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The Spoils of War

by Val Bauer

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    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a gatefold wallet, printed locally in Portland by Saturn Duplication.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Spoils of War via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $5 USD or more 


  • T-Shirt/Apparel

    Taking inspiration from the cover art of The Spoils of War, this design is printed locally in Portland by Misplaced Screenprinting on comfy Next Level 100% cotton tees. They seriously are comfy. I wear one as my jammy shirt. (Why not?)
    ships out within 3 days

      $10 USD or more 


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...
Living Will 03:31
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 of 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
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
Elegy 02:56
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
Bend 04:58
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
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”
11:11 04:14
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
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...
Lost & Found 04:13
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


Val Bauer's first full-length album


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


all rights reserved



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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