The Long Way Back

A loose collection of songs that were written between 2020 and 2022, mostly during the depths of the COVID pandemic.

About This Compilation

"The Long Way Back" is a loose collection of odds and ends, songs that I've written and recorded between 2020-2022. I've held onto most of these songs, keeping them in the safe hollow of my data storage, not really sure what to do with them. After some back and forth, I decided to put them out in this Compilation format. Although the subject matter of some of these songs may seem cyclic and repetive (a good measure for my own state of mind during those years), they don't actually "belong together", or fit into a larger overarching narrative or project.
I've derived the name of this compilation from what the last three or so years have been for me: a long struggle back to a sense of purpose and normalcy. The isolation and aimlessness of the pandemic made most of us have to face some of the obstacles that we'd been pushing around with us for a while, no longer safely hidden behind the din and turmoil of the day-to-day. This compilation is (part of) my baggage.
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Just a short instrumental track of my pretending to know how Math Rock works.
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In Circles

This was a bit of a "meta" song initially: I grew upset with how cyclic my songwriting had gotten. I would just always end up in roughly the same spot with most of the lyrics I came up with. Of course, with a bitter sense of irony, this song also ended up going back to the same sort of subject matter that I tried to avoid writing about. Finally finishing this song, however, did allow me to move on. So it did its job, I guess.
Look who's here again
At the end of all roads
How did we end up back here
I guess all of this is your fault
And I'm all out of damns to give
The how, the where, the when and the why
Don't bother me anymore
Only one doubt remains,
So please tell me:
Was it all worth it?
Was it all worth it?
Tell me, was it all worth it?
Yeah, was it all worth it?
I'd really like to know

And we're back at the start
At the end of all lies
Everything looks the same
I'm not sure we ever got out
They say the Third Time's the charm
But two chances is all you'll get
Trust me, I've seen to that
All of your worries
And all of your dreams will
At last be laid to rest
At last be laid to rest
You will at last be laid to rest
Yeah, at last be laid to rest
And don't you dare haunt me

I never want to see you again
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A song about defiance.
Please don't claim that you broke me
'cause I was never quite whole
It all was clear from the outset
I was cracked from the get-go
And now you're fumbling for words
To excuse your bad behaviour
In front of everyone else
But I see through you now

Cut away all your heartstrings
Drop them into the pit
This is betweenland
You cannot reach me here
I'll hide as long as I can

Don't say that I didn't warn you
You were never meant to get quite this close
I should have stopped you much sooner
Now, see what a mess you made
And now you're grasping for straws
Some little thing to hold on to
But it's gone far from your reach
'cause you have fallen too far

Throw away all you stood for
All your false hopes and dreams
This is tomorrowland
You won't be welcome here
We have no space for your spite

You could never have hurt me
I can't feel anything now
My wounds have never stopped bleeding
And now you find that you're just the same
And you've run all out of lies
The only thing left to say is the Truth
Which you will never speak

So my secrets are safe with you

Undo all of your sins
Rip out all of the hooks
This is yesterdayland
You never have been here
And I forgot who you were

Please don't claim that I broke you
'cause you were never quite whole
We were both lost from the start
So we might as well make the best of it

And soon you'll come to realize
That nothing ever stays the same
When the dam breaks, change comes raining down
In a landslide that'll bury you whole
And I think it's already rolling in

I think you'd better start running
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With Hollow Eyes

A song about wanting to help someone else with reckless disrespect for yourself.
Break free from your shackles
That you put yourself in
The key's in your backpocket
I know, I put it there myself
And once your restraints are all gone
I can show you the way out
But you'll have to walk on your own right
'cause I have gotten too weak
And once all this is over
I hope you can smile once again
But there are things that you can't fix
So you'll have to learn to move on

Time will heal all wounds
Silver scars on your skin
Think of them as a keepsake
To remind you of your past
But keep your eyes ever forward
Now there's no point looking back
And keep on walking toward the light
Leave me behind in the dark
Should you ever think of me
I hope it brings you no pain
I only wanted to help you
But even helping hands can do harm

I know that you know
That nothing ever made sense
It seemed a useless endeavour
Doomed to fail to from the start
But anything that's worth trying
Is worth the pain it might bring
'Cause rivers never stop flowing
They just keep marching on
And you know that I know
Your wings can never be tied down
So you'll take to the blue skies
While I bury myself in the ground
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Four Blinks (A Wizard Shrimp)

A non-sensical song about the ever-elusive Wizard Shrimp. A powerful creature of fiction, courtesy of the Bad Music Scene.
The very first time I opened my eyes
There was a bright, dazzling light
High up on the ceiling
It shone in warm hues
Casting soft shadows on the wall behind my bed

I blinked, and everything changed

The second time my eyes fluttered open
There was a large, empty room
With walls, white like snow
Windows like eyes
Doors, open hungry maws, waiting to take me in

I blinked, and nothing ever was the same again

The third time I was able to see
All the walls had tumbled down
And beyond them lay a vast ocean
Foamy waves crashing into the sand
The air was fresh, and I felt a steady breeze

I blinked, and the wind grew into a storm

Vision returned for a fourth time
But stormy winds make for teary eyes
Through the haze I saw a creature
Beckoning me to join their fight
The creature was pink, shining brightly
It wore a hat and looked quite wise
Again it spoke: "join me my dear friend"
I'll show you the magic of life
I tried to decline in graceful manner
Said: There's so much more here I need to see
But Wizard Shrimp took my hand and chuckled
"Come along, what you know you can't fear"

Take me away, Wizard Shrimp
Take Me Away From Here
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Another song about defiance.
Hush Now
Please don't make a sound
Quiet, please
You're being too loud
Don't ask questions
You don't want an answer to
Keep your head down
Eyes firmly fixed at your shoes
And please make no trouble
You are burden enough
Just stay still and
We won't be too rough

But I was never
One to back down and hide
You'll see me grinning
In the darkest of nights
And now I will haunt you
For the rest of your days
You are finally given
All the attention you crave
And when your life is run out
I will be waiting here for you
And we can finally start anew
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The Whispers of Trees

Do you ever wonder, what the trees talk about all day?
Leaves, watch them drift to the ground
See them scatter and tumble
Borne away by the wind

Dreams, watch them flutter and struggle
See them glow and pulsate
They're held back by the roots
Rising out of the earth

Watch the crumbling spires
See them all crashing down
Nothing can hold us back now
You won't drag us back down
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In Death, Our Body Feasts On Itself

A pretty morbid song that deals with the biology of what happens after we exit stage. The idea that our own body starts devouring itself once our consciousness has departed from it seemed ironic to me at the time of writing. Nowadays, I'd say it seems pretty par for the course.
At midnight, everyone's crying
At one o'clock, most go to bed
At two o'clock, some of us start dying
And at 3 AM, everyone's dead


These are the names of the enzymes
That'll pluck you apart from inside
And then your belly will start to swell up
From all the gas that forms as you putrefy
'cause in Death, our body feasts on itself
It's really the most natural thing
But by then you won't notice a damn thing
'cause you will no longer be in your skin

Yes, in Death, our body feasts on itself
It's not at all peculiar, my friend
And when it's all over
And nothing remains
You will have reached this path's end
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Hush (Acoustic)

A less brutal version of Hush.
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As We Know It

A song that started as an attempt to negotiate a collaboration that was never started. It ended up being an experiment of how many layers I can add before the noise claims all else.
Hello, again

It's been a long long time

Since you and I

First met on that summer night

How have you been
I hope you're doing fine
I'm not, no bother
I didn't mean to whine

And as we talk about the past few months
You say that you still think of me
Now I'm falling for you again
Maybe this time will be different
And I have come to appreciate
The freedom to do anything I want
And you still dislike not being in control
So let's keep it all as we know it

I know, you never
Meant any harm
It's not your fault
That I can't stand you anymore
Time has moved on
So why haven't we?
It's probably better
If we don't meet again

And as I pack my things you curse my name
You shout and break out into tears
Well, all of this seems quite familiar
Guess I'll see you in half a year
And I have come to appreciate
The freedom to do anything I want
And you still dislike not being in control
So let's keep it all as we know it

Keep it all as we know it
We'll leave them all behind
Our hopes were never cheerful
The sun's a bleak, cold light
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The Road Not Taken

"The Road Not Taken" is a poem written by Robert Frost in 1915. The words within always seemed to come back to haunt me, so I decided to put them to rest in form of a song.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
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You can listen to The Long Way Back on Bandcamp and on Youtube.