If We Could Only Let Go

by Ben Hughes

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about

Listen on Spotify: open.spotify.com/album/65QuNJHg3RWNwBouRXuOFt
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I wanted to finish the 12 Albums project in the strongest way I could, while remaining true to the DIY lo-fi spirit present throughout the whole project.

Here's the recipe I used for "If We Could Only Let Go"

-Narrow song list down to 12
-Use one mic for everything (Audio Technica AT3035)
-Use a very specific instrumental palette: Voice, MiniKorg Synth, Taylor Acoustic, 1965 Silvertone (Danelectro) Bass, Drums & Percussion.
-Go off the deep end with vocal harmonies and the MiniKorg.

Limitations are a wonderful thing, especially when you give yourself two weeks to make a 12 song record in the time you find between work & sleep.
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I was going to go into detail about what all of these songs we're written about, but I'll leave that up to your interpretation.

One thing I'll say is that this has been the best, worst, coolest, craziest, most stressful, most rewarding, most painful, most fun, roller coaster ride of a year that I can remember. While I'm glad I got to ride, I would not recommend it.

Thank you all so much for the love and support throughout this crazy, crazy year.

I hope these songs meet you where you are.
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Press on this album from WXPN's The Key:
thekey.xpn.org/2015/12/08/ben-hughes-final-album/#more-181630
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For mixing & mastering all 12 albums: Ryan (couldn't have done this without you, my friend).

For guidance, support, encouragement, patience, love & tolerance throughout this year: Jess, Ryan, Steph, my family.

For constant enthusiasm/support & help with getting the word out on 12 Albums: John & the rest of the good people at The Key & XPN, Tabby, Dan Drago, Haley & The Philly Folksong Society, Milkboy, Vince, Tad, James Suit, Christian, Jesse, Nick Cislak, Adam, Davis, Carolyn & Sofar Sounds, Nick Hughes, Chris.

Thanks

credits

released December 4, 2015

Produced & Engineered by Ben Hughes.
Recorded in my room during the last two weeks of November '15.
Mixed & Mastered by Ryan Buzby.
All music performed by Ben Hughes*
All songs written by Ben Hughes (Benjamin Hughes ASCAP).

*Group Vocals on "Everyone Needs a Friend" by Ryan Buzby, Vince Sceno & Ben Hughes.

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Ben Hughes New Jersey

"...channels musicians like Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, and Sufjan Stevens, as on Hughes’ previous releases. But this record immediately calls to mind Pedro the Lion’s Control, with its deep-voiced chords and melodies, lyrical themes of corporate hell, and Hughes’ slurring voice. It could stand as a complimentary album to Control just as well as it stands on its own."

-Nick Tate, WXPN
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Track Name: The Weight, The Wait, The Way
the weight, the wait, the way that we've been
the late, delayed, awakening.

the fate, the fade, the lesson we leave
the us, the them, the comparison.

the ceiling, the mattress, how I cram in between
the me I've been won't let himself sleep.

the wait, the weight, the me that I am.
Track Name: If We Could Only Let Go
the sun forgot to come up today
alert! alert! better stay inside.
mother wasn't ready to go back to work,
extend that weekend one more day
and with a history of good attendance,
I guess we'll have to let her slide.

oh, remember
it's just a job to do
and money in the bank that keep you
domesticated.

the long weekend put you to sleep
in a land where dreams can still be dreamed.
"how can I stay here?" she asked
as she buttoned the last button on her dress
shrugging shoulders said
"it's just life I guess."

oh, remember
it's just a job to do
and money in the bank that keep you
domesticated
we know not how to live off this land
high-matenance
we need super stores and technology
with greed steering the wheel,
but oh, imagine how it would feel.

If we could only let go.
Track Name: Stutter
I don't want to think too much
patchy speech, fallen leaf
where will these concerns end up
message weak, incomplete.

but you don't stutter in your thoughts,
so tell me why do you hesitate at all?

I don't want to say to much,
but I got a lot to say
as if it'd matter anyway
seems no one understands a word that I say.

so I don't want to think too much
no I don't want to think too much
thoughts become my handcuffs.

but you don't stutter in your thoughts,
so tell me why do you hesitate at all?

why do you hesitate at all?
Track Name: Troubled Mind
a troubled mind may show no sign
to the outside world as it does it's time
keep it under cover,
"I'm doing well, how's your mom and your daughter?"

a suspect of such violent crime
returning to that same scene a dozen times
to put to rest a guilty conscience
that longs for the life he'd have had if he'd missed.

but that shot was shot
and now it's out of his control
once that blood spilled out,
it left that body with no soul.

a drunken night, a bar fight,
I saw a faithful man cheating on his wife
wishing to wipe the whole slate clean
or that he'd wake up and it be a dream.

but that seed was spread
and now she sleeps on a trundle bed
giving life to a kid
leaves no room for regret.

that daughter grew
a date was set
invitations sent,
and he had to send his regrets.

cause that shot was shot
and now he had no control
life on death row
is no excuse for a home
but that shot was shot
and now he has no control
cause that shot was shot
and now he has no control.

a troubled mind may show no sign
to the outside world as it does it's time.
Track Name: Fairly Quiet
it's fairly quiet at the bottom
when you've passed the point of
having something left to give

i've heard it silent
at the end when you question whether or not
you really lived.

but now that the weather's warm
let us take it for granted.
there is no light, there is no tunnel,
this is just life.

but if I could only
make myself believe
when I say "I don't care"
then maybe I would get somewhere.

some say there's nothing at the end
and others say you start again
while others try and play pretend.

I know I don't know
and no belief will change
what will happen.

but now that the weather's warm
let us take it for granted.
there is no light, there is no tunnel,
this is our life.

but if I could only
make myself believe
when I say "I don't care"
then maybe I would get somewhere.

maybe I would I get somewhere.
Track Name: Home (Where She Wanted to Be)
home, where she wanted to be
with all her clothing at her feet
completely naked and free.

home, with a couple books to read
she's like the devil, but she's sweet
when she is naked and free.

out on her own, the world is big
so now her problems seem so small.
a speck on a page,
a second in a day.

home, where she's longing to be
same old habits for the new week
life like a goddamn zombie.

now we know we're all ashamed
at the way we're too distracted
to live in the current day.

out on her own, the world is big
so now her problems seem so small.
she's just a speck on a page,
she's just a second in a day
trying to live in the current day.
Track Name: If I Keep These Feet Moving Throughout the Week
I've been feeling this way for longer than expected
feel my spine tighten up, wishing I could forget it.

I've seen brick walls tumble down,
so how are my feet safe here on the ground
unless I keep moving them,
so I'm gonna keep moving.

I've been feeling like this for longer than expected.
watch my time disappear, and I well with resentment.

I know feelings have no sound
driven like a stake into my brow
and no one can feel it
like the way I've been feeling.

but if I keep these feet moving throughout the week,
nothing can stop me.

I've been told I made a mistake
for standing up and doing things my own way
I lost my job, but I'm still breathing
nothing can stop me.

if I keep these feet moving throughout the week,
nothing can stop me.
Track Name: Jump Start
they say his songs require and acquired taste
could it be just a mean thing to say in a sort of nice way?
correct semantically.

I know I might be going off
but sometimes I really wonder
if I've ever written anything in my life
that was good at all.

but then I think about how either way it kept me from going under.

it saved me from me
because sometimes, a jump start is all I need.
it saved me from me,
and didn't cause anxiety.

I know I might be going off
but sometimes I still wonder
if I've ever written anything in my life
that was good at all.

but then I think about how either way it kept me from going under.

it saved me from me
because sometimes, a jump start is all I need.
it saved me from me,
and didn't cause anxiety.
Track Name: I Used to Take Time for Granted (Dishes/Laundry/Etc...)
I used to take time for granted
used to think life would turn out the way I planned it.
but now I'm settling in and not doing anything I want.
and I can't -- how I can't stand it.

what a terrible thing to have had a dream.

when am I going to find the time
to put the dishes away?
when am I going to find the time
to fold my laundry?

I used to take time for granted
used to think life would turn out the way I planned it.
but now I'm settling in and not doing anything I want.
and I can't -- how I can't stand it.

what a terrible thing to have had a dream.

when am I going to find the time?
Track Name: My Feet
I've been moving my feet, but I'm not where I want to be.
(I've been trying to find the root of my...)

sadness
even if I could see it...
I wouldn't believe it,
even if I could see it.
Track Name: Everyone Needs a Friend
I'm digging for what my shovel can't find.
looked up, red sun, wipe my brow
sweating out all that ails.

a lonely man once caught a fish,
and through his hunger pains never ate it.
cause everyone wants a friend.
yeah, everyone needs a friend.

waiting by the bank, she never gets a bite
she paints her face while she waits,
preparation can help.

a lovely girl once hooked a guy,
and through all the abuse just smiled.
cause everyone wants a friend.
everyone needs a friend.

someone to talk to
someone to help pull you through.

everyone wants a friend,
everyone needs a friend.
Track Name: I Am Not
my heart completely breaks
I am broken
broken to the core
my base is shaking
my me is fraying.

I am not without her love
oh, I am not.

she'll never forgive me
she'll just get harder, and harder to reach.
no, she'll never forgive me,
she'll just get harder to reach.

I am not without her love
oh, I am not.

she'll never forgive me
she'll just get harder, and harder to reach.
no, she'll never forgive me,
she'll just get harder to reach.