Hamilton Boyce — 2020 Singles

Digital Masters and Image Assets

The Songs

Full-length album to be released in early 2021

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SoundCloud Playlist: Hamilton Boyce – Official Singles

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I’m Useless Without You

“I’m Useless Without You,” released December 4, 2020.

[Digital masters and cover image assets] (Radio edit included with digital masters)

Background

“I’m Useless Without You” was written on a plane traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles in the days after Tom Petty had died. Tom Petty wrote love songs. This is a love song from the perspective of relationship as a process rather than a destination. The song went through many iterations during the recording process. A stripped-down piano-based arrangement being the groundwork for the final version and triple-layered pedal steel guitar being the secret ingredient in completing the song.

Credits

Hamilton Boyce — Vocal and acoustic and electric guitars
Kenneth Aramaki — Piano
Jesse Harmonson — Bass
J. B. Kardong — Pedal steel

Recorded by Robb Davidson at Avast! Recording Co. in Seattle
Remote overdubs by J. B. Kardong and Hamilton Boyce

Mixed and mastered by Hamilton Boyce

Music and lyrics written by Hamilton Forest Boyce

Lyrics

I’m useless without you baby
You know that I’m no good
I’m just an empty shell of a man
I wish I understood
Why the simplest things become so damn hard
Just even making it through the day
You know I need to be alone sometimes
But it’s alright if you wanna stay

I’m useless without you honey
Don’t even know who I am
Couldn’t pick myself out of a crowd
But you help me up to stand
I know we don’t always get along
We had a scuffle or two
But we know how to talk to each other honey
Me and you
It’s good to know you have a shoulder
To lay your weary head upon

I’d like to think that I’m an independent man
And I know you’re independent too
Any tough shit that comes along our way
Ain’t nothing compared to what you’ve been through

I had to learn how to be a man
You gotta know when to step away from a fight
I learned a whole hell of a lot from you darling
And I know I’m not always right

I’m useless without you baby
You know that I’m no good
I’m just an empty shell of a man
I wish I understood
Why the simplest things become so damn hard
Just even making it through the day
You know I need to be alone sometimes
But it’s alright if you wanna stay

I’m useless without you honey
Don’t even know who I am
Couldn’t pick myself out of a crowd
But you help me up to stand
I know we don’t always get along
We had a scuffle or two
But we know how to talk to each other honey
Me and you
It’s good to know you have a shoulder
To lay your weary head upon


Joey the Junkie Cowboy

“Joey the Junkie Cowboy,” released October 23, 2020.

[Digital masters and cover image assets]

Background

The song is a true story that took place around 2001 about a homeless addict who ultimately moves back to his rural home, away from the temptations of the city. The lyrics are told as close to reality as memory would allow.

Credits

Hamilton Boyce — Lead vocal and acoustic guitar
Milky Burgess — Electric guitar through Leslie speaker
Dave Harmonson — Pedal steel
Austin Jacobsen — Electric bass
Trevor Pendras — Harmony vocal
Kelly Van Camp — Drums and percussion

Recorded by Robb Davidson at Avast Recording Co. in Seattle
Mixed by Hamilton Boyce

Music and lyrics written by Hamilton Forest Boyce

Press

Featured on One Chord to Another’s Music Weekly – Episode #115, November 29, 2020 [Link]

Music Video

Official music video shot in Downtown Los Angeles, released November 12, 2020

Lyrics

Joey was a junkie cowboy from Oklahoma
Somehow he ended up living on the streets of Seattle
We met him down south and he knew how to fix a house up
We all headed off back home and we brought him on with us

He slept on our couch for a while and he worked in the daytime
He kept on asking us to hold his pay till tomorrow
Eventually he told us to send the money to his mother
We got him a Greyhound ticket for the following Monday

Oh oh Joey the junkie cowboy
He wanted to be clean and he wanted to do right
Poor old Joey he just couldn’t take it
With a twenty in his hand and his guy around the corner

He wanted to look nice when he got back to Oklahoma
But he just couldn’t trust himself let loose in the city
So Mom took him downtown and bought him some new boots and Wranglers
She got him a haircut and said goodbye at the Greyhound station

Oh oh Joey the junkie cowboy
He wanted to be clean and he wanted to do right
Poor old Joey he just couldn’t take it
With a twenty in his hand and his guy around the corner

Oh oh Joey the junkie cowboy
His will was strong but his habit was stronger
Poor old Joey he just couldn’t make it
Had to take himself back to the prairies and the pastures

Oh oh Joey the junkie cowboy
He wanted to be clean and he wanted to do right
Poor old Joey he just couldn’t take it
With a twenty in his hand and his guy around the corner

Oh oh Joey the junkie cowboy
His will was strong but his habit was stronger
Poor old Joey he just couldn’t make it
Had to take himself back to the prairies and the pastures


Dirty Money

“Dirty Money” by Hamilton Boyce, released September 25, 2020 (first official release single).

[Digital masters and cover image assets]

Background

The initial idea for the song came during the 2015/2016 presidential primaries and elections but I wrote bulk of it later, after watching Noam Chomsky’s Requiem for the American Dream and finishing Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. The main lyrical themes are the inequalities resulting from neoliberal politics as well as the power of activism and grassroots movements to advance positive change.

Credits

Hamilton Boyce – Vocal, acoustic and electric rhythm guitars
Milky Burgess – Lead guitar
Kelly Van Camp – Drums
Jesse Harmonson – Bass

Recorded live by Robb Davidson at Avast Recording Co.
Mixed by Hamilton Boyce

Music and lyrics written by Hamilton Forest Boyce

Press

“Dirty Money” featured on Greg Vandy’s “The History Of Topical Songwriters & American Protest Songs” episode of The Roadhouse on KEXP, October 21, 2020

Music Video

Official music video shot in Elysian Park, Los Angeles, CA, released September 30, 2020

Lyrics

All money is dirty money
I heard you say that that man was funny
What’s so funny about a rich man’s son with racist tendencies and blatant bigotries

Why do the wise always get ignored
While the loudest men take over the world
American history is nothing that the Establishment needs

Big money buys the election ties
And everyone wins unless you’re on the outside
But everyone I know and everyone you know is on the outside and that’s the downside

Muhammad Ali was a boxing pacifist
Said “no” to the draft and that was a catalyst
Took a fighting man to stand up to a real bad government plan

Freedom and democracy
Politicians use words like these
To make us think they’re on our side but most of the time that’s just a lie

I heard a story from a wiser man
That activists have to have a plan
But the gathered masses have the power to get politicians off their asses


No Paycheck

“No Paycheck” by Hamilton Boyce, released May 8, 2020 (first single, soft released).

[Digital masters and cover image assets]

Background

“No Paycheck” had been floating around in various forms for several years. The original concept was more of a honky-tonk song about waiting around for your next paycheck. Ultimately it took on more of a Laurel Canyon folk song angle and it ended up lyrically focusing more on the personal experiences and struggles of living in poverty.

Credits

Hamilton Boyce – Vocal, guitars, drum machine, Mellotron
Jesse Harmonson – Bass, snare drum
Kenneth Aramaki – Piano

Robb Davidson – Engineer

Randall Dunn – Mixing

Recorded at Avast! Recording Co. in Seattle, WA, November 11, 2019
Mixed in Brooklyn, NY, April 2020

Music and lyrics written by Hamilton Forest Boyce

Additional production — Mathew Bean
Additional input — Miles Burnett, Amy M. Huber, Trevor Pendras

Cover design — Harrison Boyce
Cover photograph — Amy M. Huber

Lyrics

You can sit, you can stand, you can pace, you can wander by the door
You can wish, you can pray, you can cry, you can laugh it off once more

I tried waiting around
And I’ve been searching all over this town
But I guess I’ve been looking in the wrong place

No paycheck in the mail again today
No paycheck in the mail again today

Just to live when you’re poor ain’t nothing but a struggle and a chore
Just to walk out the door and try to act like you know there’s something more

I’ve been working hard every day
And hoping that some part of it would pay
But I guess I’ve been working in the wrong way

No paycheck in the mail again today
No paycheck in the mail again today

Wouldn’t it be so strange if I saw you
And you still had your whole life to live
Wouldn’t it be so sad if I saw you
And I still didn’t have nothing to give

All the time in the world means nothing if you got nowhere to go
All the dreams you can have ain’t nothing if you got nothing to show

I tried living unmaterialistically
And focusing on only what’s important to me
But I guess I’ve been living in the wrong way

No paycheck in the mail again today
No paycheck in the mail again today

Chin up, work hard, look ahead or struggle till you’re dead
It’s so easy to say when it’s really just something that you read

But maybe some day it’ll really change
After all ain’t that supposed to be the American way?
But I guess I’ve just been running in place

No paycheck in the mail again today
No paycheck in the mail again today
Oh but maybe tomorrow it’ll come
No paycheck in the mail again today