It's What We Give EP

by Joe Holt

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I got a ticket for speeding I guess I should've slowed down Smile at the cop as he's leaving Just makes it harder to frown Sometimes I feel like a weenie If I could talk to myself I'd be disgusted to see me Feeling so happy and swell My personality's changing Don't feel as good when it's raining Don't know how to explain it But it's probably something good I like being honest And I like being true I like working harder I like loving you My personality's changing I sip instead of just draining I mean I've not been abstaining But it's probably something good I needed something within me I needed someone to care Now I need someone to pinch me Feels like I'm already there My personality's changing Don't have as much fun complaining You tell me you feel the same thing That's probably something good My personality's changing I'm sick of simply maintaining I want to show up for training I want to make something amazing Instead of something probably good
People in New York like calling themselves Creativies - noun Doesn't that make you wanna throw up and people in New York are selfish, mean, and I'm the same way now I'd rather walk right into someone than have to slow up and I miss my mum and I miss my dad and I know it's dumb but I'm feeling sad Venues in New York ask you to bring a crowd on a goddamn Wednesday at 11pm when it's negative 5 outside and musicians in New York only wanna talk about their Instagram anyway Put a selfie in your story and hope you get fucking signed and I know it's far but I'd rather walk I'd suggest a bar but then I'd have to talk There's a guy on the train numbing his pain with a paper bag I avoid his eyes and wonder who he might've been and the world sees the dirt on his threadbare shirt like a raised white flag Now he's asking me for change but I've got my AirPods in So I never hear and I never care and I'm never here or really anywhere This city's full of life and it's full of shit and it makes me thrive and I'm sick of it If you make it here Well, you know the rest I'd rather disappear if I can't be my best
I Fall Down 02:37
When I'm too tired to stand I fall down
You have the only face that I need to know Your side's the only place where I want to go and I want you to know, although I've said it before, that in the case of nuclear war, if an earthquake breaks the floor, left with an awful price to pay, if it's you or me, it's you I'd save. You're the only comforting part between the sky and the ground I pressed up my ear to your heart for a familiar sound a realization I've found - I've said it more sensitively - that with a rifle aimed at me, men yelling "who'll it be," gimme that shovel, I'll dig that grave if it's you or me, it's you I'd save. If in my final days the full time nurses say you can keep a single phase, a reminder of the time you gave, of all the memories, it's you I'd save.
In high school I was on the wrestling team I was always second string didn't do much of anything I only entered the ring when we were losing So the weeks went by and I eventually just lost my drive so in practice I gave up or only gave what was enough I would huff and I would puff but I was faking What a heavy-handed meathead metaphor Could've made my point like seven lines before That if you starve something long enough it dies If you starve something long enough it dies You either feed it or you bleed it There's no other way to read it If you starve something long enough it dies So I write my songs but sing the ones you already know More by Joni, less by Joe It's the same thing every show I'm not complaining, I'm just thinking as I go What would happen if I never wrote again? I'd make more money playing fucking fire and rain But if you starve something long enough it dies If you starve something long enough it dies You either feed it or you bleed it There's no other way to read it If you starve something long enough it dies I'm afraid I'll lose the reasons I'm alive To see the girl I love is a forty hour drive But if I wait another table I'll be mentally unstable I just hope she's still there when I arrive But if you starve something long enough it dies If you starve something long enough it dies You either feed it or you bleed it There's no other way to read it If you starve something long enough it dies
Give More 05:04
Today was a good day I don't know why But hey, let's ride this high Some days it grows Some days just blow but day turns to night wherever I go I guess meaning doesn't follow any reasoning or trend Some days redemption calls, some days it's just a friend and on the days it doesn't show up, maybe we can just pretend When I was a young boy I'd go outside Bring my favorite toy and just stare at the sky I had nothing to know and so much to show I wished life would move faster But now where did it go? I don't think meaning is just something we deserve, it's what we earn Just gotta stumble through and do our best to learn It's kind of freeing just believing it's investment and return I want to be better At least to try I don't want to let up and I don't want to die Another step on the stair There's fire in the air Time's running out and for once I care Maybe meaning isn't something we receive, it's what we give Even a selfish soul can spare enough to live It's like a baseball glove, just needs a little love when it feels stiff Stick it under the mattress or chuck it off a cliff At least for me it feels easier believing it's a gift and I'm gonna give more.


Recorded at The Hang Studios in Fort Worth, TX
Produced by Ben Barnett and Austin Blair Campbell
Recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered by Ben "The Turd Polisher" Barnett
Album art by Ryan Haines

This is my fourth EP, and seventh studio release. These songs were written in a cabin in Livingston, Montana, in the middle of my national tour with Austin Blair Campbell in 2019. I spent three days by myself there and wrote ten songs, which we recorded and then whittled down to our favourite six. We recorded the songs in the first two weeks of April 2019 after reworking several of them on tour, and I need to thank Austin for helping me with melodies and several lines of lyrics, and Ben for helping me with the actual chord changes in track #5.

These songs are loosely based on the theme of searching for meaning, and the difficulties therein.

They're also about living in a city that doesn't care about you, working to be a musician, feeling more positive, trying to be a better person, and being in love.

Thank you to my Texas family for taking me in during the recording process, to Austin and Austin Lege and Kaela for helping me with lyrics, to Ben Crenshaw for his work on making live videos with us, and to Ryan Haines for the album's visuals. Thank you Caleb for giving this album its spine.

It feels strange to be releasing this over a year later, after getting back to the city and working to pay back the album's costs, in the middle of quarantine in a global pandemic, with the world seeming to fall apart all around me. The city I write about will be changed when I return to it, the meaning I'm searching for is becoming more elusive every day, and I haven't been supporting my life by playing shows when there are no shows to play. But still, I know that if I give more, I'll find what I'm looking for. Give more time, give more effort, give more to my friends and family and loved ones, give more at my day job and in my music and in my writing, give more thought to people who need it, give more words to people who want them. These songs feel rich and alive to me even after 14 months since writing them, and I'm proud of the work we did. I hope you all enjoy them. There are more coming.


Joe Holt - vocals, acoustic guitars
Austin Blair Campbell - backing vox
Ben Barnett - bass, keys
Caleb Barnett - drums, backing vox


Joe - vocals, acoustic guitars
Austin - backing vox
Ben - electric guitars, bass
Caleb - drums


Joe - vocals
Austin - backing vocals
Ben - electric guitars, bass
Caleb - drums


Joe - vocals, electric guitar
Ben - bass
Mason Lieberman - cello quartet
Caleb - drums


Joe - vocals, acoustic guitar
Ben - acoustic guitar
Austin and Caleb - backing vox


Joe - vocals, acoustic guitars
Austin - backing vox
Ben - keys, bass
Caleb - drums


released June 5, 2020


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Joe Holt New York, New York

Joe is a folk singer/songwriter from England, described by Indie Minded as "a gifted young talent who is sure to leave his mark on the folk music scene." His music has been featured twice on NPR. He lives in New York City.

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