What's The Story With This Hole?

by Craig Hallsworth

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about

With over 30 years of songwriting experience under his belt, Craig Hallsworth makes What’s The Story With This Hole? feel effortless yet boundless. Recorded and produced with long-time collaborator Al Smith (DrAlienSmith, Bergerk Studios), the album represents the most musically developed and fully realised recording the pair have delivered to date. On the surface, these are perfectly composed and innately melodic pop/rock songs, with Hallsworth’s guitars alternately shimmering and snarling around his unmistakably keening vocals. The real magic, however, lies a little concealed; songs often end up somewhere very different from where they started, and Hallsworth’s often surreal lyrical excursions act in striking counterpoint to the music.

It’s this juxtaposition that makes What’s The Story With This Hole? so special – musically rich and familiar sounds taken into unrelated narrative territories. In Hallsworth’s own words, “To me, the mysterious undecidability in the words plays a crucial part in the overall experience of the songs, making them events of sense and sensation. It isn’t so much that I consider the lyrics to be poetry, but I think a sense of poetry would be useful in approaching these songs.”

“Craig Hallsworth knows his way around a tune with this set of sparkling power-pop, set with a country twang and cosmic touch” – 2ser on Tangled Star’s album Let’s Adjourn to the Garden

credits

released October 24, 2016

Recording, mixing and programming:
Al Smith at Bergerk!
Mastering: Simon Struthers at Forensic
Sleeve art: Stuart Medley

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about

Craig Hallsworth Perth, Australia

Craig Hallsworth attempts to resingularise, for himself, the experience of a rock or pop song. He doesn’t approach it from the outside, in terms of styles or genres, but from the inside, as a field of affects and intensities. For him, songs are about the desire to play guitars and drums and to sing, expressing the poetry, humour and absurdity of a person finding themselves in this situation. ... more

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Track Name: Your Kind In The World
I stopped believing
There were your kind in the world
I struck a match in the dark
I cupped the tiny flame
I had a feeling
I didn’t know its name

I saw an electric guitar
Leaning against an amplifier
I saw strange drawings and scribble
All over the wall
I saw the carpet crawl
How would I ever find my way
Out of that wilderness?

We were born
To forget the splendour, I guess
And like the drums
We need the emptiness
That doesn’t mean we won’t be vouchsafed a sign
Or handed a line …

As if we’d never heard it once before …
As if we’d never heard it somewhere before …

I stopped believing
There were your kind in the world …

Now most of the gear’s been stolen
Lost or pawned
Another day has dawned
And what a marvel is modern man
Track Name: Everyday Ghost Song
And with every little thing we say and do
We’re taking sides with them
Against me and you
And when we think we’re just living
Somehow we’re doing their killing for them

We’re like faces at the window
Smiling with the eyes crossed out
They see us in their dreams
Faces at the window
While they dream …

And when they get up and walk down the hall
It’s all happening in someone’s head
They have a concept and we inhabit it
Like a silver orb by the bed

Sometimes they seem dead to the world
But they just want us to try to run away
How could something beautiful have left such a stain?
Is there no escaping this refrain
For the disembodied voices singing?

It’s just another everyday ghost song
So sing along
It’s an everyday ghost song …

Everyday ghost song …
Everyday …
Everyday …
Track Name: BYO Apocalypse
Come on, son, you have to get up with the sun
Shrug your shoulders before day is done

The night air belongs to cicadas
The heart belongs to its invaders

Come on, son, you have to keep up with the sun
Roll your eyes before the day is done

It’s only a sense of foreboding
It’s not the whole world exploding

Come on, son, you have to go down with the sun
Meet a strange fate when the day is done

A new dawn will break when it’s over
Clean and clear-eyed and sober

It’s over
How do you know when you’re sober?
How do you know when you’re sober? …

I’ve heard there’s a beautiful light
Wait – no, I was thinking of that other thing
We never had this conversation

What becomes of an agile mind?
How is it the empty circle is spilled?
Just a stray, sniffing at a proffered finger

One thing matters, one thing is real
It was there a minute ago
Reflecting a spiritual stagnation

Now we’re standing here face to face
A smazy dusk bestowing its grace
We’re not having this conversation

One thing is boredom, one thing is confusion
Two can contuse wrestling an illusion
Oh baby, baby, baby

Put it down to planetary rotation
The stairway to self-abnegation
The scream of the flying crustacean
Oh baby, baby, baby …



I walked alone
I froze and burned
I slept alone
I froze and burned
I woke alone
I had returned
I’m not alone
I have returned
Track Name: We’re Too Far Away (My Other Future, My Other Youth)
To be here, a distant dream
So you have to wave and scream
Is someone breathing in the hall?
Is someone walking through a wall?
Was someone carried by the crowd
Worshipping a burning cloud?

But I’ve got time for mysteries
Still, they perish on the window sill
Where do you go everyday?

The skies at night are my other future
The streets at night are my other youth
Your sweet face is my other zero
Your lost lover is my other hero
Your treachery is my other truth …

This treachery is my other truth …

It’s a kind of winnowing
The molecules begin to sing

Before you disappear again
I realise you were also my friend

Wish there were something I could take
A blue planet for a minor ache
Or a blue planet for a minor ache

A word for such astonishment:
A hangover
This space for rent
Who are you when you’re at home anyway?

This Mexican Fender is my other guitar
I’m bleeding now from the other side
We’d live again if we could only get there

This vortex is my usual weekend
It’s patrolled by an unmanned drone
Are we blind, are we all alone?
Are we statues, are we made of stone?
Or are we statues, are we made of stone?

We see the light but we’re too far away
We can see the light but we’re too far away …

We’re too far away …
Track Name: The Sphinx Is Working For The CIA
Then I say, “Pretty speeches are not my thing -
Just give me noisy air-conditioning”
They’ve got headphones on
In a van in the street below
Is it only that I’m programmed to show
My humanity in the lurid blue glow
Of a digital clock by the bed
In a room with a seascape print?
Fuck off imperialist scum
But they don’t understand
You’ve got to give them a hint
Was there any news today?

The Sphinx is working for the CIA
The Sphinx is working for the CIA
Don’t waste water, and put your pistol away
I thought she said the Sphinx is working for the CIA
Turn out the lights, and throw your garbage away
Don’t you know the Sphinx is working for the CIA?
The Sphinx is working for the CIA …

Days gallop into the night
Blood drips out of a stone
Turtles swim in the sky
Our two lovers are not alone
‘Cause they have each other to live for
In this overcrowded place …

I forgot the question
But what if the answer’s an amateur from outer space?
We arrived before dawn
At Judges Bay Road
And let ourselves in
You might be surprised to learn
The door was unlocked
But we left straightaway
A man on a bench raised an eyebrow
A tree on a hill looked as though it were where it was meant to be
It was a blissful tree

I confess I put on your glasses for fun
And then while I was at it I read a poem
It located my soul like a water-colour x-ray
Crashed into my mind like some kamikaze butterfly
Ah, that’s why
That’s why
That’s why
That’s why …
Track Name: The Road Doesn't Lead To The Tower
Poseidon’s daughter came to bring the things I’d lost back to me
When I was down and out sunbathing in a cemetery by the sea

Oh the road didn’t lead to the tower
Or whatever it was I could see in the distance
You could say it was paved with shattered illusions
And that I never saved anything for a rainy day
And now it’s a rainy day

I had a dream – I was busking
And someone was shouting, “You’ll never be Craig Hallsworth!”
To which I replied, “Hey, I’m pretty sure
I’m blowing him out of the water!”

Oh the rose that is a rose that is just a pose
Struck in the twilight – that’s the way it goes
You’re making it up as you walk along
And it becomes your song
Even though you don’t belong, it becomes your song

How does it feel to arrive
And be so empty and alive?
The world’s wearing a transfigured face
Every raindrop’s falling into place
Standing in those worn out shoes
Far from the land of rave reviews
And all that stuff that leaves you cold …

Oh because the road doesn’t lead to the tower
Or whatever it is you can see in the distance
Sometimes it’s a steep learning curve
So you can fall down and weep
Or you can just go on your nerve
As the poet said, you just go on your nerve

The road doesn’t lead to the tower
Or whatever it is you can see in the distance
They say it’s the irritating insistence
That accretes the pearl
Track Name: Sunlight #1: Toxic Affirmation
I couldn’t comprehend what I was seeing
It was some kind of message of love
From a golden being
That appeared to me

And when I woke up I was bruised and bleeding
Sometimes you wonder about the life you’re leading
Why don’t you fly away, bird?
Or haven’t you heard
You can defy irony?

Stardust on your wing
And an eternal tinge to your eye
Losing everything but getting to keep the handle
It’s not nothing to hold on to

I stole a stethoscope to try to locate the beat
I called an ambulance because I had cold feet
Yeah, imagine how the poets feel
Competing with a helpless squeal in the night

Everybody’s investing in some fantastic plight
Who could be happy lying wiggling their toes in the sunlight?
Hello, is anybody home?

I don’t know, you go for a walk
In a lonely field
And you get a reputation
Step inside, the door’s wide open
And your fate is sealed
But there’s still time for one more toxic affirmation …

Everybody’s investing in some fantastic plight
Who could be happy lying wiggling their toes in the sunlight?
Imagine how the poets feel, competing with a helpless squeal in the night
Who could be happy lying wiggling their toes in the sunlight?

In the sunlight
In the sunlight
In the sunlight …
Track Name: Ambrosial Friend
If I were alone on a desert island
And all I had to listen to was this
I’d throw it in the sea
I’d throw it in the sea
I’d throw it in the sea

It’s just our destiny
To be the Great Amnesiacs
It’s not enough that everything began
Way back when
It must begin again

Michael howl the execrations
Sister help to fuck shit up
Can you hear your own footsteps?
Can you hear your own footsteps?
Can you hear your own footsteps?

Tonight I watched the eighth best film of all time
I toughed it out ‘til I woke to find
It’s an amazing world
Oh, it’s okay
I love you, anyway

And I’m happy to meet your ambrosial friend
But I’m sorry to meet this prosaic end
Wandering through these factories and mines
Laughing at the working man
Laughing at the working man
Laughing at the working man

What are you gonna do?

Take a drive to Stony Batter
Just give up and turn around
Who killed your summer day?
Who killed your summer day?
Who stole your summer days?

Sometimes it seems to me that natural spontaneity is the Devil
Then he’s in the phrasing, in the mannered style
Listen, you can hear him smile

Then she pulled out a cell phone
Held together with elastic bands
Track Name: Jonah, He Lived In A Micro-Apartment
Jonah, he lived in a micro-apartment
And he came up with a theory
About fish being addicted to alcohol
But he had no way to prove it

He used to get up at dawn and go walking
Down by the sea
He would watch the waves rolling in
Thinking, “Whatever happened to me?
Am I the only one with a sense of mystery?

All I ever seem to hear
Are fools lamenting all the foolishness in the world
Then one morning he was passing a newsstand
And in the photo of some American rock band
He saw himself with a guitar and long blond hair
And all he could do was stand and stare …

There’s someone in the crowd tonight
So far away, but suddenly the end is in sight
She’s carrying a Saga Stone in a bloodied scarf
Held to her right ear
Because there’s something she wants to know
Because there’s something she wants to know …

It’s better to start out
One fine day
And be overtaken

Who are you truly?
And what will you show me?
Lonelier than a sign

Amid all the scratching
And clawing at life
Here comes that frail chance
Here comes that frail chance

But what if you’ve crushed
Your spirit guide
Like a bug, accidentally?

If no one is watching this
I’ll turn it off
It’s a waste of electricity



They’re strolling backwards
Along the beach
The low sun slowly climbing

Wearing a kimono
As if she were real
Pouring green tea with roasted rice

They made love in the afternoon
And slept while a vine
Grew in through the window