hands crossed above head

by Calvin Thrall

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written and recorded in various places throughout my freshman year, using iphone voice memo technology.


released May 25, 2014

thanks to julia jaspers for the album art, and to will scheirer and connor o'neill for starring in it.

thanks to ben gibbard for writing steadier footing, although i'm sad i didn't write it first.

thanks to andrew griffin for being a big cutie and just generally being my muse.

thanks to auguste rodin for providing an album title, rest in peace.

thanks to everyone i've met in the past year, you're all part of this and this is about you. thanks philly. peace.



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Calvin Thrall Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

writing songs to look into the future with a mix of bashful hopefulness and unmitigated terror to.

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Track Name: stare decisis (et non quieta movere)
you said to me: “that’s just the way i am”
"my flaws were pre-programmed for me”
“self-improvement is a scary thing so i won’t try it”
“how dare you accuse me of apathy?”

stare decisis, you just choose to let it stand

acting on precedent ’til things get out of hand, and then you wonder…

your face gets redder and you cross your arms
your chest is puffed out like a shield
if you’re not moving forward, you’re just stalling
or worse, you’re sleeping at the wheel

stare decisis, you just choose to let it stand

acting on precedent, now things are out of hand, sometimes i wonder…
Track Name: dogs on campus
when you told me what had happened
i felt guilty for how bad i felt,
but i kept my composure

i typed out that awful message:
“oh my god what can i do to help?”
but then i thought it over, and you know

it’s not my place, it’s not my place,
i can’t say shit to fill the space,
and you know me, i only shut up when i have to

it’s not my place, it’s not my place,
but it still keeps me awake
just knowing that, some things collapse, before they’re meant to

you’ve built up your stoicism,
so tall that nobody dares to climb
and i hope it’s enough for you

but if the stiffness of your upper
lip falls into jeopardy i hope
you know that there’s a lot of love for you out there

all i ever heard was just an echo of
a life i never knew,
but that part doesn’t matter

and as we sat there in that holy room
his echo grew to be so loud,
it could have made the windows shatter but you know

it’s not my place, it’s not my place
i can’t say shit, but i will stay
and you know me, i can be stubborn if i need to

it’s not my place, it’s not my place
i never even met his gaze
and we all only get one set of eyes to see through
Track Name: internal trade barriers
the plan was just to go get coffee
i grabbed my shit, started the car
i picked her up, we started talking
she seemed intelligent and really nice so far

but i know that her strike won’t shatter
the barrier i built so many years ago
and so i’ve got nothing to do here
but listen to her talk, and drink my coffee slow

cause i will never love her
i will never love her, no
i don’t have too much air left
love’s a depth i cannot go

i use a quarter of my pillow
i like to sleep on the right half of my bed
i’d like for her to take the other
but that won’t happen, so i’ll drive her home instead

and muscles you don’t use get weaker
that might explain all of my failures to connect
but you can’t say that i’m not trying
i’m only trying cuz i know how good it gets

but i will never love her
i will never love her no
we’ll never be together
you and i will never grow
Track Name: steadier footing (death cab cover)
It's gotten late and now I want to be alone
All of our friends were here, they all have gone home
And here I sit on the front porch watching the drunks stumble forth into the night

"You gave me a heart attack, I did not see you there.
I thought you had disappeared so early away from here."

And this is the chance I never got to make a move.
But we just talk about the people we've met in the last 5 years.
And will remember them in ten more?
I let you bum a smoke, you quit this winter past.
I've tried twice before but like this, it just will not last.
Track Name: new jersey isn't all bad
the bed’s on the floor
my best friends are here, i don’t think i could want more
and all i can say is “jesus christ, what a year”

we lost and we gained
but the bonds that we made took the edge off the pain
we made it through this one, so here’s to the next.