Words Without Meaning

by Nathan Parent

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Created over the course of 3 years, in the sleepy town of Washburn, Wisconsin on the shores of Chequamegon Bay (Lake Superior), Nathan Parent's debut release, "Words Without Meaning" encompasses many varying musical styles and genre-spanning sonic qualities that have been left mostly unclassifiable by listeners. Made out of sporadically scribbled notes and memorized ideas while traveling around the U.S.; and while living in the costal city of Bergen, Norway, it blossomed and formed into, what some fans have called, "A true master piece!" The journey, however, would be seen as an undertaking like no other for the young artist, with many twists and turns and unexpected roadblocks scattered throughout.

Upon returning to his hometown in April 2008, after several months living in Bowie, MD, he began work on a project, which he secretly titled, "Listening In". A twelve track album comprised of acoustic and minimally arranged ballads about love, loss, and silent torment.

He, along with good friend and Sound Engineer/Co-Producer (Ryan Rusch), began work on "Listening In" during May of 2008. Almost every instrument was recorded by himself, save some musical parts performed by a few other local musicians (Heidi Howes, Wilson Holzhaeuser, and Eric Doane). It was a turbulent time, working many hours at the local cafe, he fit in studio time as soon as work would end, until nearly midnight every night he was able. The project took on more and more perspective as the summer passed, as did his promises of releasing a full album by the summer's end.

The local community that knew of his musical endeavors grew weary of waiting, so he rushed through until December, with Rusch pushing along, to complete mixes of his full LP in late December of 2008. The following week, he departed for Bergen, Norway (with many hopes of completing the mastering of his album there) and spent the entire time performing and writing new music while living in a hostel in the city center. One fateful night, he stumbled upon the riff that would become the song "First Blood"; and while under the gaze of his fellow hostel mate who hailed from the Faroe Islands (Herborg Hansen), he penned the song which would become the rally cry of his album's road to true release.

With this new tune stuck in his head, he returned to Wisconsin again in February of 2009 and posed a question to Rusch: "What if we started over from the beginning?" With a blank stare of bemusement from his long-time musical partner, they began again that month and created what would become the new album. Comprised of his most newly written material, and a few other songs saved from the "Listening In" sessions, he fixed, what he thought to be the mistake in his last album: not enough musicians. Over the course of the year and the beginning of 2010, he asked the help of his closest musical friends in the area and from across the globe. With featured female singers from three different countries and musicians known locally, the songs grew into very intimate and emotive entities; filled with passion and raw energy.

After almost three years of planning and two years of re-recording/producing, Nathan Parent has finally finished his fabled debut album, retitled, "Words Without Meaning". With the additional help of of audio designer and mastering engineer, David Hill at Inland Sea Studio in Superior, Wisconsin; creator of Crane Song, the pioneers of modern digital audio recording. An interesting aspect to this record, is the use of the revolutionary mastering technology called HEAT (Harmonically Enhanced Algorithm Technology) to help balance the many years of work, into a cohesive, one-of-a-kind sound, unlike many digitally recorded albums of the past.

120 unique copies of the album were printed by David Hill at Inland Sea Studio in Superior, Wisconsin at the tail end of December 2010. All of the albums sold within the first week of release. The album included one of the special, handmade Julehjerte (a traditional Scandinavian Christmas decoration made by weaving paper into the shape of a heart) that creates the 120-piece quilt for the album artwork; created and designed by fellow Wisconsin-born artist, Heather Rae Tietz (contact: heather.tietz@gmail.com); and graphics work by local artist, Becky Wygonic at Karlyn's Gallery in Washburn, Wi September of 2010.

This album is dedicated to the entire world!

Six distinct female artists, from three different counties, on three different continents performed on "Words Without Meaning": Toronto, Ontario based visual and recording artist, Kathryn Kearns doing vocals and flute on track 12; Norwegian songwriter, Helene Gullsvåg, vocals on tracks 3 and 10, as well as hand claps on track 10; former Washburn, Wisconsin native, Allison Radke and Argentinian friend/vocalist, Anebelle Carbonel on track 6; Ashland, Wi based vocalist, Kristine Pedretti on track 2; Ohio-born, Wisconsin based singer-songwriter and vocalist, Heidi Howes on tracks 1 and 7.

Other musicians include local artists: Wilson Holzhaeuser, bass on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 12; Eric Doane, drum kit on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, and 12; Lisa Gilbaugh, violin on tracks 1 and 12; Charlie Burchill, trumpets on tracks 8, 10, and 12, flugelhorn solo on track 8; and Marky Baby, alto sax solo on track 9.

All guitars, synthesizers, pianos, aux. percussion, sounds, and vocals done by Nathan Parent, as well as: drum kit on tracks 8 and 11 and bass on tracks 5, 8, and 11.

Produced by: Nathan Parent
Engineered, Mixed, and Co-Produced by: Ryan Rusch at The Weight Room in Washburn, Wi, February 2009-December 2010
Mastered by: David Hill at Inland Sea Studio in Superior, Wi, December 2010


released January 12, 2011

All songs and words written by Nathan Parent (Copyright Control)

The Parallel Figures:


Additional Musicians:


Words Without Meaning

Produced by: Nathan Parent
Co-Produced by: Ryan Rusch
Engineered and Mixed by: Ryan Rusch at The Weight Room in Washburn, WI from February 2009-December 2010
Mastered by: David Hill at Inland Sea in Superior, WI



all rights reserved


Nathan Parent Ashland, Wisconsin

A young artist from the Lake Superior city of Ashland, Wisconsin. Raised as a musician, he became enamored with the country of Norway and the many musical influences that stemmed from the city of Bergen. After many years of work in the studio with his longtime musical partner, Ryan Rusch, he released his first full length album, "Words Without Meaning" to much positive praise. ... more

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Track Name: Covalence
(N. Parent)

When time began so long ago, within the span of those
Short, elemental ruptures, you discovered quantum punctures.
Then, as you flow you'll find that, slowly, everything is bonded to one another.
Countering charges become lovers.

But, when you look inside, you'll find a sonic ballad;
Between microscopic mass and a volatile past.
You might change your mind, or realign, to stabilize your feelings
On the subject. One that I often find so complex.

I saw your bond, it struck my side. It stuck my side.
Combine, react; our forms attract. Our forms attract.

Imaginary thoughts have forced their way upon my conscious,
As if questioning our place amongst a vibrant, fertile trace.
Of matter formed when particles were destined into masses;
Large enough to take up space. Are we living in that space?

I guess I've let her down, by seeming out of touch.
When our hopes have all but passed, will my carbon trace still last?
So you might find that there was someone in this world, still waiting to be discovered.
While I was searching for my lover.

We formed a bond, you took my side. I'm still behind.
Perform, impact; you're far off track. Am I on track?

I saw your bond, it struck my side. It stuck my side.
Combine, react; our forms attract. Our forms attract.

Our forms attract, our forms attract, our forms attract.
Track Name: Dueling Hearts
(N. Parent)

Would you answer the phone if the caller I.D. didn't show my name?
I'm not sure if it'd matter anymore.
Oh, is it cliche to admit that, perhaps, I have been wrong?
You left me standing outside the door.

And, oh, now I know what's been done.
Some things just can't be sung. So, now I'll…

Give my heart away, I wanna give mine.
I'm gonna give my heat away, I've gotta give my
I wanna give my heart away, I'm gonna give mine.
I want to give my heart away, I've just got to give mine.

I want you to know, I just need to be alone sometimes,
but I'm afraid you won't understand.
I'll make it up, just make it up, we'll make it up, let's make it up tonight.
Don't start a fight, I will not fight. We're out of time to make it right.
But, I can't…

Give my heart away, I won't give mine.
I just can't give my heart away, I won't give mine.
I won't give my heart away, I can't give my.
I can't give my heart away, I won't give mine.

If you're not feeling right, tell me now, oh, please, just let me know.
(Darling, I'm trying to find the words so I don't let you down.)
I'm here. (You're there.) You're crying, "Unfair!" (Unfair)
Oh, please, don't ever go!
(But, now I have to go)

I wanna give my heart away
(I can't give my heart away)
Track Name: Casual Crisis
(N. Parent)

Another solo night, searching while I'm stuck inside-surfing.
Scrolling down a useless page, staring back at cyber space.
Just then I stop and scan, listening, I'm caught. It's just perfect!
Loading songs, one by one. Pushing play, now it has begun.

Oh, all this time I figured that I could handle,
finding someone who could write a song I would admire.

Breathing words out, flirting last notes.
I guess I've found someone real, I hoped that I could always feel.
Holding slight ties, rhythm defines a chorus full of subtle cues.
Oh, now it's given back so true.

Fed up! I've only heard about stories.
Where men have been lulled at sea,
Then crashed down upon coral reefs.
Could a voice, control my life, I hope it's not fatal.
My inner thoughts can rarely shift.
Your tone has caused my heart to lift.

I've got something I want to say: Am I living a lie? Will I be okay?

Feels like embers, burning slowly.
Combusting all my untapped love,
Glowing bright from the oxygen.
Smoking remnants, signals silence.
Fill me up, I want to learn.
Oh! Forcing all my love to burn.

And now it burns.
I want to feel.
I want you to feel.

I hear you, you're pleading. Don't worry, I can feel it.
The distance is our weakness.
This love will be our secret.
Track Name: First Blood
(N. Parent)

Who am I today?
Am I a lie, am I the truth?
Am I the ghost that wanders through your room?
Perhaps, all reason has escaped.
I can't tell a look, from a glance.
I can't tell our lust, from the romance as,

Now a moment passes by.
Where have I been before today? Was I allowed another way, or,
can my will to carry out this dream, expand outward exponentially,
overwhelming fears you've held from me?

And, format the drive; turning the cursor.
Clicking your heels to get us further
Out from the bind I've formed over time.
I'll try to define the rest when I'm told to go on.
Don't live in the past, I will not go there.
Treasure this as if you and I will never end.
We'll try to defend, then we can amend the rest when we're told to go on.

I have returned.
So simply, we could reconnect.
I've checked my bags; I guess I never left.
The terminal, is absent of all travelers.
My presence here could help me understand

My own idea of our love.
From days back then, to recent months,
our knowledge has expired from the many times
I've tried to kick you out.
I gave up on you so long ago, now you've returned.
I'm hurting as you're

Touching my skin, drawing the first blood.
Washing away; seeing the old love flow
our from the wound I couldn't repair.
I needed you here before I could really start to heal.
Bandage me quick, before I'm all gone.
If it will stick, then truly we have begun
Back at the start. You've taken my heart.
Now, we can reclaim what it is; then I'll give my love to you.

Format the drive, turning the cursor.
Clicking your heels; you've gotten further.
Don't live in the past, please, let's not go there.
We'll have to treasure this as if we will never end.
We'll never end, we'll never end, we'll never end.
Track Name: Sob Story
(N. Parent)

Trying not to further the future.
Trying times ahead cannot be wished away.
The days in-between make the circle complete.
I cannot dissect the center just to achieve my goal.

The journey is always the true experience;
and my pained anticipation the inspiration for the final outcome.

Wrap me up and let the music flow.
Hold your breath; there's silence you can't hear.

Giving in to her demands; giving up to finally start again.
The years we've had to realize that something better was a lie.
Even though I'm telling you, I don't truly understand myself.

I'm not too keen on dividing a method without consequences.
Show me a face that hasn't seen worry...I can't show you mine.

Can our stolen choir sing my inner heart's desires?
Dreams are real somewhere; after all.
Track Name: Loneliness
(N. Parent)

We sent her out on a windy day; the clouds were high up in the sky.
A shaded road that led the way, cast funny shapes upon our eyes.
A steady leg and a broken wing to fly her straight into the wind.
I caught a glimpse of her heavy thoughts; and now I'm suffering our loss.

Memories of passing days leave you scarred in unseen ways.
A final kiss and a glance that drops; if you had held me, I might have stopped
Time and everything within. I'd cease the world from it's unending spin.
Change day to night; and one last thing: the saddest words that would begin.

I always hurt myself when lonely words express themselves on me, on me.
Seven days have passed and she is never coming back again.

Cherry juice and shattered glass make crystal pictures of the past.
Filled with unfamiliar laughs. Oh, how I understand at last:
She wasn't ever truly mine; I'd make-believe her while drinking wine.
Although, you know how the story goes: sometimes you personify your woes.
Personify your woes…

I always hurt myself when lonely words express themselves on me, on me.
Twenty days have passed, now she is never coming back again.

And in the time we've been apart,
I set my mind ablaze and cursed the feelings I've held in my heart.
Although, it's no secret because, you know,
My love for you will stay until my final show.

I always hurt myself when lonely words express themselves on me, on me.
A hopeful year has passed and now I see you. Please come back, oh, please.
Come back! Oh, please! Please come back to me, to me.
I always hurt myself.
Track Name: A Tricky Tune
(N. Parent)

Know yourself. Know yourself better than anyone else.
Prove yourself. Lose yourself if only to trust in my love.
Truth in words. Some are false, leading away from your heart.
Open up. Now's your chance to let me right into your world.

And I'm not able to, able to reach on through.
What is it that I should do, so I can be close to you.

Fool your mind. Forget what when on, it will take some more time.
You're alone. Not used to nights spent with tears on your phone.
He didn't know how to treat you like you deserved to be treated.
I'm not gonna play it like those other guys. Oh, no!

And I would give much to be able to hear from you.
I could tell you a thousand times how I want to make you mine.

I know what it's like to be lonely, too.
The gentle nights play games and try to break you down,
but, you're too strong.
I'll sing for you. I'll write more songs.

Out of luck! Torn between loving and losing herself.
Tortured eyes, holding back sorrow that keeps her inside.
Put forth an effort so I can reach in through those broken feelings.
I can't stand waiting anymore.

But, if I can't win you heart, my feelings for you won't run.
We're trying to keep our love; and still we will search for more.
Track Name: Words Without Meaning
(N. Parent)

Nylon stockings, pulled off; slower talking.
To never realize, we all were hypnotized again.

Curses take on meaningless new forms.
Words out of open mouths; teeth smile at something false. Oh, man.

We are not litter, cast into chambers.
Sonically unamused; mentally, all abused with hate.

Your words are paving a path with no ending insight.
Track Name: Regain Insight
(N. Parent)

If I gave up my eyes to regain some insight, into seeing a sensible being I might
feel balanced enough to let her sink right through my skin.
I can tell her I'm fine, but I don't want to be alive; and I'm feeling soaked up,
I don't know what's inside. If I let it back out, I risk the chance of losing my way.

Oh, no. She's got it in her mind.
She can find out all these things about me,
but she's feeling wrung out, so she might doubt to see
that maybe, I'm not sure what we'll find.
For me, that comes naturally.

If I won't go back, you'll know, I'm here to stay.
And girl, it's your right to say I'm not the one for you. This time, it's true.

Do you remember my sighs when you started to say
you were tired of being this close everyday?
I told you that I care too much while you were feeling so crushed.

Oh, no! She's said what's on her mind.
I can find out what she thinks about me,
but I'm feeling strung out, so I might doubt to say
that maybe, I'm not sure who I am inside.
Oh, baby. Will you see?

If I won't go back, you'll know I'm here to stay.
And girl, you've got right to leave if you don't think
that I can satisfy what you need this time.
Track Name: St. Annie
(N. Parent)

The party started late, I was the first to arrive.
Some vinyl spinning fast, blasting off unknown vibes.
Strolling up, right with the feeling.
Beat pounding floor to the ceiling.

I've taken all I can from these strangers soaked in sin.
Talking quick, just to get away from them.
My eyes have seen enough to leave.
The neighbors shout out angrily.

Oh, I'm guessing I should stick around. (My patience is wearing thin)
Tell me, is St. Annie still in town? (I hoped that she would drop in)
She left her number on my phone and then she'd gone.
I hope she will remember me.

A woman enters quick, dashing into the fray.
With all the people 'round, she didn't have room to stay.
Her face is lost, too late to stare
At the slight curves, red lips, and dark black hair.
Slowly I am walking through the crowd.
Tripped up, spun left, and right into her blouse.

Now, now! Does she know?
Oh, no!
Well, here I go!

Caught up in the act of seeming sly. (Our faces both drawn with lead)
She takes me up the stairs, I'm being shy. (I'm thrown right upon the bed)
Her soft bright eyes are all I see, I say,
"Would you marry me?"
She tells me not to call anymore.
Track Name: Star Ride
(N. Parent)

Everyone knows that we are sleeping,
But we can't tell when we are dreaming';
And I don't know what we are thinking'.
No, I can't tell how I am feelin'.

Everyone's sick of what we are losing!
Something is stuck; the life we have chosen
Doesn't stop. Not for one minute!
Can't get off, it'll always be spinnin'.

No, the truth, it's only a ride
We can change at any moment.
You don't need work, just need some hope; and
We can be free to choose our lives.
Just let go, keep your eyes open, don't have fear,
your heart will keep loving.

The world will change, when everyone is awoken.
The words that are said, shall not be misspoken.
Some might say that we are joking, 
Listen not to the lies they are choking on
to save up all of their money;
Once made up to keep everyone happy.
Now we're all tired of making a living.
When's the last time you felt you were livin'?

Don't buy in, invest in passions!
Then we can say, "Hey! Everyone's learning!"
You'll feel fulfilled; your time won't keep burnin'
away. We go! The change's are slow.
Break the glass blocking your view and
step on through into a new age.

Stop living slow.
Time moves not slow and we are stars.
All parts of stars; and we are bright!
I am alive! We're all alive, so, let's start living!

Let's start today!
Track Name: Fooling Our Senses
(N. Parent)

Here come the tears again.
Don't cry, he'll surely see you this time.
Hold back the sorrow, at least, until you're ready to release.
You shudder, he's closer. Your comfort could almost be complete.
If only he noticed how badly you crave his full embrace.

Could this be love?
Oh, girl, you're still at that awkward stage.
Where one glance can cause panic.
Don't let it fool all your other senses.
Fool all your better sense.

Though in time it just might happen; I wouldn't call it false.
You'll have to realize, so just give it all you've got.
Your heart is so delicate, a structure made of glass.
Be careful who receives it, don't take a chance.
The richest soul will sometimes attract the poorest kind.
Give some to those who need it, but save or find that
as you have spent on ones giving nothing in return,
You'll quickly lose your own love. Oh, will you learn?

"Why is she so sad?" he wonders as he walks slowly by her.
Clearly, he doesn't know how to console a grieving person.
A moment of helplessness passes in-between she and him.
He can't help, but constantly hope she desires his full embrace.

You clueless boy, chime in!
And, soothe her until she can't stop
wanting your touch.
Then you can fool all your other sense.
Fool all those useless senses.

A million other chances will come and go I know.
But, if you choose not to see them, they'll soon be gone.
I'm certain that this meeting was not purely chance.
There's something more to capture in a momentary glance.
If all the world should falter, your heart reduced to stone,
take what skills you've given, appreciate them all;
And when you have found a person who will fill you with their wealth,
you'd better give them your love. Give all yourself.