The Person I Admire

by Joe Holt

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1.
146th Street 03:58
Catch me if you can I will not be beaten down Though the A is running local And it takes an hour to get uptown Another 60 hour week On aching legs and tired feet The subway grumbles in All hung over and baggy-eyed We pack it to the brim And it pulls away with a heavy sigh Another day without a break On creaking rails and rusty grates It never waits The tunnel spits me out I make my way up from below I'm a ten minute walk from home The summer sun is hanging low I feel it creeping in I fight the bite away from skin The doubt and fear attack Both from outside and from within Will I ever feel whole How do you feed a hungry soul Then I’m in the bedroom where you’re eating takeout on the floor In all my life, my darling, I’ve never loved a person more
2.
In the secret things I think about with no one else around there are lots of insecurities and things that make me frown I am awkward meeting people and I'm often tightly wound There's some stuff about flamingos which I think are really weird and if I'm on the subway I'll admire a bushy beard and yes, I'm planning out our wedding, just like you probably feared We will build a forest cabin and we'll fill it up with books there'll be several comfy armchairs and a couple secret nooks and we'll kiss a lot in public and receive some dirty looks We will have a favourite restaurant we'll visit once a week where the waiters know our names and so the bill is always cheap we'll be making love at midnight when the children are asleep I get stuck in words and images and finding ways to say I'm in love with you I try so hard to be original The pictures get hidden in frames I will write a song with G and C and sing it all the time I won't focus on the metaphor or try to make it rhyme nor will I shy from the cliche that I am yours and you are mine I will age like a whiskey in the cellar of your grace with our love digging ditches in the lines of my face and my heart forever fuller, never running out of space
3.
The tang of old coffee is the only thing I'm tasting these days I'm watching TV and the interviewee is describing the migratory ways of some bird I'm never gonna see I'm tired of choices with none of the voices saying anything I can use in a world where a bird flies south and it's news I'm a mailbox to send to; I'm searching for something to feel It's like looking through menus, allergic to all of the meals allergic to anything real There's a bird in the air and I hope while he's there he's admiring the views of a world where a bird flies south and it's news I wake up forgetting why I bother at all there's nothing I'm dying to do There's a hole in my soul with a shovel inside and it's you So I walk through the night and when I start to see light the birds come and sit on the tree and I wonder why they stay when they can fly anywhere then I wonder the same about me Now I'm seeing the sky and remembering why it's sometimes rewarding to lose in a world where a bird flies south and it's news
4.
Cumulonimbus 04:25
When we met you were wearing a leotard tucked into high-waisted shorts What you wore underneath, what was tucked into that, was a recurring thought We got caught in the rain with the blood against my veins and my heart under strain And my pulse was keeping time with the wind’s whispered rhyme, barely contained That evening in the rainstorm I was born again to find you And in the deepest depths of secrecy I longed to be behind you I guess our souls had been expanded to feel things they weren’t designed to But to prevent potential pain I closed my mind and reassigned you So the days drifted by with your image in my eye; it was always worse at night I got invited to a party on the fourth of july and I went just to get you off my mind I drank til I was drunk and called your eyes a constellation Mixing whiskey and tequila til my fingers lost sensation And I stumbled down the avenues in drunken jubilation And waited for the train so long I blacked out at the station The morning came Tremulous and shameful I opened my eyes like a creaking door My head was loud Furious and painful A message from you said “call me now” So I called you now In between the seams of where our lives are stitched together The glue of me and you is even stronger now than ever Nothing’s really different since that night of heavy weather Though our clothes have long been dry, there will be rain in me forever
5.
I Feel It 01:49
I feel it There is something in the air I feel it drag its fingers down my spine Breathing closely right behind I feel it Something coming up for air I feel it scratching at the doorway and pacing around Whispering and sighing and clawing at the ground When I am alone staring into the dark I can see its shape, I can hear it barking at the window, begging to be let in I feel it Spilling poison in the air I feel it rustle through the curtains like a late November breeze The gust before the downpour or the chill before the freeze When I am alone staring into the dark I can see its shape, I can hear it barking at the window, begging to be let in I feel it There is something in the air I feel it
6.
Cute little girl Dancing on tabletops Told me to dance and I told her to fuck herself Ponytail guy Just wanted to talk to me Frankly I would’ve preferred a vasectomy Grouchy or crazy or possibly both On a quest to make everyone hate me the most Eyes on the ground People standing too close to me Out at a party just like I’m supposed to be Everyone’s there And I’m desperate to try and hide To go find a beer or a book or some cyanide Grouchy or crazy or possibly both On a quest to make everyone hate me the most One day I’ll wake up with no one around me Yeah one day I'll wake up with no one around me No one around me Am I grouchy or crazy or possibly both On a quest to make everyone hate me the most
7.
I woke up in Boston Late and hungover I crawled through Allston as it began to stir I crept down Harvard Avenue blinking fast and sweating beer The T came rolling past me wicked pissah to my ear We shared a pizza sat there for a while the sun was shining you had pesto in your smile til I get back to Harlem over land or over sea until I see you darling I will clutch that memory Load out from the show pack up the car pick up the phone til the lonely leaves my bones your voice alone can guide me Here I go now I'm on my way back home I'm like Julius Caesar within sight of Rome My Irish Cleopatra sitting in your golden throne a battered thrift shop armchair I carried on the subway home
8.
One Thing 04:20
I write down one thing every day you make me grateful for The hard part’s sometimes settling for one Now I’m halfway through a notebook and I’m coming up with more Racing pages against phrases until one of them’s gone I notice one thing every day I couldn’t see before The lunette of treetops circling the sun Or the way I wait for rainstorms, how I’m happy when it pours When we have to stay inside together, safe until it’s done If there’s one thing I could tell you, I would tell you I hate telling you goodbye And if there’s one thing I could show you, I would blow you every kiss you’ve redefined There’s a hundred thousand praises I could sing to you in unsurprising rhyme But for now I’ll keep to one thing at a time I feel one thing every day I couldn’t feel before Like discovering a limb I’ve never used You’re pointing out the parts about me worth being adored And you’re nourishing the traces left from places I abused If there’s one thing I could tell you, I would tell you I hate telling you goodbye And if there’s one thing I could show you, I would blow you every kiss you’ve redefined There’s a hundred thousand praises I could sing to you in unsurprising rhyme But for now I’ll keep to one thing at a time If there’s one thing I could tell you, I would tell you I hate telling you goodbye And if there’s one thing I could show you, I would blow you every kiss you’ve redefined There’s a hundred thousand praises I could sing to you in unsurprising rhyme But for now I’ll keep to one thing at a time
9.
Get Along 01:43
Get along little joe you’re a song to be sung Seems like all you wanna do these days is worship at the feet of your baby Well she’s not home So be someone who aspires to do more than sit and drink alone Get along little joe you’re a song to be song Stop holding it inside your throat and let it out as loud as you can Annoy your neighbors Serves em right for rolling cinderblocks and jumping up and down on the floor Get along little joe you’re a song to be sung And the lyrics might be not thought out but neither is the stuff by Courtney Barnett And she got famous They called it “stream of consciousness” and then Obama put her on his playlist Barack n’ roll! Get along little joe you’re a song to be sung Seems like all you wanna do these days is worship at the feet of your baby Well she’s not home So be someone who aspires to do more than sit and drink alone Don't drink alone
10.
This Is 04:20
This is the room that we'll remember when we look back on this time the curtain rod I stepped on, taped back together is bent but proudly holding on These are the sheets we bought together after dating for a year you picked out the colour, you picked out the pattern I picked out the girl who picked them out This is the childhood home where our love grew up it's full of dirty cups These are the fights that never matter and these are words we shouldn't use you slammed the door, the picture fell, its frame was cracked in two This is our love in its teenage years full of fire and doubt just needs to let it out This is our love growing up too fast god I need more time Don't let this pass me by
11.
Hiraeth 05:11
In the woods behind the house we ran around while waving wooden swords All trampolines and sour grapes the summers gave us all they could afford We stayed up until three and went outside to look at the stars with nobody there to protest if we said they were ours We grew apart all through our teens by college we had sold the trampoline The swords grew dusty on the shelves and we grew old all by ourselves We did up my old room, moved the bed, had an office installed Though the furniture’s new, there are memories of you in the walls
12.
I didn't ever think that I was good so I would blame it all on luck and I didn't ever feel like I was worth somebody's love, and so it stuck I didn't ever practice and I didn't ever try or see the point and I never really gave my very best - I would detest to disappoint and I tell myself I'm not the same as I was then and I'm full of faith in love, in me and you, in us, contrarily I don't believe in souls or ghosts or God or even, usually, in me oh, hypocrisy and I'm working every day to find a way inside the person I aspire to be; eventually, the person I admire will be me I am not the same as then My parents wouldn't praise me if I couldn't do the things they say I can My friends wouldn't support me if I wasn't worth the effort of a hand and you would never love me if my image of myself was who I am Does all that mean I'm not the same as I was then? and I don't save lives or work in mines so that my family survives I don't donate to charity, I don't even recycle with any regularity and I place more value in a single freckle on your back than in the whole of me and constantly, I love you so intensely I can't see that I am not the same as then am I real? I will give myself the glory that I give to you and give to love the kind that men from southern Tennessee give to guns and God above Make America Great Again I will move along and fight my little fight to be a better man and every night I'll grow a bit more bright and gather evidence to cite I am not the same as then No I am not the same as then

about

This is my second full-length album. Special thanks to Caleb, Austin, and the Bens, YYMF, let's go. Special thanks also to the Barnett family.

I funded this album by consistently working over 40 hours a week for ten months, and would therefore also like to thank all my coworkers, Mike and Raji, Jay and Janet, and anyone else who made work a little more enjoyable.

Thank you to Becca, Becky, Haley, Tricia, Ava, Jess, Caleb, Riss, Griff, Chaz, Caite, anyone who came out to one of my shows this year, and everyone who hosted me on tour.

Thank you Mum and Dad, Ollie and Natalie, and Tom.

Thank you Kaela.

credits

released May 30, 2017

Produced by The Barnett Brothers
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Ben Barnett at The Hang Studios, Fort Worth, TX
Additional recording by Connor Gehlert at Micky Splatt Studios in Nashville, TN
and by Sam Milinazzo at the Record Co. in Boston, MA.

All songs written and arranged by Joe Holt
All songs produced by The Barnett Brothers

Track #11 "Hiraeth" contains an excerpt of Schumann's "Träumerei" arranged for string quartet by Joe. Cello solo by Mason Lieberman.

146TH STREET

Joe Holt - vocals, guitars
Matt Byron - upright bass
Caleb Barnett - drums, percussion

WORDS AND IMAGES

Joe - vocals, guitars
Matt - upright bass
Caleb - drums, percussion, snik

BIRD FLIES SOUTH

Joe - vocals, guitar, string arrangement
David Boroff - violin
Alison Holt - viola
Mason Lieberman - cello

CUMULONIMBUS

Joe - vocals, guitars
Matt - upright bass
Caleb - drums, percussion, stomps, snik

I FEEL IT

Joe - vocals, guitars, electric bass
Caleb - drums, percussion, wood blocks, scratchy thing

HATE ME THE MOST

Joe - vocals, guitars, electric bass, drunk yelling
Caleb - drums, percussion, shaker, claps, drunk yelling
Austin Blair Campbell - drunk yelling
Ben Crenshaw - drunk yelling
Lone Star - fuel

MY IRISH CLEOPATRA

Joe - vocals, guitars
Matt - upright bass
Caleb - drums, percussion, shaker

ONE THING

Joe - vocals, guitars, piano
Matt - upright bass
Ben Barnett - keyboards
Caleb - drums, percussion

GET ALONG

Joe - vocals, guitars
Matt - upright bass
Caleb - drums
Austin - less drunk yelling
Ben - less drunk yelling
Barack Obama - shoutout inspiration
Courtney Barnett - no shade meant

THIS IS

Joe - vocals, guitars

HIRAETH

Joe - vocals, guitars
David - violin
Alison - viola
Mason - cello

MY LITTLE FIGHT

Joe - vocals, guitars
Matt - upright bass
Caleb - drums
Ben - sampling

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about

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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