About this track

“Without Nothing” marks the first time I hinged a song on a half-step bass line, but it’s “Our Best Wasn’t Enough” that made it on an album first.

In the case of “Without Nothing”, I wanted to hint at a Phyrgian mode, using C-minor and D-flat major chords. The melody, though, is entirely diatonic, so the song is pretty much in the key of A-flat, starting on the vi chord.

Yes, I’m terribly analytical when it comes to writing music.

The opening piano riff was the first thing I sketched back in 1998, and it pretty remained as such till 2005. Back then, I didn’t really know what to do with it. Things started to fall into place as I built tracks around the chord progression, and I realized the song was further along than I thought. That’s happened a lot with the tracks on this album.

I dragged my feet with the lyrics. The bulk of the lyrics on Restraint were done in marathon sessions, and I usually took the first thing I wrote down. How well these words fit the music is anyone’s guess. I’ve just gotten accustomed to hearing them with the music.

I can’t say exactly what this song is about because I wasn’t consciously going for a particular theme. I just wrote the first line — as usual — then let the other lines follow. So read into it what you like.

Lyrics

I remember all the things you told me
I remember all the things you did
How can I remember all the things that you want me to do?

I believed that you could walk on water
I believed that you could raise the dead
How can I believe the things you promise will work in the end?
I just know ...

It's the one thing I've been waiting for all my life
It means nothing without you to make it right

I remember all the times I wanted
Something in me to change overnight
I accept that it could never happen and I don't blame you

I believe you cannot walk on water
I believe you cannot raise the dead
I don't believe that you could never change what is done in the end
I just know ...

It's the one thing I've been waiting for all my life
It means nothing without you to make it right
Give me something to remind me how it could be
Without nothing I could never learn to be free

It's the one thing I've been waiting for all my life
It means nothing without you to make it right
Give me something to remind me how it could be
Without nothing I could never learn to be free

Credits

  • Produced and engineered by Greg Bueno
  • Recorded in the Closet, 2005-2011, Austin, TX and the Closet West 2013, Seattle, WA
  • Photography by Lauren Tarbel
  • Cover design by Greg Bueno
  • Published by Shinkyoku Advocacy (ASCAP)
  • Thanks to Lauren Tarbel and James R. McGirr

[Restraint]

  • Release date: October 08, 2013

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