highways & hedges

by The Offshore Accounts



The fifth album by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Noah Fence, and the first from his indie band The Offshore Accounts. True to life songs from the past few years of city life: convalescence, growing up, getting married, and finding peace through truth.


released January 8, 2010

All songs written by Noah Fence

Vocals, guitars, mandolin, bass, harmonica, percussion: Noah Fence
Drums: Ayong
Recorded at Exibit A Studios
Mixed/Mastered at Island Music (Changsha, China)



all rights reserved


The Offshore Accounts Seaford, Delaware

The Offshore Accounts are proud to have recently been featured on The Fifth Tone Compilation! Check out the brand new recording on the free download here:


contact / help

Contact The Offshore Accounts

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Expecting Change
Been up since 2 and on my knees since 4
I’m praying for a miracle, a sign, and 3 open doors
The vision grew cold when I thought I understood
And took the lead, started to believe that no one else would

And now I’m standing on the line
between world-weary and street-smart still I find
Every day I’m expecting change

The freedom to find out is freedom from calculating out the rest of our lives
His guidance believing, he’s faithfully leading us into one thing at a time

The last 6 months I’ve come home to 5 different front doors
Progression from closets to bags, from beds to floors
Like a groom with cold feet, I started feeling pinned down
Took a complete backwards retreat to turn things around

And standing back I see
that overwhelming need and opportunity
Can’t be direction’s force of change

And now I’m standing here to see
the return of my joy and spontaneity
I’m expecting change

You hear a voice say all you can do you’ve got to do
And every shot has got to score
And it’s true that every door you walk through eliminates 7 more
But moving forward is about choices and not about options
It’s about action and not a face full of open doors
Track Name: On Hearing "The End is Near" for the First Time
Flashback, summer of 1998 and “Our Newest Album Ever!” alone was the tape
And I sang the songs that made the summer last so long
I never thought so far ahead that I would hold this album here in my hands

This is new and no one told me
That these tunes would have me creeping up on a decade
And what is over for the band now leaves me their age when they began

Fast forward, all these years that have past
I’m not a kid anymore and realize how fast it all will seem
The time in between great landmarks

I’ve got no regrets and I am looking forward, I am looking forward cuz I’ve got no regrets

The end of something extraordinary for Five Iron Frenzy
Is the start of something definitely that will end for me
Track Name: Flying Home for the Summer
Yesterday as I crossed the border into Hong Kong
I turned off my phone, it started to sink in that it’s gonna be a long long long time till I can
See her again, I gotta see that girl again

Flying home for the summer and when I get back I don’t know what she’s gonna say
I left it all up in the air and when I get back I don’t know what she’s gonna say

Well I waited too long to make my move, I put that girl in such a spot
And though now everything’s a mess and out of control, you know I’d still hate to have to lose
The chance to see her again, I gotta see that girl again

Well I never really dared to venture outside my everyday routine
And I spent all my time looking for you in places I knew you’d never be
When the fear that I would lose that girl surpassed the fear I never had a chance
I laid my feelings on the table then pushed it all into your lap
It was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but I knew I wouldn’t regret it
And that day you fell asleep on my couch, I could not forget it
Or get you out of my mind, I’d go out of my mind
Track Name: Horizon on Fire
The fear of, the fear of everything I’ve been looking forward to
With faith at having been led this far
So I’ll quit waiting for that one word to change the course of my life
I love the way I’ve been led this far

The horizon is on fire tonight
And I want someone ten times a day to call out and tell me everything is okay
You brought it out and you left this one up to me, it seems
The risk involved, the foggy-rain choice
I’m feeling sick inside but I know I heard your voice

A couple, a couple weeks ago for a couple weeks
I had no appetite but now it’s over
And I wonder if I shouldn’t be a little more concerned but I
Will just enjoy the peace I prayed for

Well I find myself jealous when I pick up the phone and it’s not for me
When will my time come, Lord, and can I be content if it comes gradually?
Track Name: Tent
What did you have in mind when He called you out of home
To a place where he’d show you, a place yet unknown
And every night on the road you drove your pegs in the sand
The tent door flapped in the wind and your thoughts turned to the promised land

And that one night you heard it, and you gave into the pull
It was just as if you’d seen he who’s invisible
He’s prepared a city and he’s proud you call him God
The one who you’ve trusted, the one who you’ve sought

Now I could turn on back, and everyone would understand
But there’s some place better than where I left behind, and it’s not this foreign land
All the towers and the five-stars, I pitched my tent in the valley
A PO box, a set of keys, and a monthly management fee

But then right there I saw it, and I yearned at the allure
Looking out my bedroom window from the fourteenth floor
I’ve prepared a city and I’m proud you call me God
The one who you’ve trusted, the one who you’ve sought

After all the letters of the signs had all buzzed and flickered out
A light fog had settled in and maybe a moment of doubt
Then I thought I heard a whisper, and I felt a strange surround
When the whisper became clear, and the fog became a cloud

They said brother keep on moving and do not be afraid
Don’t let nobody tell you It’ve been better if you’d stayed
You’re not going back, no we saw how you yearned at the allure
Somehow you saw the invisible from that fourteenth floor
You too will quench the raging fire, escape the edge of the sword
Win strength out of weakness and become mighty in war
For he’s prepared a city and he’s proud you call him God
The one who you’ve trusted and sought
He’s the one who you’ve trusted and loved
Track Name: Down Went the Girl
The details of Tuesday’s afternoon meeting were vague
Just some things to remember at this point in the educational stage
Like to offer more guidance and strengthen the students’ morale
And keep the school from the shame of this last weekend’s incident fatale

Cuz the civil engineering department’s Xiao Yu took the book and put it aside
Since the tension, suspension of bridges needing crossed wasn’t adding up this time
And with the weight of a breakup and faced with a future that’s poor
She climbed up the stairs to the roof of her dormitory’s sixth floor
And went down

Down went the girl and with her the hope that we all had that life could be easy without
Coming to terms and paying much mind to the lives of the broken, defeated, ourselves

Well the building too short or the concrete too soft, the physics didn’t suffice
Though she broke every bone in her body the fall didn’t take her life
So her parents were called in from their work in the countryside hills
To pick up their broken daughter and all the hospital bills

And everyone I knew said it would have been better if she would just have died
Than to burden her parents and face all the humiliation on this side
But Jesus still loves this little girl who’s been left so alone
For the life for which he never thought twice about giving up his own

You went down, down that same road
Of asking all the right questions but finding the answers too deep
Having been scared to death, you turned around and went back to a bittersweet ignorance
And nervously say you’ve been there
And found it’s better off just not to think about life all that much

But friend I’ve been there and been through and found love
And I’m not afraid of anything anymore

Since down, down came the Son, and took me out of the darkest pit I’ve ever known
It was mad, the way he was there, patient as little by little the morning star rose in my heart
Track Name: 手机



Track Name: 很快就回来


可是我整天最渴望的还是喝杯咖啡with you
Track Name: Chip On My Shoulder
Just caught a glimpse of a pink sky between buildings so high
And bats fluttered into the narrow vista
And it gave me a feeling of long ago and far away
And a hunch it was the 152 that chased all the crickets away

Well I just blindsided a taxi, and there was cursing from both sides
But then we did the smart thing, split before the cops could come and want a bribe
The open manholes, the daily treacherous ride, pushed around and marginalized
From my left, and my right, yo get out of my way
There’s too much madness to correct today, I say

With cars parked on the sidewalk, how can motorcycles find a flow?
Or the question more immediate, where the people supposed to go?

I can hear the birds in the morning, or is it a dream?
Let’s go back to campus where for this one week in spring
The old arch is in bloom and from beneath and within
The scent of time passing by me again
On my left, on my right, sir get out of my way
Just need some time to think today, I say

The moon over the skyline, the river’s muddy smell after the rain
It’s so hard to see it, to smell it these days

You know I ain’t no country boy, no woodsy John Denver
I just think it’d be a shame if come November
I finally realized another year had gone by and not once, not even once had I
Retreated to a solitary place on this planet
Written on a marble slab but I took it for granite
And it splintered and fractured as it got older
And ever since I’ve had this constant chip on my shoulder
Now it’s got to go
Track Name: Backseat
Like running my hand through my hair
For the first time after getting it cut
So used to having her there
And then all of the sudden she’s not
Over and over I’m playing the reel the scene in my mind
With your head on my shoulder asleep till the time
When I got on the bus and then plane after plane
Took me the farthest possible distance away
And yes, geographically speaking you couldn’t be farther away

But if I can grab onto a thought that passes by
It just might drag me to the stop where I let you in and shut the door
In the backseat of a taxi you come over close and I’ll take care of the fare

Well it’s our first Valentine’s Day together and it’s our first one apart
I thought I’d be back by New Year’s but then that hope got smashed up
And now I’m calling you up to break the bad news
And just hoping that you’re not getting to used
To the time difference, the feeling that comes
With the pain in your heart from missing someone
And yes, historically speaking, I’ve had a bad habit of going away

But if you can grab onto a thought that passes by
It just might drag you to the stop where I let you in and shut the door
In the backseat of a taxi you come over close and I’ll take care of the fare

Well they laid me down and cut me open, took it out and stitched me up
And for the last few days I’ve been learning to walk
Thinking in just a little while I’d be coming back to you
Well I’ve been counting down the days but He’s been adding them up
And now I’m almost to the point where I can’t help but bring up
The fact that I can only take so much
Before I just run back
Track Name: 治疗




Track Name: Save a Dance for Me
At the end of the driveway with your mittens on
I could see your breath when you yawned
And there was nothing to do but wait and crack some corny jokes
But I remember how you’d laugh and laugh

And the bus door opened and let out a sigh
Of modern and classic rock radio
And to the house we waved our last goodbyes
Kicked the mud off our shoes and got on

At the end of this road turn your blinkers on
They’ve got to see you coming along
Heading out on some back road toward Maryland in my ’82 hatchback
Brother’s gonna teach you to drive today

But too fast, too tight to take this rural turn
I turned off the music in the car
Run straight into a field, now what have we learned?
I pulled a husk from out from under the grill and we drove on

I like the song on your mix, and I’ll find the chords
Put the cooler in the back with the boogie boards
I got your sweater in the mail, I like the way it fits
I know it’s cool if you say it is
And the wheels kept spinning as time unfurled
Took us halfway around the world
But I always believed the best was still in store for you girl

As the march tune played, what a melting smile
You’ve found the one who’ll take you on from here
One request as you walk down the aisle
Would you save a dance for me?
Would you save a dance for me tonight?
Track Name: Nor'easter of 59
Well it was rainy and dark, the thunder woke me up
That winter of '59 when the nor'easter struck
It shook the frame of my stilted hut
And you'll never believe what the tide washed up

My neighbor buddy and me were the first to the beach
The captain floated in, I said "I guess you hit the reef"
He said "no joke, now just help me get dry
And make sure none of these guys gets away!"

They came in half-drowned holding to pieces of a ship
That was bound for Rome, all these criminals on it
Drifted up on our shore, and shivering like dogs
So we kindled a fire and said, "Welcome to Malta!"

Now there was on older one with scars on his back
Started gathering sticks and began to recollect
Countless beatings, getting whipped, stoned and left for dead,
Always in danger, sleepless, hungry, cold, and now shipwrecked

So this hardcore con puts his sticks on the fire
And when it hit the heat, out come a viper
And sunk in deep with his inch-long fangs
Like a black banner from his hand he hanged

Oh, I elbowed my buddy, said "This con's been running,
See he escaped from the sea, but finally got what was coming"
He guessed a traitor, I said a murderer
We made a bet and waited for him to swell up and fall over

But he flung that sucker back into the flames
Watched it hiss and wriggle as it sizzled in pain
Then he cursed something mean, into the fire he spit
And went back to warming his hands over it

Suddenly my mind went back to a tall
Tale grandpa told me when I was small
'bout good and evil, the creator of our race
How he crushed the head of a demon snake

You know I ain't no fool, never bought no lemon
But I started thinking about all that venom
Should've knocked him out, but he just gave me a nod
Then my spine turned to ice, I said "this con is a god!"

He said, "Now calm down son, everthing's gonna be fine
This ain't the first time I've been mistaken for divine
But your first guess was right, murder's what I used to do
I was an insolent opponent of everything that's true"

"You see, one day on the way to make a hit
A man turned me around and I became the target
Of a love unknown, you could say I was blind
Pushing against the grain with splinters all the time"

"It was God himself, he said here's what I'll do
Give you a new life, swap the old for new
As for your past, leave it behind, consider the slate clean
And as for Justice, I've already taken that on me"

Now listening to his story, I was truly haunted
Cuz a clean slate was what I really wanted
And this sack of crabs I'd been carrying around
Felt like a tidal wave about to come down

Then he said faith was all it took
To get your name written down in heaven's book
And start living a life, though it has it's aches,
Of laying hands on the sick and treading on snakes

Now I'm no genius, but I know a sweet deal
I received it with joy but soon began to feel
All the guilt come back and I started to think
Maybe this forgiveness thing wasn't gonna work for me

He said, "Listen to me boy, you've become a son
So you can stop thinking bout everything you've done
When Jesus died he paid what was due
So there's no way Justice'll come looking for you!"

"And when that old snake comes and starts to accuse
Starts to re-hash the past, I'll tell you what to do
You got to shake him off, you got to say the Name
And send that SOB back into the flames!"

And sing: O death, where is thy sting?
I was watching Satan fall down like lightning
O Justice, what payment's due?
I've got just one debt left to love my brother
And I intend to back it back in full!