There is a Spirit

by Kevin Holowach

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about

I recorded this over three somewhat intense weeks in April, 2016 in the basement of a rented house.

I'll call this low fidelity; all the equipment is battered, old, or borrowed, and I spent a fair amount of time kicking boxes and tapping on the head of a banjo when there weren't drums around. But in the end, I think the songs needed to be like this - too much polish, I think, can run the risk of pulling away from the raw material.

So with all it's edges and ugliness, I’m comfortable calling this a kind of "done." Then again, I’ve always been attracted to the broken, the minimalist, and the frugal. If the guitars are dull or my voice is ugly (and they are), then all the better.

Also, every bit of support, commentary, and constructive criticism recently has been incredibly appreciated. Special thank yous to Rene, Jordana, Kassidy, Jan, Josh C., Jordan, Kyler, and my folks for constructive feedback. And to Josh L. and Andrew for not getting mad when I pretended to know how to play the instruments they stored at my house. And to Jordan for lending me a ukulele. And to Josh C. for lending me a microphone. And to the seagulls of Edmonton for teaching how me how to sing.

credits

released May 11, 2016

All songs written and recorded by Kevin Holowach except:

William Butler Yeats - Lyrics for "The Song of Wandering Aengus"

Rene - Floor tom on "A Confession" and electric guitar on "The Dove and the Ox"

Kassidy - Vocals on "Nick Drake"

Jordana - "Feels like summer!" on "I Am Not an Eagle"

Kyler - Back-up in "There Might Be a Way to Say Something"

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Kevin Holowach Edmonton, Alberta

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Track Name: San Francisco (One Hand Clapping)
I dreamed I heard the song
That held the answer to these existential riddles
We've been throwing around
But it was done before I knew it
There was really nothing to it
It was stolen from A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

I'd like stay around and watch you grow
On the river
Like a willow
Holding together the ideal sublime
Symbolizing something

I'd like to stay around and watch you grow
On the river
Like a willow
But you stand like Gabriel on the banks
And point to me and say, "Hey, stranger, thanks for trying"

So see what divides
Hate and love
Take away this plate
I've had enough of both
So with sweet everyday language I say, "Enjoy the ride"

All I wanna do is forgive my enemies
For being around at the wrong time
"All I wanna do is baby be friends with you"
But not right now
Maybe someday when we're on our last legs

So maybe I'll give up this town
Maybe you should give up this town, too
We'll make for one of those places that's mentioned on the radio
Ireland or Mexico, Montreal or San Francisco
Track Name: A Confession
Down by the man-made river
You played with fox tails and I was a swimmer
You were not afraid of me
You were not afraid of me
Cause I had nothing
I had nothing
To hide

I dived in backwards cause I knew how
You would pull me out by the feet and give me a towel
Nothing is a game to you
Nothing is a game to you
Cause I've got nothing
And you've got everything
To lose

I sat across from you in the cold white light
How the hell'd you ever learn to feel at home in this life?
If you were an artist, I would feel your angst
If you were an artist, I would feel your angst
But you are just a dreamer
And dreams don't pull you
Dreams don't pull you out
Track Name: Nick Drake
I used to be a radio
I buzzed all day
I didn't say nothing
Made minimum wage, but that's okay
Living for the moment sometimes turns out that way

It wasn't the best of times
It wasn't the worst of times
It wasn't the best of times
It wasn't the worst of times
It wasn't the best of times
It wasn't the worst of times
It wasn't the best of times
It wasn't the worst of times
It just made life a little distant for a while

I used to listen to
Nick Drake in the morning in July
It was an exercise in being one with time
Wishing every damn bird in the country was mine

What's the point of living
Simply
THC and nicotine
Anti-depressants and sunbeams
Which will I go for?
Which will I?

Time has told me to stand by your side
But I better learn to trust the things said by time

You gave up the ghost in seventy-five
While lights were moving in the northern sky

So in order to keep the spirit alive
Put on your sweater, let's go for a drive

You hopeless romantic, the old fashioned kind
A troubled cure for a troubled mind
Track Name: Colleen
The fragrance of your rain-soaked denim still travels
Over the arms of the leather-bound chair
I'll just sit here in your thought-storm
The bus is late so I've got time to spare
All in a night's hard tumble

Let me buy the song & I'll let you buy the gin
The perverts at the bar stools have all gone home
Maybe Colleen thinks just like I do
"Nothing worth doing is worth doing alone"
I confess by subtraction

Hallelujah! We've learned how to live
By pissing out our better gifts away off stage
Hold on! My language is a rope
And if you don't believe I'll save ya
At least believe I'll never be your enemy
And I just can't explain why I am so in love

To be 23 in 2016
Consulting apparitions that can tell no truth
Anyway, my heart's content to never buy and always rent
I can see a pattern to my youth
Darling, we are birds of a feather

So it's getting late and the sky is falling
Round & round goes the queen of cups
Maybe Colleen thinks just like I do
Nothing is everything and everything is not
Forgive my sarcasm

Hallelujah! We've learned how to live
By pissing out our better gifts away off stage
Hold on! My language is a rope
And if you don't believe I'll save ya
At least believe I'll never be your enemy
And I just can't explain why I am so in love
And I just don't know what I'm gonna do when the sun comes
Track Name: That Poet of Mine
That poet of mine
That poet of mine

Sits in the kitchen and stares at the wall
He gets that way when he can't write at all
That poet of mine
That poet of mine

But just between you and I
I worry about his head sometimes
That poet of mine
That poet of mine

Sometimes he turns away from the wall
And calls me things I don't like to be called
That poet of mine
That poet of mine

Says this house is trifle, even at best
Daily life is just prolonged death
That poet of mine
That poet of mine

That poet of mine skims the Bible in bed
I feel like the target of the things he says
That poet of mine
That poet of mine

Says beauty is everything, God is dead
Can you get that through your atheist head?
That poet of mine
That poet of mine

That poet of mine says nice things sometimes
Our souls have touched and now we are entwined
We don't need money and we don't need shelter
Cause we have horizons and we've got each other

I said
Do you really believe that, cause I don't think I do
I've got enough troubles without listening to you
I'm a little afraid of the things we are becoming
If there's no God to run from, then why the hell are we running?
Track Name: Lionel and Jane
Did you hear about the last wolf of the pack?
She strolled into town with a child on her back

Did you hear about the last wolf of the pack?
She strolled into town with a child on her back


How we knew that the beast was tame
We reached out our hand and we called her Jane

Tears were rollin' from the eyes of that child
We reached out our hand and we called him Lionel


There is a spirit and none can hear it
I guess we better leave it alone

There is a spirit and none can hear it
I guess we better leave it alone
Track Name: For a Swarm of Bees
For a swarm of bees or a jar of golden honey
The economics of your teeth are leaving you cunning
You go chasing them but I don't want to
I love you but I don't love the things you do

Like a swarm of bees do I curse this city
Even though the citadel and the marketplace are pretty
You go chasing them but I don't want to
I just can't think in this vacuum

So I go out
And I watch the falling sky
Stoned out of my mind
You go chasing it but I don't want to
I trust you but I don't trust the things you do
What to do?
Track Name: I Went to Feed the Mocking Birds
I went to feed the mocking birds
Handfuls of yellow seed
I watched 'em eat in peace
You know I haven't heard
Nothing so sweet as the sound of the mockingbirds
Nothing so sweet as the sound of the mockingbirds

I went to see the owl's den
So far from Edmonton
Stayed up all night and
When I left I know not when
There is no time kept in the owl's den
There is no time kept in the owl's den
But goodbye my friends until we meet again
Goodbye my friends until we meet again

So by and by I knit a pair of wings
I flew with the seagulls and they taught me how to sing
"Owwhaha!"
Track Name: The Song of Wandering Aengus
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
Track Name: The Dove and the Ox
I keep a little part of you with me
Like dirt deposited on the side of a stream
Like broken down cars on a dark highway
My flightless dove, you are here to stay

We're bound together I do believe
This station does not fit comfortably
No use flying on a restless wing
My flightless, you're the beginning

I used to be a good old fashioned sailor
I lived for nothing else than to keep my life in danger
Drunk and innocent at sea
My flightless dove, you're calling me


In this frozen town there is no food to eat
Winter comes and sends me a shiver that could break my knees
Each to their own, no use crying
She came from the rocks with all the shadows, hiding
The heart of a woman is the same of a man
But all this blame comes down like rain
There is no safety in the shade
This is the imitation of love, my friend
"My friend," she said, "I cannot love you again
Not for all the money in the world"
The heart of a boy is the same as the heart of a girl


The clouds are comin'
The clouds are comin'
The clouds are comin' in
The clouds are rollin'
The clouds are upon us
In the shape of a dove and an ox
Track Name: I Wish My Little Angel Would Come Home
I wish my little angel would come home
He left my nest deserted and sadness in my bones
Like a government without a law
Like a river with no stones
I wish my little angel would come home

I don't understand why he would rather be
Living in Vancouver instead of here with me
Like a coin without a queen
Like a fiddle with no bow
I wish my little angel would come home

Yesterday I woke up, I heard the news
You're settled in your new ways and your peers and being kind to you
I smiled when I realized that all the stars aligned for you
But I believe I'll sleep for a thousand years
Track Name: Marriage!
There was a time when I didn't have time for you
It must have been ignorance, what else could make me blind to you?
With an eye on the pavement and an ear on the gate
Where the dogs make sounds like elephants inquiring who is late

Well, God can make clouds that are bigger than God, it's true
But we're lonely as ever
And I still don't have time for you

Allow me to indulge my sense of calamity
'Cause I was born in a winter storm and you were born after me
In some old house where the communist cuts down his favorite tree

If we've got any love left, give yours to me
And I'll give mine to you

Let's get married in the winter when nothing can go wrong
Let's get married in the north where days are short and nights are long
Let's get married in the winter when nothing can go wrong

And then one day we'll realize what's true
Is that we're bored of everything
Let's go
Track Name: Autobiography
I don't wanna earn a living splitting logs
I was designed for dottin' the I's
But you won't find me givin' my time to an endless cause

The water is wide and I can't cross over
The water is wide and I can't cross over
But I'd rather enjoy the splash

Every month I watch for the full moon to come
They say it's a cure for somethin', but I don't know what
A friend and I, we once decided that there's a man up there on two wheels, ridin'

The remedy for homesickness is to not have a home
The remedy for homesickness is to not have a home
But just keep on ridin'

I think I'll put the rest of my luck in luck
Find employment in the sky
I think I'll put the rest of my luck in luck
Find employment in the sky
Like a duck

Think I'll buy a dead man's property
Convert it to a cozy little B'n'B
In a foreign country
Learn the language properly
All my friends would come to visit me
Wouldn't that be nice?
Don't be a stranger
Don't be a stranger
Don't be a stranger
Don't be a stranger
Don't be a stranger
Track Name: There Might Be a Way to Say Something
All the things we're given
Now and then they brighten
Sparrows in the spruce trees listen
'Cause there might be a way to say something

Biological rhythm
Bound to the raspberry bush
By invisible strings
And there might be a way to say something

Promenade with a brush
Tune your violins
Hands in pockets if you must
But there be a way to say something

Mild Swedish summers
Out on the edge of the sun
Seven sad birds take wing
'Cause there might be a way to say something

Trust in the wilderness
Account for the life you've missed
But don't leave here without thinking
There might be a way to say something

The road itself is manna
And though it runs in wings
I would rather be hitchhiking
'Cause there might be a way to say something
Track Name: Sleeping in a Forest
A voice came from heaven
It was not unwelcome
Not especially cold or confusing:
"Rest your sleepy little head in the garden
Evermore make beautiful music"

In the beginning we gained from our toiling
Optimistically we planted
Dazzled by the sound of the tambourine raindrops
'Til we were forested 'round by them saplings

In the beginning we were madly in love
Madly in love with the madliest madness!
I thought of you as a spout of good fortune
Useless but sold as a remedy for boredom

Do you recall how the wind itself was witness
When you finally broke down and cried in the forest?
Oh, that sound can be awfully frightening
Branches careening
Weeping like lightning

Oh, my friend
Look at me
I told you I would never let these thoughts choke ya
I will console you with beautiful music
You still care for music, don't ya?
Track Name: There is a Spirit
There is a lake
There is an island
Where all the real philosophers make fire in the head
And there is a cause
And there is a reason
And there is a spirit
And there is a season to every purpose under
Turn turn turn
Turn turn turn

I still do love ya
I still do love you
I still do love ya
I still do love you
I still do love ya
I still do love you

I'm am not easy to please
But if you mean what I think you mean
That's good enough for me