Use Your Voice - EP

by Use Your Voice

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05:53

about

This EP was created for Matt Nguyen-Ngo's senior capstone project in Asian Pacific Islander American Studies at the College of William & Mary, advised by Professor Francis Tanglao-Aguas. The songs cover a range of topics related to the Asian American experience, as well as other social justice issues. It was recorded in the Reeder Media Center in Swem Library, at William & Mary.

Click on the names of each track to read a description of the themes discussed, as well as breakdowns of some of the lyrics.

credits

released April 28, 2017

Use Your Voice is:

Matt Nguyen-Ngo - songwriting, drums, lead vocals, backing vocals, synth
John I. Kittle - guitar, backing vocals
Will Penix - lead vocals, backing vocals
Ethan Voytko - bass

Gang vocals on Another Unappealing Song with help from Malerie Gamblin

Produced by Matt Nguyen-Ngo and John I. Kittle

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about

Use Your Voice Williamsburg, Virginia

Use Your Voice is the band that founder Matt Nguyen-Ngo put together to create his senior project EP for Asian Pacific Islander American Studies at the College of William & Mary. It is made up of members from his previous bands, Say Your Name and Wind for Wings.

Members:
Matt Nguyen-Ngo
John I. Kittle
Will Penix
Ethan Voytko
... more

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Track Name: Insurrection
Kilogram of hatred in your head
It's red like Glen from The Walking Dead
Just another motherfucker born and bred
Bleeding on the street gray matter spread
Did he steal your job
Did he make you poor
Or did booze make you beat him dead on the floor
If justice has never been served before
Then let justice rain down like the hammer of Thor

Listen up to this headline
If you do the crime then you do the time

Violence and Skittles and blood on the street
Can't stand his ground if he's nothing but meat
Hold his head high and stand on his two feet
But it won't be long 'til they send in the head
Make no mistake we're gonna get pissed
When you get away with a slap on the wrist
Shout all we want and raise our fist
But the system leans white and will never miss

Listen up to this headline
If you do the crime then you do the time

Listen up 'cause class is in Session
This is a blatant act of transgression
This is no mere imperfection
You've got yourselves an insurrection
Voter suppression
Killing in the name
In the end it's all the same
The man is not the only one to blame
'Cause you were the fuel
He only lit the flame

Listen up to this headline
If you do the crime then you do the time
Track Name: Another Unappealing Song
I know I'll make it if I can take it
I've got the feeling I can't shake it
So many obstacles are in my way
In many cases it's pretty racist
I'm drowning in a sea of faces
It's hard to stand out when they think you're all the same

Tell me to let it be
It's not enough for me

I can't look back to yesterday
I can't afford for things to stay this way
Just eating and breathing
It's hard to keep singing
Just breathe it in
(This is destiny calling)

Now the country's humpty dumpty's
Building walls as if he's drunk(y)
More bridges burn with every passing day
"Be like water" said the father
To his spiritual sons and daughters
No need to swim when you can be the wave

Tell me to let it be
It's not enough for me

I can't look back to yesterday
I can't afford for things to stay this way
Just eating and breathing
It's hard to keep singing
Just breathe it in
(This is destiny calling)

(Jump up jump up)
Once more with feeling
(Jump up jump up)
Break through the ceiling

They say we lack "universal appeal"
Both fingers plugged in their ears
We'll make them question what they think is real
And I refuse to keep on (waiting for change this year)

Tell me to let it be
It's not enough for me

I can't look back to yesterday
I can't afford for things to stay this way
Just eating and breathing
It's hard to keep singing
Just breathe it in
(This is destiny calling)

No I can't look back to yesterday
I can't afford for things to stay this way
Just eating and breathing
It's hard to keep singing
Just breathe it in
(This is destiny calling)
Track Name: Immovable Object vs. Unstoppable Force
There's a shining White House upon a hill
After centuries it stands there still
There's a man who lives inside its halls
Who enforces his almighty will
He gazes down upon this hill he owns
From his ostentatious golden throne
At the base the black man toils and dies
This hill is (built upon his bones)

No justice (no peace)
I'll never be your middle minority
No justice (no peace)
Down with the silent majority

Above the black man who toils and dies
Below the white house on the hill
Is where I live and become utilized
The plantation master's laughing still
So he gives me praise and respects my wealth
Only if I agree to become his rod
It's a crime that's best performed in stealth
He worships this hill as his god

No justice (no peace)
I'll never be your middle minority
No justice (no peace)
Down with the silent majority

I'd ask you to go choke yourself
If your hands were bigger than your wealth

Fuck your golden tower
Fuck your fascist lies
We will take the power
From all that we despise
It's your final hour
We see through your disguise
We will never cower
Prepare for your demise

Here's to all my family who want to feel like they belong in their own fucking country
Who want to pursue a better life without being viewed with suspicion
Who have been hurt physically and mentally for simply existing as they are
Who refuse to play the game and buy into the hierarchy
Stand with me
Track Name: Refugee Song
If I could hop into a time machine to the spring of '75
With a camera in my arms, so afraid to be alive
I would show you all the scars, burning bodies, flaming cars
And all the graves of the "collateral" with troops standing afar.

I know I'm lucky to be here safe from all the blood and tears
Even though I still get suspicious glances now and then.
You know they let my family in when they knew they couldn't win
And the things they feared never saw the light of day.

So many people turned away without a cause, without a say.
It's so tragic 'cause they know that they're never coming home.
And all the people standing there waving signs up in the air
Make me believe that we'll make this right after all.

If we could hop into a time machine to 1882
I would show you all the gold mines and the railroads next to you
I would show you all the angry faces spitting in my eyes
asking why I don't wear a head tail. If we go there, we might die.

You know it's more than just a wall. It's this country after all.
Just the thought of it makes me get up in arms.
You know it's always been this way, just happened to blow up today.
Now all our hope's replaced by fear of being harmed.

So many people turned away without a cause, without a say.
It's so tragic 'cause they know that they're never coming home.
And all the people standing there waving signs up in the air
Make me believe that we'll make this right after all.

"He was excluded because we are at war with the Japanese Empire, because the properly constituted military authorities feared an invasion of our West Coast and felt constrained to take proper security measures, because they decided that the military urgency of the situation demanded that all citizens of Japanese ancestry be segregated from the West Coast temporarily..."

If I could hop into a time machine to the spring of '45
Without a rifle in my arms, so afraid to be alive
I would show you Manzanar, Tule Lake and Granada
And all the citizens in camps. "Well, they must be traitors, all."

It's hard to feel like I'm a man when they never understand
That one life is just as precious as another.
If this really is the end, then it's our last chance to mend
All the hearts that have been turned against each other.

So many people turned away without a cause, without a say.
It's so tragic 'cause they know that they're never coming home.
And all the people standing there waving signs up in the air
Make me believe that we'll make this right after all.