Amor Fati EP

by Joe Boswell

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Words, music & production by Joe Boswell.

All songs written in Falmouth, Cornwall, between autumn 2008 & summer 2010. Recorded in a succession of bedrooms spanning Falmouth, Bristol & Peter Tavy (2010-15). Drums by Ebn Mars. Violinists: Clare Tomlinson (track 1), Ursula Billington (track 2), Benjamin Perry (tracks 2 & 3) & Sovra Wilson-Dickson (track 5). Spoken word segment on ‘Amor Fati’ co-written & performed by Casimir Campbell.

With love and thanks to Mum & Dad, Meg & David, Adam & Cas, Alex & Emma, the Ratts & Del Amos, Jim & Martha, Gaz & Fiona, Kieran & Martin, Zapoppin', Wives of Farmers, & Lukas Drinkwater.


released October 1, 2016



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Track Name: Painting By Numbers
if you feel let down
pull a frown
now that you're able

and if my lullaby
gives you dream of black holes
beneath your cradle

play it down

we slept on the beach
you told me your dreams
i wished we were lovers

you said the sky was just a canvas
and god's joining the dots
and then painting by numbers

why won't you suck out my eyes
and let me see
down your throat?

or lay your head next to mine
your thoughts are like light
i'm just trying to keep up

but i'll play it down

through my head are running
all the words i'd like to say
but what's the use in trying
i'd forget them anyway
Track Name: Paper White
and if the sun turns the sky paper white
and our shadows slide
for the last time

i'll be your phantom friend
a trick of the light
and i'll take my time
pretend that i don't mind
it's understood

you say you don't want to hurt me
but i can't help it
just bite my lip and
no i don't feel pain

your sentences run astray
and in the silences
i'll hear what i'd
like for you to say

and if the clocks they stop
and seconds coalesce
there'll just be you and me
and in agony
i'll ask for help

and if the wind blows away all the strain
i'll remember you
as you were not as
you are today

but right now...

i've forgotten just what it was i liked about you
Track Name: Ugly Duckling
with the sunshine on the water
it's so beautiful i'd forgotten
just how much i'd like
to watch you drown

do you remember ugly duckling
just what it was like
before you cut your hair?

the thrill of being noticed
and the warmth in the night
it changed everything i guess

so tell me ugly duckling
do you recall
your brothers' and your sisters' scorn

how they wish the cat would catch you
you ugly thing
how you froze over
how you held your tongue

and now the world
is at your feet
and you've got silence
on your side

and in the night
our nights they haunt me
is there no weight
on your mind?

so tell me ugly duckling
are you amused
by the way that they dance for you?

and now that you're luck's changed
will you refuse me
though I knew you once
you knew me too?

you're still frozen little one
you won't stop smiling though you know
you've got me broken
won't you show me that?

i think you hide it from yourself
you turn to leave
the sky it opens
and i know you're not coming back

and i will walk through wall after wall
until all the faces i have pulled
fall from my muscles and i'll start again

and should the rain melt your bad temper
it will wash back down the stream
and give the fishes nightmares

and when we meet again
our bodies old
our skin worn thin
and all your hair grown back down to your knees

will my throat burn with the words i've saved
or will i helpless let you take my hand in
one last waltz amongst the reeds?
Track Name: Amor Fati

i haven't tasted air like this
in what feels like years

the wind is at my shoulder
will i remember this?

my skull it cracks
and the hatchling
spreads its wings

and distant seem
the anxieties
and broken promises

that weigh me down
and follow me round my house

and when i am younger
you’ll return
with everything else i've lost

do you remember
what it felt like
as our knees touched
in the dark?

did you realise
what it meant when i
held you to my heart?

but i won't gnash my teeth
or court despair
because all things must
kiss and corrupt again

you weigh me down and
follow me round my house
and if i should falter
the music calms me down


millennia flare and fizzle out in finger clicks and yet there is no escape. the same life, the same lives, again and again, and in every constellation. the same stale air, the same faces at shop counters, the same words misheard or withheld or lost, dissolved like earth on your tongue.

what's an old soul to teach you? you're as wise as you could ever be. i used to dream i held my fate in the palm of my hands, but i awake each morning to find my fingerprints have changed. when you meet her again as if for the first time she will not recognize your touch, though she may remember the taste of your blood.

too many revisions, too many reinventions. smashed like putty against the wall, all the detail got worn off.

i wonder awhile and try to recall how it felt when she was the only one worth listening to. in vain. i'm a drifter now. but something is changing.

there is a lull, and i can feel it beneath my feet; see its contours pressing gently against the surface of the world. my shoulders loosen, and the air smells of bonfires. i set my heart to the pace of the drums, and know that there will be no more gnashing of teeth, no tearing of hairs, no flaking skin nor wracking uncertainty. no toothache, missing lego pieces, broken flower pots, or wine bar jazz pianists. all illness, all tedium, every lonely night or wasted hour … forgotten.

and the stars fall, bouncing noiselessly off the buildings and street corners.