A Portrait Of Youthful Arrogance

by Noah Roth

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03:18
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03:43
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02:36
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03:15
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03:29
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04:06
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about

if you'll excuse my self-indulgence, i'd like to say a few brief words about this album, as it's a deeply personal piece of work. "a portrait of youthful arrogance" began as a continuation of "eyes wide open, staring at the sun," but slowly evolved into something else. though i wrote some songs from this record as far back as november 2015, the bulk of "portrait" was written between may and september of 2016: a period of time characterized by estrangement from my mother and my residency at a wilderness therapy facility in hawai'i. because of that, most of the songs on this record are, in some form or another, about coming to terms with my own shortcomings as well as those of my parents. in short, this album is about growing up, both as a person and as a musician; after winding up at a boarding school in new hampshire, i was forced to really hone my craft as a producer. it is for all these reasons that this album is equal parts my proudest and most expansive work to date, and is very challenging and rough around the edges. in short, i hope "portrait" means to you what it means to me, or at the very least that you enjoy it!

a long (and nowhere near exhaustive) list of people whose support, patience & generosity i am endlessly thankful for: asher white, andy white & shari joffe, anna & mari feuer, bette young, brian konik, brett wanner, brooke elkjer, david roth, evynne stitely, heidi meredith, hunter halsted, hunter spannaus, john kruth, katie uttal, kurt feuer, leor miller, mason hammond, mackenzie fay, betsy kane & micah weiss, miriam berne, patrick baranovskis, sadie anderson, sam kurzydlo, scott kallek, sessy nyman, seth andrew bearman, sofia jensen, stuart mckean, taran clammer, tess pretty, thomas wee, and you.

credits

released January 13, 2017

cover art by asher white.
all lyrics by noah roth.
all songs engineered by noah roth except track 10 engineered by asher white.
arranged, mixed, and mastered by noah roth & asher white.
all songs recorded from september-december 2016 in pike, new hampshire and evanston, illinois except track 4 partially recorded may 2016 in chicago, illinois and track 11 recorded april 2016 in evanston, illinois.
track 5 contains elements of "take five" by dave brubeck, and other field recordings dating back to 2013.
track 7 written by noah roth and seth andrew bearman.

noah roth - vocals (all), acoustic guitars (1-3, 6, 7, 9, 10), electric guitars (1-9, 11), bass guitar (1-8, 10) keyboards (1-8), drums (1-4, 6-9), controlled feedback/noise (5-7, 10), hand percussion (3, 9), sequencing (5), field recordings (5), piano (9), harmonica (10)

asher white - additional mixing/embellishment (all), keyboards (2, 10), piano (1, 3), hand percussion (1, 10), drums (1, 10), controlled feedback/noise (5,6)

kip macsai-goren - cello (1, 9)

sam garry - piano (5)

evynne stitely - piano (5)

tags

license

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about

Noah Roth Evanston, Illinois

I've been trying to find where I fit into this whole ugly mess of a world we live in since the day I was born. So far, I've found little to nothing, but I'm not giving up hope. My name is Noah, I'm 17 years-old, and I write songs. I also make experimental music under the name Anorak. Take your coat off, stay awhile. ... more

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Track Name: Standard Of Gold
standing at the threshold, pretending i'm fine
nodding off to the beat of crossing state lines
past the truck stops, through the valleys
now i'm counting the days, keeping tallies
diner booths and different routes
to a town on the border of new and old
searched chicago all the way to vermont
for the standard of gold.

at 4 am i reach my peak
of nostalgia, sadness and thinking of bleak
endings to the stories i write in my head
when i'm out all night instead of laying in bed
reinstatement of bad habits
the air fills with nicotine, though i swore i'd quit
throwing my belongings all over the floor
while i'm endlessly searching for
the standard of gold.

playing into preferences and preconceived notions
i swear this time i'm in control of my emotions
i swear i'm not just going through the motions

and i know myself
but not as well as
you know me
no, you can tell
when i hold my breath
and sit on the side
when i grit my teeth
and try to enjoy the ride
when i'm on my own
searching for all of the answers to my never-ending questions
and, most of all
the standard of gold
Track Name: Handlebars
hand me the keys to our brand-new apartment
i will strip the walls bare of posters and art
i will make mental notes, taking notice
of everything that makes this place ours
so i'll grip my handlebars just a little bit tighter
oh, you know i've always been a fighter
just don't push me over the edge
so i'll pedal just a little bit faster
it's the middle of may and it's freezing cold
but i haven't even begun to fold

finding my footing on the wall that i must climb
i've never known if these things are real or just in my mind
i hope some day to figure out
whether or not to take any of my issues seriously
so i'll grip my handlebars just a little bit tighter
oh, you know i've always been a fighter
just don't push me over the edge
so i'll pedal just a little bit faster
it's the middle of may and it's freezing cold
but i haven't even begun to fold

so i'll grip my handlebars just a little bit tighter
oh, you know i've always been a fighter
just don't push me over the edge
so i'll pedal just a little bit faster
it's the middle of may and it's freezing cold
but i haven't even begun to fold
Track Name: Progress
it's hard to believe where my steps always lead me
how did i end up here?
that's easy, just follow the trail of breadcrumbs
if it hasn't been eaten by birds
it's hard to give up on beautiful love
between beautiful people
you're not giving up; you're just closing the book
and putting it up on the shelf

and when you make progress, you'll see
how easy it is to be free

it's hard to get out of this dangerous route, oh
how can i hope to change?
just take it day by day, you might slip up
but if you're trying, you can never go wrong
it's hard to make sense when you're still on the fence
about every decision
just go with your gut and try not to get frustrated
when everything doesn't go right

and when you make progress, you'll see
how easy it is to be free
just close your eyes, put a smile on your face
and dance 'round the rooms of your brand new place

it's hard to give up on beautiful love
between beautiful people
you're not giving up; you're just closing the book
and putting it up on the shelf

and when you make progress, you'll see
how easy it is to be free
just close your eyes, put a smile on your face
and dance 'round the rooms of your brand new place
Track Name: Thorn In Your Side
sprawled out on the floor
never knowing what i'm looking for
i spent three long years looking for someone
didn't find anyone til i was done
i found you when i stopped looking

how do i tell her that i hear these voices?
and they try to make me make such awful choices
try not to let them control every thought
but it's easier when they're there than when they're not
i don't know where i'd be without them

i could be the thorn in your side
that you never stop picking at
but no matter how hard you try
you just can't seem to get it out

cutting ties
removing myself from this web of lies
i spent sixteen years fighting daily
at an uphill battle til my senses failed me
you know it breaks my heart to do this

i could be the thorn in your side
that you never stop picking at
but no matter how hard you try
you just can't seem to get it out
Track Name: The Highest Cloud
fill my head with buzz
remember to forget me
the next time my name comes up in conversation
shrug it off
it's all written right here in the book
it takes so much for me to look
past your age and attire
while we're off getting higher than
the highest cloud
is just made of cardboard
go on, take the set down
tell me what you're looking for
when you open up your eyes
you will be sorry that i ever came around

everything had changed
when you asked me what i wanted
i told you that i didn't know
but still, i made a promise:
that i'd never leave
oh, that was long ago
back when my love was all you needed
spanning all the way up to
the highest cloud
it's just made of cardboard
go on, take the set down
tell me what you're looking for
when you open up the door
you will be sorry that i ever came around
Track Name: Walking Home
stop the car, i'm walking home tonight
i don't wanna fight anymore
everyday i write the same three chords
with different voicings
major to minor
seventh to ninth
reinventing myself in the process

it's all the time we spent together
stacked up against the time we spent alone
i guess i'm walking home tonight

park your car
in my driveway, make sure you
don't understand a single word i say
cuz you know i've been lying this whole time
i'm sorry, i should get going
it's much too late for you to be expecting company
out of me
oh, believe me when i say i understand your pain
i've been through far too much of the same
and i don't much care for any of it

it's all the time we spent together
stacked up against the time we spent alone
i guess i'm walking home tonight
i guess i'm walking home alone again tonight

i guess i'm walking home tonight
Track Name: Box Of Toys
surrender to your system
let your educators say what is right for you
you will not fail to see the value in complacency;
if you do, forget about it

put your life into a box of toys
don't you dare make any noise
you can live honestly, or forget everything
and succeed.

don't be more than an object
numbers in a grid
you will not have any personality
when we are through with you, you will be smiling

put your life into a box of toys
don't you dare make any noise
you can live honestly, or forget everything
and succeed.
Track Name: Patterns & Paths
i'm always talking in circles, rearticulate the same points
spin around and around, again and again
did i repeat myself again?
oh, i'm sorry, must have been my subconscious
crying for help, louder and louder every time

i'm tracing patterns & paths
etched deep in my past
i don't know where i'm going
but i know where i've been

in spring i shaved my head
to raise my spirits from the dead
rock bottom they'd reached
as of recent
and i'd begun to see events
in a very different way
the quiet peace had grown upon me
like a shadow through the day

i'm tracing patterns & paths
etched deep in my past
i don't know where i'm going
but i know where i've been

the scene on the bridge, the cigarette in your lips
painted a portrait of youthful arrogance
and i've come to find, when left alone with my mind
i start to lose all of my sense of control

i'm tracing patterns & paths
etched deep in my past
i don't know where i'm going
but i know where i've been
Track Name: Paolo Said
hand me the keys to our brand new apartment
i will strip the walls bare of posters and art
i will make mental notes, taking notice of everything
that makes this place ours.
and either you've got it or you've lost it
and i was afraid i'd lost it for a second there
every time i tried to stare myself right in the face
i couldn't get a word down on the page.

but paolo said to me,
he said that everyone who loves you
they will always wish you well
they'll stay by your side through heaven and through hell.

it was raining in hawaii on a june afternoon
and i'd been sitting under a poorly constructed roof
with a heavy heart, thinking about you
what i might have missed in the eighteen days that i'd been gone

but paolo said to me,
he said that everyone who loves you
they will always wish you well
they'll stay by your side through heaven and through hell.
Track Name: The Past
present in the moment
my fate has not been spoken for
meanwhile, collecting interest on my loan
a distant conversation
a different house, a different bed
expecting me to show just how i've grown.

and it's okay to make repeated folly
you just can't hear me calling yet

so i'll tell myself a brand new story
forget the old, cause it got boring
i can't believe how long it's been since i
got hung up on the past

rewrite every sentence i've written
every thought i've had
while you're sitting in the corner
all alone
reconsider
every belief i've held
but don't take any time for grief

and it's okay to question yourself
just take everything you own off my shelf

so i'll tell myself a brand new story
forget the old, cause it got boring
i can't believe how long it's been since i
got hung up on the past

and it's okay to make repeated folly
you just can't hear me calling yet

so i'll tell myself a brand new story
forget the old, cause it got boring
i can't believe how long it's been since i
got hung up on the past
Track Name: Spring Break, 2016
i would have typed out the lyrics to this but in all honesty they were mostly ad-libbed and i don't remember them. sry <3