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Two Suitcases

by Joshua Fialkoff

supported by
Jessika Duquette
Jessika Duquette thumbnail
Jessika Duquette That song is about letting go of things holding you back and yet being grateful to what it brought you. I can relate so much to this track and to me meaningful lyrics is making feel something. I yell the lyrics at the top of my lungs in my car just like you said you do. this is a masterpiece I am sad I only get to hear it now. Growing older is getting to know who you are and stop being apologetic about it. Favorite track: Two Suitcases.
Gabrielle thumbnail
Gabrielle Heard it live many times, it's got a great funky groove. Also participated in a promo video to this song :) Favorite track: Get On With It.
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Once We Reached For The Sun (Chorus) Once we reached for the sun Now we falter Once we reached for the sun Now we fade (Verse) But I once sailed the galaxy, Tore stars down from where angels dance and sing And then I came to you and offered you the sky Until you took it, until you had the faith to try I heard the ocean sing its song I sat and listened until I could sing along And then I sang it to you softer than a sigh Until you heard it, until you had the faith to try (Chorus) (Verse) I danced among the redwood trees, Painted pictures of possibilities Then I showed it to you ‘til you heard the cry Until you listened, until you had the faith to try And as we sauntered through the park, It was I who gave to you that infant spark Electricity surged inside your mind Until you felt it, until you had the faith to try (Bridge) I'm the raging fire I'm the beating drum I'm the shepherd, the savior The will to run I’m the Angel’s song I’m the symphony I am what you make of it Am what you let me be (Chorus) (Verse) I sailed across the galaxy, Tore stars down from where angels dance and sing Then I came to you and offered you the sky Until you took it, until you had the faith to try And there's a place you call the truth You rarely spoke of it when you were in your youth, But now you hold me there my hands and feet are tied And I’ll keep screaming, please won’t you just let me try Let me try… Once we reached for the sun "Thank you to the persistence and power of imagination. Even from your cells, you ignite the world." - Joshua Fialkoff
Get On With It Welcome to life Let me introduce you ‘Cause you don’t seem you know it like someone who’s livin’ it is supposed to It’s got ups, downs, it’ll knock you around But boy, you know it’s the only life you got So you best make the most of it And give it a real strong go of it Keep loving, growing, strutting, flowing And do it until you stop… You’re complainin’ ‘Cause we’re all over here waiting For you to chill and cool your top All ya gotta do is: Work hard, Love hard, Play hard, And don’t disregard The fact every stray scar’s just a little proof you passed the test Ya want love? Gotta create love Ya know that hate just ain’t the cure for what ails, cuz You can choose happiness or hatred - Both are as contagious - And they’ll each find their way back to you Let me boil it down, son: Life’s just what you make it, so Get on with it, get on with it, get on Get on with it, get on with it, get on Get on with it, get on with it, get on Get on with it, get on with it, get on, get on with it, get on with it, get on "Special thanks to Emiliano Estevez for his support in creating this song. I’m sorry there aren’t any airplane sounds. Hope you still enjoy it ;)" - Joshua Fialkoff
Why Must We Make Easy So Hard (Verse) It’s been a long, hard and lonely season But I finally found a way to feel fine But now the echoes of your touch have left it freezing ‘Cause for the moment you were here, I felt it shine How foolish was I to think things might be different this time? (Chorus) Why must we make easy so hard? Why must we see endings before there’s even a start? Why must all my nights be sleepless nights Where dreams of you tear me apart? Why must we make easy so hard? (Verse) The muffled din of performers out on Crescent Mingled with the hopes of the passersby, While on a pearl-white tablecloth, two hands pretended That forever was a day nestled into late July But soon sentiments fade and leave reason to conquer the rhyme. (Chorus) (Bridge) Such stories are told By authors and artists By canvas and rhymes By stars and blue skies And oh, how we dine On sensibility’s harvest And though never without, We’re always unsatisfied (Chorus) "What a wonderful world we live in where love is manifest. What a splendorous place it would be if we let it be as simple as it wants to be." - Joshua Fialkoff
Tear You Down (Verse) It was such a surprise When you showed up at my place Tracking dirt on the floor Throwing mud in my face I coulda sworn you were gone But you're still taking up space Hiding out in the corners Trying out different shapes (Verse) I was enjoying myself Pretending you weren’t around I was out shaking hands With everybody in town Now it’s clear that you're here I'll keep you wearing a frown I’m gonna make you a promise Resolute is my vow (Chorus) I’m gonna tear you down Wipe the surface clean Keep fighting ‘til it’s ended Keep fighting ‘til I set me free I can take the blows- Can you take what you got coming? I’m gonna tear you down I won’t leave a trace You coulda left when I asked nicely Woulda let you off so easily Now, I’m rage and flame And I’m burning through your fables And I only stop at victory (Bridge) These fields are overgrown With all the lies you’ve sown And their roots extend to where soil meets the sea And you can watch them burn Each root and tree in turn ‘Cause it’ll take more than your lies to conquer me (Chorus) "A big middle finger goes out to fear in all its forms. We’ll not mistake your persistence for strength." - Joshua Fialkoff
Closed Eyes and a Setting Sun (Verse) Lightning tore the curtains Off a dark and desperate sky The townsfolk rushed for cover As the sleet began to fly A little boy ran once the storm began And his father followed close behind, But runnin’ won’t get you nowhere When there ain't nowhere to hide (Chorus) It's too late now, lord, don't you see what we have done? We've been trading in lies and we bought ourselves a setting sun (Verse) The preacher asked forgiveness As he fell upon his knees The rain dripped down his forehead To meet the tears upon his cheeks Please, oh lord, won’t you help us In this, our time of need? “We'll change,” he said, but he recognized The pretense of his plea (Chorus) (Verse) Towers succumbed to the rumble Of the ground that shook below Whole towns turned to rubble As the earthquakes took their toll Once, the wind it whispered A message we all ignored, But now that same voice is shouting out These grave and final words (Chorus) "Thank you to our home. You will surely outlast us. I’m sorry for how we’ve treated you." - Joshua Fialkoff
A Different Game (Verse) Sitting, waiting, hoping that the train don’t show But it’s here every morning And at 9am, you can hear that engine roaring Too afraid to stay, too afraid to go Just sittin’ here waitin' Since the first damn time that the train came to the station But now it's time for me to climb on board (Verse) I can’t remember the last time I felt this good Watching myself from the ceiling While a crowded floor moves to the music that we’re creating It’ll seem like a dream come tomorrow morn Doing hard time on a keyboard While I distract myself remembering moments I was made for Perhaps it’s time I made those times the norm (Chorus) Ya know the world is riddled with excuses (Riddled with excuses) And that our fears makes them seem sane (It's just a shame, shame, shame) What if we all made a resolution (Make a resolution) Picking up all this shit advice (all this shit advice), and kickin' it to the flames It’s time we played a different game "So much thanks goes out to the magical people of the blues, fusion, and swing dance communities. You inspire me to be better. I hope that I have honored all that you’ve given me." - Joshua Fialkoff
Another Yesterday Far from the city, we can see the stars Feel the moon shining bright upon our tangled limbs But would he shine as bright if he had seen beyond the dark? I never thought that there would be an end To this river I’ve been drinking from That you could say a word without me falling deeper in Where’s that northern star That beacon heart I found yesterday, yesterday Where’s that lover’s spell That endless well I found yesterday, yesterday Yesterday, yesterday That’s how the story goes It’s the only one I know You can find me tumbling towards the end Did I drink you up? Are you flesh? Or have I made you a desert Just sand in a sweatshirt Praying for rain And when I’m dry Will I go out And find me another Yesterday, yesterday, yesterday Where’s that northern star That beacon heart I found yesterday, yesterday Where’s that lover’s spell That endless well I found yesterday, yesterday Yesterday, yesterday...
Soldiers Made of Stone (Verse) A bench, a tree A pond, a stream, His suit is pressed and cleaned The pattern’s dated A dance, a grin A song, he spins The man is lost within Thus he's evaded (Chorus) We are free now But we are soldiers made of stone We’ve eluded the unknown We're at peace now But our fields are bricks and bones We are free and on our own We are free.... (Verse) A desk, a chair A screen, he stares Pretends he's unaware Pretends he's sated He walks on by No smiles, replies The man is lost inside His hope has faded (Chorus) "Special thanks to the fine gentleman I met one day in Scotland who loved birds and dancing. It was a treat to talk with you." - Joshua Fialkoff
Oh Fortunate One Good fortune’s a fairytale fable, a Tinkerbell dream For I who once sat at your table but now drowns in the streets Why won't you lift me up? Lift me up Lift me up, I’ve been undone Lift me up, oh fortunate one He unrolls his bed outside on the pavement And remembers the room he once had long ago The smell of the cotton, the feel of the blanket But that star’s in the distance and this hell’s now his home And so we stumble our way through the darkness We are torn by the winds and the seas And our gardens will grow whatever seeds we sow And we are left wandering The doors were closed and disabled the day I opened my eyes And I’ve heard your talk of freedom but I’ve seen only lies Why won't you lift me up Lift me up Lift me up, I’ve been undone Lift me up, oh fortunate one My house is a home to anger and sorrow My heart has grown hungry, seldom knows a repast So I've built up a wall with the bricks that I borrowed From the City of Angels where the devil's held fast And so we stumble our way through the darkness We are torn by the winds and the seas And our gardens will grow whatever seeds we sow And we are left wandering "Gabe, you are still in my thoughts. I just wish I knew how to help you. I miss having you as a companion, an instigator, and the world’s finest mobile bartender." - Joshua Fialkoff
Two Suitcases (Verse) All these pictures bring back faded revery But who’s this person, the one who made those memories? Are you caught inside a picture frame Or lost behind a window pane? All these boxes filled with fragments from the past Buried treasure she hoped would make the moments last and now you’re trapped behind these plaster walls Thinking maybe you were better off (Chorus) With just two suitcases And that rusty beat-up car Two suitcases And time to stare up at the stars How these paths diverged so suddenly Did I choose this or did it choose me? Guess I’ll let those two suitcases be (Verse) Through these windows, there are marigolds in bloom A mother’s present from a child who grew too soon They explode upon these fields of green And remind me of all these eyes have seen This old piano, all the stories it could tell About little fingers casting their first spells I can almost hear those melodies But I’m too lost in thoughts of what could be (Chorus) (Bridge) Always speaking in past tenses Peeking through the fences Thinking of jumping to the other side The grass there might look greener ‘Cause here the shade’s much deeper I'll see it when I open my eyes And then I’ll find a way to just put aside (Chorus) Those two suitcases and that rusty beat up car Two suitcases From here I still can see the stars And I’ll cherish all those memories Ya know they’ll always be a part of me But it’s time to love the life I lead And let those two suitcases be


Almost 4 years ago, I got rid of most of my stuff, bought a van, and traveled around the world making music, meeting amazing people, and collecting memories. While behind the wheel or on an airplane, I would often turn inward, tumbling lyrics and melodies around in my head and recording them on my phone when I thought they were ready. Back then, I’d frequently revisit those recordings and cringe at the lyrics, laughing when I remembered how excited I was about them upon their inception. It was even more fun (and if anyone else were to hear them, likely embarrassing) to listen to the mumbled recordings of melodies. To this day, I wonder how a tone-deaf cat keeps getting ahold of my phone. 

I distinctly remember making a scratch recording of the bridge and chorus of “Two Suitcases”. I was more excited than I’d ever been about anything I’ve created. Have you ever pulled up to a stoplight to see the person in the car next to you busting out to their favorite song, completely  oblivious to the world outside their car? I’m pretty sure that’s what I would’ve looked like had you been driving next to me on the freeway somewhere between Portland and Philadelphia as I was belting the hook into my phone: “TWOOOOO SUITCASES and that rusty beat up car.” It is absolutely thrilling to listen to old recordings of that song now and see how far it’s come.

This album was wrought from an array of feelings, from fear to fascination to joy. In short, it’s been an enlightening adventure, a small piece of life captured in 10 songs. I’m thrilled to share it with you, and I hope that it inspires you to create, grow, adventure, and dance.

-Joshua Fialkoff


released November 16, 2019

Music and lyrics by Joshua Fialkoff

Joshua Fialkoff – vocals, piano, keyboards, claps
Ross Bellenoit – guitars, keyboards, percussion, vocals
Matt Keppler – bass guitar, double–bass
Alex Maio – drums

Nicole Tranquillo – vocals
Eli Winderman – organ (“A Different Game” and “Closed Eyes and a Setting Sun”)
John Swana – EVI (“Once We Reached For The Sun”)

Orchestration by Ross Bellenoit
Russell Kotcher – violin
Liz Carlson – violin
Andriana Markano – viola
Andrea Weber – cello
Elliot Bild – trumpet
Hailey Brinnel – trombone
Korey Riker – saxophone

Ryan Calloway - album cover
Devon Rowland - photography

Produced by Ross Bellenoit
Mixed by Doug Raus
Recorded and mastered by Sean Svadlenak
Additional recording by Jeff Hiatt and Doug Raus
Recorded and mixed at Turtle Studios, Philadelphia


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Joshua Fialkoff Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Josh Fialkoff has been blending his smoky voice and soulful instrumentals for audiences since 2006. His music features a refreshing take on both traditional blues and jazz music as well as modern songs, and his arrangements blend these influences in a way that is neither stale nor abstract. ... more

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