do it for
we've all got something that we'll hold onto till our hands bleed
and i'll keep on holding onto it till it kills me
we've all got something that we'll hold onto till our hands bleed
i oughtta know
Track Name: Dry
i remember: you were 17
i was a little older, you were everything
you fell asleep in the crook of my arm
underneath the awning of a downtown bar
and i blinked my eyes so fast
and a thousand years had passed
and there is something still today
makes me believe every word you say
when you say i'm still the only one
you just can't walk away from
yeah, you talk a blue, blue streak
and your kisses make me weak

but i can't take you downtown no more
i can't stand here scratching at your door
the things you keep me around for, i can't give like before
yeah, you've drained me dry

and i still love you just the same
but i know when i've lost the game
and baby, i refuse to drown
in this river you've sold me down
yeah, you hold me like a baby
but you only tell me maybe

but i can't take you downtown no more
i can't stand here scratching at your door
the things you keep me around for, i can't give like before
yeah, you've drained me dry

and i could go on, grateful you were halfway mine
or i can kiss you hard one last time

but i can't take you downtown no more
and i'm not gonna stand here scratching at your door
the things you keep me around for, i can't give like before
yeah, you've drained me dry
Track Name: Rot
talk about your kodak moments, i never thought that i would see
half as big and dumb a show of half-assed vulnerability
that sorry look on your face doesn't do you any favors, dear
were i a gambling man, i'd say the odds were in my favor here

but i'm not, and i've had a taste of what you've got
baby, take your leave and just leave me to rot

blame it on my intuition, i never could ignore the way
you bite your little fingernail with every line of bull you say
in a perfect world, we could live happily for decades on
were i a stupid man, i'm sure that's just what i'd bee banking on

but i'm not, and i've had a taste of what you've got
baby, take your leave and just leave me to rot

if i gave you time to wear me down, i'm sure i'd lose my nerve
but if i gave you time to wear me down, i'd get what i deserve
so i won't
and you're so sure you know me,
but you don't

and you think i'm thinking it over, but i'm not
and i've had a taste of what you've got
baby, take your leave and just leave me to rot
no, i'm not, and i'm full to the brim of what you've got
baby, take your leave and just leave me to rot
Track Name: Silent Wings
walking across a frozen field
morning glory vines at my heels
the sun is going down on me
it's getting dark enough to see

across the field, i see the silent wings
across the field, i see the white, white face
across the field, i hear the piercing scream

the piercing scream, the silent wings
the white, white face, the silent wings
the silent wings, the silent wings
the silent wings are gonna take me
they're gonna take me at last
Track Name: Alouette
alouette, i got your letter
that said you'd found someone new
my little lark, you lit a spark
you knew i wasn't done with you, my love
gossamer and piss, when did it come to this?

at a dance downtown, he spun you around
while i watched from the street
as the band played slower, he dipped you lower
and swept you off your high-heeled feet, my love
and leaned in for a kiss, when did it come to this?

alouette, you knew better than to fuck around with this kind of man

i met you both that night in the blue moonlight
shiny new knife in my pack
and i've heard it said you can talk to the dead
i'll be damned if the dead talk back, my love
i strike and i don't miss, when did it come to this?

alouette, you knew better than to fuck around with this kind of man
Track Name: Barn Owl
your father left when you were young
your mother had nothing to say
you married honest and for love
and you swore to yourself it would always be that way
but good intent can lead to hell
and so to go the best laid plans
the barn owl called your name at night,
but you were not a wicked man

you followed footsteps in the dirt
fleeing from cruel destiny
i wonder how you remembered him
and i wonder what you saw when you looked at me
you were beaten by your legacy,
but you were kind and you were good
now the barn owl bears your name,
but i know you did the best you could

and sometimes at night, i have this dream
you're standing on a flooded plain
i meet you there, trembling and afraid
and you look at me, and like a prayer you say my name
i count the lines across your face
taking in every single one
then the barn owl takes you far from me
and i remain my father's son
Track Name: Memory Play
spring's in the air, and the bloodroot is blooming
and i'm wearing the coat that you bought me last year
and off to the north, the horizon is looming
and the road's like a calling i don't wanna hear
the radio's tuned to a soft kind of sorrow
but the hum of the engine just drowns out the thought
and i'm tossing my last cigarette out the window
and i'm leaving this town and the things that i'm not
this town and the things i'm not

the cities i pass are like sentinels waiting
when i hit 65 i fly just like the wind
and as i travel on, all that i knew is fading
into some kind of memory play i was in
the stage lights are caked in the dust of the freeway
and the curtains have torn into rags over time
but the stage is all set and the script leaves no leeway
the theater was yours, but the story was mine
then the story was yours and mine

it was eight years ago, and the diner was dirty
and i fed you a line and i slipped you my key
and you made me a song, but the verses were wordy
and the chords didn't fit, and still it spoke right to me
and i fell so hard, i fell just like a boulder
so fast that my stomach just caught in my throat
by the time that i hit, i was centuries older
you didn't love me no more, and that was all that she wrote
you didn't love me, that's all she wrote

in an hour or two, you'll be waking without me
and i'll be half the way through kentucky by then
i'll be asking myself, what the hell am i doing?
and you'll be wondering why you ever did let me in
and the stage lights go up and the place does continue
though we grow so weary of the roles we must play
but oh well, anyhow, i say all this to tell you
baby, i never wanted to go away
my love, i never wanted to go away