Thanks to all the people who have attempted to record, mix, or point me in an engineer’s direction for this album over these 2-3 years it has been in the works. And I CANNOT thank Ryan enough for actually pulling it off. Thanks to those who take me to and invite me to open mics and shows, even when I end up bailing out. Thanks to those who have pulled me aside/written me something to stick on my fridge/etc. to let me know that something I have written has meant something to them. Thanks to people who have bought CDs from me in the past, even when I tell them it’s free on bandcamp. Lastly, glittery and special thanks to my boyfriend, who convinced me, somehow, multiple times, not to give up on the long and at times soul-destroying process of recording, abandoning, and rerecording this project over and over again - not only through verbal support, but by example. And thanks to all friends who come and take picture/video proof of me playing!
No thanks to those who make us feel unincluded and sad, and leave a strange hole inside of us ~
released February 9, 2017
All songs written and performed by Joan Smith, except ‘Little, Broken,’ with contributions by Bryan MacDonald.
All tracks recorded, mixed, and mastered by Ryan Frazeaux at Oak Grove Recording in Malden, MA.
Remind me what feels good cause I think I forgot and that’s a problem. Sometimes, it won’t be simple as telling yourself mid-orgasm to be more nice the next time you fuck up. // Watched yourself cry in the mirror again - your shoulders are so small; it takes so much to breathe in. Does it feel like you won; do you think it’s strange that you can’t sleep until you feel the bathroom tile against your face? // Remind me what feels good cause I think I forgot. Sometimes, it won’t be simple as telling yourself mid-orgasm to be more nice the next time you fuck up. // And now you’re wasted, not wanted. And this time, is it the way the sun don’t rise when you bury your head beneath the blanket? The days that trail behind the things you couldn’t put to sleep -- does it feel like anyone could look and see it? // Amount of times that I’ve been told to force it down, amount of times that I’ve said “no”; the way it always ends the same: You swallow the words you spent weeks practicing, you wear long sleeves for a little bit, and everybody talks to you again when you give up on the sell; stop peddling the malnourished, sad version of yourself. Everybody says they haven’t seen you for a little bit. Did anybody mention they weren’t looking? // Remind me what feels good cause I think I forgot and that’s a problem. Sometimes, it won’t be simple.
Track Name: Taylor Swift
I can tell how old your scars are just by looking at the color. I’ve got images, a database of reference files. I noticed when I got a tan last summer, parts of me stayed stripped with white. I’d say it’s been three years since then, or just about. // So he pulls my clothes off and he asks me what the bandages are from. When I tell him I don’t know, I feel him knowing. And I see his shoulders in the morning, and understand he didn’t need an answer - just my response. // It’s not fair to say that I don’t know what’s going on with me. I saw this on TV once, or maybe this was me once... and I’m sort of afraid that I never figured out how to be happy. What if all those years of freedom from the weights that hang down from the folds within my brain like anchors were just someone else’s stability? // Sometimes, I decide to sit down on the pavement even when it’s raining just because I can’t stand up any longer, and all the time, I don’t know how to go on without the piece of me that’s not lost, but is taking so long getting found. There’s a gaping hole inside of me, and I won’t say I didn’t know how big it was until it got torn out. And I’ll keep saying things, but I won’t go back and repeat them. I am far too confused to know what should be heard more than once.
Track Name: Slip Out
I don’t wanna leave a note. I don’t wanna leave a reason for anyone to say I had any other motivation for leaving besides the mornings I can’t stand up on my own; besides the days that would be coming where I’d run out of prescription medication. // I know I was born with a hole inside of me, but I’ve spent many years fighting with zero anesthetizing so I could become the girl that I saw in my head from the time I was very young. But it seems no matter how many revelations I have while driving down the highway, screaming along to my own voice, I’m still lighting up these cigarettes; still counting out my pennies at the liquor store. // Hey, don’t hold my hand while I’m holding my breath. I was weak in my teen years, but I’m an adult and I can do this myself -- so don’t pull my hair back while I put my knees on the floor in the bathtub. At 21, we’ve gotta know that we have got to suck it up. // The portrait of a girl that wakes so heavy’s nothing special: Looking in the mirror watching the blood dripping out my face, feeling the weight of all the Pabst Blue Ribbon swimming in my insides, stepping on the scale and seeing all the body mass I’ve lost and laughing. // Who watches you open your eyes when they thought they’d seen them for the last time, when you curled up on the rug and cried til no one came home? I guess I should have listened closer when Hayley told me, ‘Someday, baby, someday.’
Track Name: (o_\\)
Back in the day, 2004, I was sitting by the window of our music class, waiting for your note. I couldn’t pay attention to all the other kids playing Crazy Train. I don’t remember our teacher’s name, but when I think back, what I know for sure is that we both were bi in middle school, walking to the Dollar Store in tight jeans at midnight, thinking, ‘Things won’t ever change for us.’ My eyelash falls, I make a wish that me and Susie M. Will kiss. I only hope that you don’t get her. // Maybe if I wait til locker time to plant a kiss on Ashley’s lipgloss, we’d be hiding in plain sight. The thing is, I hope Jeff from down the street doesn’t catch a glimpse of us. He’s got these religious parents. Do you think my mom might find out? MySpace was the only place I wanted to come out when we both were bi in middle school, walking ‘cross the traintracks in our slip-ons, back to your house, thinking, “Emo boiiz are what we want.’ In gym class, I was on the bleachers making eyes at Joey Baker. Little did I know, he asked you to the dance on AOL last night. // We both were bi in middle school. Whether or not I tattoo ”2-0-0-4” on my body, I will still relate to your zippered band hoodie. Things will change a little bit, I know. I prefer chicks, you prefer dicks, and we’ll still meet up at the carnival.
Track Name: Little, Broken
Remember when you used to go hard - when you used to hurt yourself? And it's not that it got better, or it got easier to handle. And it's not so much that a screw's loose; the whole contraption's wrong. And you have spent so long knowing it's more lucid, but wondering if it's worth it to live that "Empty gas tank, parking lot, GPS pointing you towards Maryland, but when you put it in drive, you're just going home" life. You know it exists most when the Claritin just don't make the "trapped in a fucking bubble" feeling leave you alone. // So please be careful with me because I am a little broken. I don't know if this is natural, but maybe I could've been a little bit more gentle when I rocked myself to sleep on nights when it was difficult -- but then, where would we be? // So break beside me if you have to, darling. I will say it though my face is turning red: I will sing you all my scars and you can read all of your guts to me. In the end, we'll both die laughing at the things that fucked us up. Don't make me. // Don't make me what? Don't make me laugh? Don't make me say it? I'm trying really hard to be careful. But sometimes you fall asleep and you don't know it, and the things this suggests to me has me posting poetry on LiveJournal. // So please be careful with me because I am a little broken. I don't know if this is natural, but maybe I could've been a little bit more gentle when I rocked myself to sleep on nights when it was difficult -- but then, where would we be? // I will whisper my mother's words against the current of your tears, though I know I can't heal you. I have come to the conclusion - at least for now - that healing isn't getting there, but trying. // I've got a scar from the night I met you. I guess I don't yet know just how to put this in to other words. It just feels imporant. So please, be careful with me because I am a little broken. I am little and broken.