The Spoils of War

by Val Bauer

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about

Val Bauer's first full-length album

credits

released April 26, 2019

Val Bauer: Vocals & guitars
Tobby Lugo: Drums
Brandon Madsen: Bass

All songs written by Val Bauer

Produced, engineered, and mixed by Jeanot Lewis-Rolland
at Interlace Audio and JLR Audio Productions, Portland, Oregon
Mastered by Stephan Hawkes at Interlace Audio

Cello on “Dying to Live” by Billy Mickelson
Additional instrumentation by Jeanot Lewis-Rolland

Design & layout: Val Bauer & Corbinian Buchberger
Cover photo: Sean Allen
Live photos: Clay Showalter

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all rights reserved

tags

about

Val Bauer Portland, Oregon

From Portland, Oregon, Val Bauer writes songs of earnest confessionalism, following in the songwriter tradition but built on a pop-punk foundation. Val's music is about the struggle, but also the optimism that it's possible to not have to accept what's given us; that we're all fighting the same fight, and that we're not alone. ... more

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Track Name: Writing and Reporting
So you say that you're tired of depressing songs
Well I'm tired of living them
You know, sometimes it takes all I have
just to go through the motions
And I know it's hard to understand
That's probably why I don't have a hand
to pull me through to the light, say I'll be all right,
so I sing this

But I'm not writing them,
I'm reporting them
I'm living them
and I'm dying to

Live a life that feels alive,
where I can get back where I feel all right,
and I can write my story and start living it,
instead of the other way around

I'm not going down

Sometimes I think I don't want to stay
if it's always going to feel this way,
but I know that the life I've lived
hasn't always been like this
And the thought of that gives me hope
that I can get back to the life I used to know,
where, with my eyes closed tight,
the words I shout to the sky
and these stories—

I'll be writing them,
not just reporting them
I'll be living them
cos I'm dying to

Live a life that feels alive,
where I can get back where I feel all right
and I can write my story and start living it,
instead of the other way around

I'm not going down

I'm gonna live a life that feels alive...
Track Name: Living Will
You could call this a cry for help
except I know that no one will
I've been trying to write farewell,
deciding what goes in my will

But the words are too hard to write,
and I have nothing left to give

I'm trying to follow my own advice,
but I can't help feeling that I'm on my own
There's nothing sadder than when you realize
when you need someone there's no one you can call
So I guess I'm on my own

You should probably keep walking on
cos standing with me will be hard
Cos I don't have enough in me
to follow through with what I start

And my heart is paralyzed
when all I want it just to live

And my brain is looking for a kill
It keeps me thinking things that I don't wanna
Like I how I have a cabinet full of pills,
and life is just too hard a one to swallow

So I guess I'm on my own
I don't want to be alone,
but I guess I'm on my own
Track Name: This, Too, Shall Pass
I should have know that this would end
as your tattoo reminded me every time
that I helped you get undressed
I guess I knew this would happen
Knew that you'd grow tired of me
after one too many times
breaking down on your bed

Well lately I've been doing so well,
but I guess tonight I'm relapsing
But this is the last one that I'll write,
it's the last one I'll sing

The hardest thing I've ever done
was turn and walk away from you,
never looking back
After I kissed you for the last time
and you closed the door and drove away,
never looking back

Been writing letters in my head
of all the things I wanted to say,
but knowing that I would never write or send
Been writing words on dark days that never end
to put to trusty chords that you're not gonna hear
cos you never want to hear me again

I wonder how long you knew what you were going to do
Did you on our anniversary, when I gave you that ring
at the top of the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier?
Wonder what you've done with it, probably thrown it out to sea
to rid yourself of me

This is the last one that I'll write
I swear this time it's true
Track Name: Elegy
I was singing along to “Between the Bars”
under my breath in the passenger seat,
and my sis was too
I could just hear it
as we drove along the waterfront,
down I-5 in the rain, and it reminded me of a life past
I could almost remember it

Then I got home home and cried
for the way things used to be,
when a city and a record meant so much to me
But now it's hard to feel anything at all

Portland isn't the only thing that's changed:
My heart moved on with it
and my friends did too
I know that I will never feel the same
I gotta live with it,
it's all I can do

And I grew up close enough,
I could almost taste life in the Rose City when I turned 18
but I moved too far
I lost the feeling
But I still keep the black and white
of the Fremont Bridge I took at 16
It reminds me of a life that I had once

And now Portland is my home,
but it's not how it used to be
When a friend and a dream were everything to me
but now they're dead, I can't feel anything at all

I'm not writing songs
I'm not making friends
I'm not living life
I'm 30 and I'm already thinking about the end
Track Name: Bend
There's a lot of things that should make me want to smile
And even though I know I should, I haven't felt that for awhile
And I'm tired of living this way of feeling nothing
And I just want to get away and start being something

But she's my love, keeps me from falling
I needed her, and she heard me calling
Might be awhile 'til I learn to smile again,
but if anyone can get me there, it's her

Save me from myself and all these thoughts that keep me from thinking
Pull me from this hole I've filled with life's mundanity, because I'm sinking
And I'm tired of living this way of feeling nothing
And I just want to get away and start being something
Track Name: Dying to Live
Yesterday I woke up crying
It always hurts the same
I'm tired of trying
The pain never goes away

And I can't see things ever looking up for me

But today I woke up high
and I finally felt okay
A slight hangover,
but at least a different kind of pain

But I know that it's lurking somewhere 'round the bend
And I say...

Get me out of here
I'm dying to live
Cos if I'm stuck in here,
I'll stop trying to live

But for now I'll keep on fighting
There's nothing else I can
Though I feel much older
than my passport says I am

I found a love I thought would save me from myself, but she said...

“Get me out of here
I'm dying to live
Cos if I'm stuck in here,
I'll stop trying to live”
Track Name: 11:11
I suppose that I do pray, just not in the usual way
It's to the clock when it's 11:11,
that somehow it will take me back to a place
where I feel alive again, but I don't see it happening

I hate where I am, I'm stuck and I can't
I long for where I've been, but can't go there again
And I'd say if this is all there is, then I don't want it,
but I know it's not, so I'll keep moving

I just go from feeling fed up to feeling nothing at all
There's a difference between life
and feeling like you're really living it

The world is watching, but it's not watching me
Track Name: (Stuck In) Yesterday
Some days I feel all right
Some days I wish I wasn't alive
Sometimes I feel nothing at all
But sometimes I want to put my head through the fucking wall

Because you threw it all
you threw it all away
And through it all,
you're just fine and I'm still stuck in yesterday

Some nights I try not to think
Some nights I need a pill to sleep
Sometimes I guess I feel strong
But sometimes all I can think about is all that's wrong

What did you think would happen to me?
Well you say that you care,
it's love but it's not there,
you say
you say...
Track Name: Lost & Found
Take a Xanax when I start to relapse
Which seems to happen all the time,
after a few days of feeling fine

I'm fucking losing my shit,
guess I'm not over it
Can't stay at work, can't stop the hurt,
feels like the walls are closing in
These thoughts that race
are things I can't escape
I try so hard, but don't get too far
Is it too much to ask to start again?

I was discarded, my heart left hardened
And it gets harder every time
someone decides they want to leave it behind

I was in the lost and found
when you came and pulled me out
and took me home
Now we're not alone
But this can only end in tears
You'll pull away and leave me here
Now I know not to get too close

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