Give Up? Look Up.

by Racemates

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05:15

about

This is our first full length album, which has songs tied together by four-part vocal harmonies and classically-inspired instrumentation. Our influences include the balanced style of Coldplay, the folk-flavoured sound of Mumford and Sons, the complex vocal harmonies of Delta Rae, classically-inspired instrumentation of Muse, the atmospheres of Bon Iver, and the upbeat harmonies of Arcade Fire.

The title, “Give Up? Look Up.” and the artwork represent the moment in which things are the hardest, but finding hope through the support of friends and the small pleasures of the world. This album is about accepting vulnerability and opening oneself to others.

The first lyric in the album is “Look up, my friend, past the light at the end.” We tend to talk about lights at the ends of tunnels for those who are in trouble. Even if the light isn’t there yet, we can’t give up, we have to look forward anyway. Sometimes things don’t look like they will get better, and it is okay to pause and take your time. Getting to the end is difficult, but it’s not the end goal because we always have to keep going.

credits

released 20 April 2015

All songs written and recorded by Racemates (Adhar Maheshwari, Ruici Ong, Elizabeth Onstwedder, and Julian Xie)
Marco Polo and Still Life feature Maryann Verghese and Spencer Woody
Artwork: Rebecca Lai, Elizabeth Onstwedder
Mixing: Elizabeth Onstwedder and Julian Xie
Mastering: Ken Volpe
Recorded at the Small Town Records studio
Follow us at facebook.com/racemates

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about

Racemates Durham, North Carolina

Adhar, Elizabeth, Ruici, and Julian. Puns in four part harmony and some guitar/piano/bass. We appreciate you who take the time to listen to our honest attempt at something that matters to us!

[Racemates formerly featured Maryann Verghese, Spencer Woody]
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Track Name: Look Up
Look up, my friend, past the light at the end,
Rise above the darkness at your feet,
Run past the repeat,
And don’t accept defeat.

Turtle overturned on the road,
Holding his heavy load,
Hurdle after hurdle, toe by toe,
Still such a long way to go.

Turn the hare back on his hollow head,
Who stole away in your stead,
You’ve planted your face inside the earth,
Your tears will grow your rebirth.

Look up, my friend, past the blinding bend,
Forgive yourself, before you mend,
The things you never done, I hear your call for help.

Our selfsame narrow sight drove us apart,
Meet me halfway, my partner,
Join our carriages by the roadside,
Admit to weakness, and give up pride,

I turned my foolish back on your grace
Made this land a waste,
We come from a common place, we run the same race,
Don’t look back, and don’t look down.

Look up, my friend, past the light at the end,
Rise above the darkness at your feet,
Run past the repeat,
And don’t accept defeat.

So your magic moment never came,
You think all you see’s the same,
Lift up your eyes and look north,
Seize your chance and boldly go forth.

Look up, it’ll launch the ball, flying off the ground,
Hope gives rise to the chance to rise against the odds,
Look up, on your back it’ll lift you up and let you float,
Don’t give up, hope is inside if you open up.
Track Name: Marco Polo
If you sail around the earth,
Roaming for rebirth,
Your maps, they’ll collapse,
Strand you wandering round for laps.

And they’ll cross you at the crossroads,
Hang you from the clouds,
They’ll twist our thoughts to fists,
But you play with words like fire in mist.

Out of sight, but never out of mind,
Out of time, time I can’t rewind,
Into the frame, I follow your call,
Into your open arms I fall.

And a second start is what I need,
An open heart cannot bleed,
You paint the pain, the watercolour cries,
As you summarize the sunrise.

Up on the rooftops we went,
Everything I said, I meant,
But they bend the truth across the waves,
So you bend the light onto the staves.

Out of sight, but never out of mind,
Out of time, time I can’t rewind,
You’ll make the mark, oh polarize light,
Lift off this blindfold, return my eyes.

[Far away is far enough,
Fire away we’ll call your bluff,
I’ll send you off my love,
You’ll make the mark, mark my words.]

Temptation tries to spin my wheel,
But you’re turning my fortune, your word is my keel,
Steering me away, back to the Bay.

You draw the colours I’d never seen,
You shoot the stars, and I’ll shoot the screen,
To capture this moment in my memory,
So we lift off where we left off.
You’ll make the mark, mark my words.
You’ll make the mark, mark my words.
Track Name: Still Life
[Take your time]

Everything is still, still in motion,
I’m the teardrop frozen up in the swirling ocean,
Men in black and white molding my mind, telling me to make decisions,
But in a given landscape everybody changes position.

Forgetting all the words, falling in the woods,
making no sound as the trees come down.
Running out of room to get up and running,
on the cold ground exposing my wounds.
Lungs are automatic,
but I need you to see the swells, the swells,
The rise and fall of my chest
as you take away my breath.

[Take your time]
Still life, still in love with you,
Still life, still a lifeless portrait of you,
Staring me down in my mind’s eye when I try,
To get up and running, but I need more time.

I walk with the cars in the dead of night,
a broken moth feeding on sound instead of light
In a war with my thoughts, I hit the wall,
they say you gotta move to move on,
Curse the blinking cursor turning a blind eye,
looking for the doubts that I can’t put down,
I'm still stuck here with my wishes
scattered by the velvet sun.

Still life, still in love with you,
Still alive, but I’m still dying to say,
One day I’ll stop counting the days and be okay,
I’ll be up and running but I need more time.
Track Name: Hey Sun
I took my love to my favourite spot,
But all she saw was the parking lots,
Swallowing the beauty,
Of the city she refused to see.

Like I’ve seen a new skyline,
That was there the whole time,
I’ve Lost a friend or I was,
Alone all along.

You can hold a lighter up to the sun,
Ask for fire where there was none,
I am not your chosen one,
Save your fuel before it’s gone,
But it was too late, too soon,
Wake up, hey sun.

A part of me couldn’t part with this,
The comfort of a simple plan,
You’re so lovely, you don’t
Know how sorry I am.

I could risk it, above the rain,
But you’re drowning in the pain,
Numbed by the sunburn and our
Days of summer are numbered,

You can hold a lighter up to the sun,
Ask for fire where there was none,
I am not your chosen one,
Save your fuel before it’s gone,
But it was too late, too soon,
Wake up, hey sun.

[Hey sun]
I don’t know what we’re fighting for,
Coz no one here’s gonna win this war,
Wake me up before we fall too far,
Wake me up before we fall too far.
Track Name: Rain of Leaves
Rain of leaves, be the brush,
Repaint the empty mills, remove the rust,
Autumn is automatic,
Howling for the hollow harvest,

Rain of leaves, the pain it leaves,
Bury me, hide me from the thieves,
They’re taking more than I can share,
This drought in the valley that I can’t bear.

Fall, let it fall on me, spiral and blanket all I see,
Now is the winter of my discontent, I’m splintered and spent,
Down, bring it all down, strip the king of his crown.

Rain of leaves, drown out the machines,
They crop the image behind the scenes,
We see the price, who knows the cost, of
Lines in the earth that you’ve crossed.

Rain of leaves, my saint steals my seeds,
Cleaning the fields, erase our deeds,
No room to grow, they’ve soiled the soil,
They have us by the tail, so on we toil.

You look green, but what we see is everything that you are not,
A storm is coming, a flood of flashes to show your work to the world,
Your reign over us will end with our red hands holding the last of the sun.

Fall, let it fall on me, spiral and blanket all we see,
Now is the winter of our discontent, we’re splintered and spent,
Down, bring it all down, strip the king of his crown.

Is that gust a ghost? the sigh when you lost your trust,
Let go, let sleeping gods lie, let’s go, we’re stray dogs in the sty,
Turn a new leaf, don’t lose belief, roots break the concrete from beneath,
Turn against the men who took our land, shoulder to shoulder,
From I to we, from I to we, I’ll take my leave, become part of the tree.
Track Name: Tomorrow Today
Tonight, your candle burns at both ends,
Figures and facts turn to wax,
I’m looking for a worn out soul,
Someone to share this lonely hole.

(Ahhh-ahhh)

Tonight, you hold your head in your hands
Your body’s trying to trick you,
If you’re lost, don’t drop off the map,
Zoom out, you’re still in the picture.

Take me where tomorrow is today,
So we can float up from the baseline,
And if you don’t see yourself rising,
Keep your eyes on the horizon.

Today, I pay the toll for a morning bell,
I swerve, banking on a curve,
I can’t wake up, if to sleep I never fell,
Staying up, to watch the minutes blur.

You give everything and get nothing,
Making no sound when you sing,
But what is now, is not what will be,
Nobody’s an island, just waves in the same sea.

Take me where tomorrow is today,
So we can float up from the baseline,
And if you don’t see yourself rising,
Keep your eyes on the horizon.

You close your eyes to look for a dream,
I open my mouth to search for the words,
To stage you the scene,
Where you’re lifted up with the birds.

Nothing is as good or as bad as it seems,
We’ll be okay if we believe in tomorrow today.

You close your mind, it hurts so much to think,
Open your heart and feel for a pulse,
Step back from the brink,
Your power will break down your walls.

Nothing is as good or as bad as it seems,
We’ll be okay if we believe in tomorrow today.
Track Name: Give, Up
Wash away the overload,
My hollow head has no heart to follow,
Skin made of tin, I’m empty to the brim,
But my prospects are not, not so dim.

Hang me up to dry, on my own I will try.
You’ve said your piece, and I’ve made my peace,
I won’t recite your tale, nor walk down your trail,
I’ll sing my own songs as I set sail.

I’ve evolved out of your mold,
I was right, you were wrong to hold us to,
Your old rules of right and wrong,
Coz I was gonna go, all along,

You laid down your footsteps to follow,
But I can’t live inside your shadow,
I fell from the shoulders of giants,
Not destined for magnificence.

You broke your back to help me see,
The days slipping through the cracks, out to the sea,
I can’t catch the sand inside my palms,
But I’ll repay the time I ripped from your arms.

High time I caught the high tide,
And run my courses without a guide,
Give me time, give me trust, I’ll stand tall in growing up.
Give me time, give me trust, I’m on my way up,
I look up to you, so don’t look down on me.
Don’t give up on me, I’m giving all I can,

You give, up you go
You give, up you go

You give, up you go
You give, up you go
Give, up you go
Give, up you go