Imagination​/​Wickedness and Tell Me Why My Heart Beats! DISC 2

by Daniel Zott

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about

The Double Album
Self-released

It’s often been said that a double-disc release is a virtually guaranteed kiss of death in the music industry. That is, unless your ultimate goal has nothing to do with revenue that features a substantial number of zeroes or any sort of fickle fame. When you’re simply looking to share as much of your artistic expression with as many people as possible, as Daniel Zott has so clearly chosen to do with this mega-release, well, then you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose … and everything to gain.

Clocking in at 24 tracks spread over two discs that chalk up to 90 minutes of music, The Double Album is one of the most grandiose and satisfying records to come out in ’08. The production here changes from track to track, ranging from polished perfection to lo-fi bedroom recordings, but it doesn’t create a feeling of schizophrenia as you might expect. It becomes eclectic and also an exercise in which each song’s production perfectly captures the tone of the material. Lyrically, Zott often mixes the melancholy with earnest hopefulness, fixating on subjects like anti-consumerism, the struggle to survive in a country you so often can’t identify with, and his own faith, while his double-tracked vocals soar effortlessly high into friendly falsetto skies and then creep down to small whimpers, breaking earnestly and with aching sincerity.

Musically … well, there's a lot happening here. Zott mixes hip-hop beats with minor-key vocal wanderings (as best heard in a song like “Equal Unrest”); he dives from the occasional track that resembles a much-less-depressed Elliott Smith right into a Sigur Ros-like song, looping backwards vocals over sweeping ambience. He has crafted throwback rock songs great enough to make Dr. Dog tuck their tails between their legs and go back to the drawing board; or a song like “Washed Figures,” which most closely resembles one of Aphex Twin’s chilled out moments, with a keyboard hook that runs laps through your subconscious; or the quiet, honest and acoustic “The Amazed Settler” — probably the most gorgeous song on the record.

Each of these 24 tracks features some detail that makes it click: a background break-beat, a slinky guitar lead or a melody that will hide away in the back of your brain and show up days later when you least expect it. There are immediate standouts — “The (After) Life,” We All Can’t Be Stars,” “It’s the Top Thrill” — but it’s the songs that sneak up on you after repeat listenings that really make this release as incredible as it is — songs like the haunting “To Be American,” or the beguiling “Dispensation.”

This is a perfect record for the season, populated with songs that eerily capture the mood of a city as it turns up its collar, braces for a chill and contemplates hibernation, but repeatedly offset by exuberant tracks that will shake off the onset of any sort of Seasonal Affective Disorder, shining beams of sunlight between your drawn blinds. My only complaint: a few of the songs seem like ideas; fragments that warrant further exploration. Did I just complain that 90 minutes of this music isn’t enough? Wow. I guess that’s not such a complaint after all. — KIRK VANDERBEEK

credits

released 11 November 2008
All Songs Written By Daniel Zott

Produced By Daniel Zott and Ben West

Mixed By Daniel Zott and Ben West

Mastered By Ben West

Daniel Zott played all the instruments

Ben West played some Drums, Bass and Keys

Recorded In Their Basements

Artwork By THE SILENT GIANTS

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about

Daniel Zott Detroit

Daniel Zott was born in a hospital like most Michiganders. However, he was a middle child like few born in this century. Noise was hitting his ears since he was impossibly (mathematically speaking) constructed. Eventually, he wanted to make his own noise, or at least contribute. He stumbled upon a guitar after a sports injury in junior high. He never played sports again. ... more

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Track Name: It's the Top Thrill
Stop...I want to make an arrest!
For I no longer can chase your heart.
When you are hiding your best.
It's becoming the morning sun,
To see you and leave you for days
On end.
You always seem to pretend
You're not that interested.
It's a game!
I'm willing to play your games.
I'm willing,
Cause I'm not dead yet!
And you're not over it.

It's up to you, dear.
What do you wanna make of it?
oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You're always running so scared,
But I like you anywhere.

Trust...is under the bed finding dust.
Paralyzed, making a fuss,
While I fumble the words through my lips.
You feel like the morning sun,
Leaking and finding its way
To my heart.
Quickly, I block it all out.
I can't look interested.
It's a game I'm getting tired of playing.
Should they end,
And become self-evident,
May we find happiness.

It's up to you, dear
What do you wanna make of it?
oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
You're always running so scared,
But I like you anywhere.
Track Name: Into Thee
wouldn't you know
they left me alone to be
swallowed whole by hungry monsters
i said a prayer that God'd give me wings to be
caught in the wind
like sparrows on trees

but they don't believe me
but they don't believe me

i always imagine things
i always imagine things
my mind loses everything
as time isn't measuring
my heart is my memory
my heart is my memory
no longer an industry
my heart it flows into thee

grabbing a stone
i started to build my home
ignoring the facts inside it's belly
then he threw me up
into the busy street
just in time to make the party

but they don't believe me
but they don't believe me

i always imagine things
i always imagine things
my mind loses everything
as time isn't measuring
my heart is my memory
my heart is my memory
no longer an industry
my heart it flows into thee
Track Name: Hell Is Fatherless
i walk the street
i know your feet
is this an end
am i complete
the neighborhood with open arms
the ice cream truck with no remorse
an old past-time
an ancient song
a rainy day to play alone
the bell has rung the children walk
the mothers kiss the fathers hug

it's all made in the start
we're all looking for a place to hide our heads
where fire will not burn our beds
a resting place to call us home
where widows and the orphans know
there's a god
and he knows
how to be a good dad

a talking box
under a pot
a colored code to line us up
a matching wall
a two foot pole
no place to put the telephone
the upstairs sound
from all around
a broken lock to keep us out
no standard time
or window sign
designer wear to point me home

it's all made from the start
we're all looking for a place to hide our heads
where fire will not burn our beds
a resting place to call us home
where children will turn into sons
and the boy on the street
needs a basketball net
Track Name: Oh! Sister
oh darling sister
your garden's vast
don't spoil your dress
just to be with him
a little bit of everything
a great deal of none

oh spring-filled lover
why hide your best
don't break your dress
just to be with him
you worked it all by hand
and now he's gone
Track Name: The Amazed Settler
i'm never amazed by you
you're the most important thing, it's true!
fashion is the rhyme you use
so cover up your love with more abuse

but that's so you
never ask to choose
but you want the news
for chat

but i'm always bored after it settles
don't try to settle me down

i'm never suprised by you
movies are the thing you aspire to
i put my pride in check for you
but money turns you on more than the truth

and that's so you
never want to lose
your looking through
a black soul

and i'm always bored after we settle
Track Name: It's Only In Fashion
i see you best
unrelated
with no simile to your name
cause your hair is not like the silkweed
but your hair
well it's your hair

and your mouth
resembles nothing
so wonderfully as much as your own mouth

so why should i say you are just like a tiger lily
when it's just in fashion

and some say
you walk proudly
like a woman just courted
others paint colors for autumn
hoping to catch a glimpse of you

but why should i say you are just like a tiger lily
when it's just in fashion
it's only in fashion
it's just a fashion
it's only a fashion
it's only in fashion
in fashion
Track Name: The Prophecy
and so the prophecy
of what this man should be
the priests they shook their heads
it didn't fit their story no
and then it came to pass
and they were gone at last
and he was by the door
telling us only to believe

sin weighty on
he was your lost directions
without the sword drawn
in fact of descent hope
it was a sign
was he the sign?

and then the jury took
from all that they had booked
and he was guilty by
his hands were at my side
lord, where are you?
i felt your finger tips
they gripped and then they gripped
the blood that freely spilled
this couldn't be fulfilled
without you

sin weighty on
he was the one that they sought
for thousands of years
entering time
divided mankind
was he the sign?
was he the sign?

divided mankind
was he the sign?
was he the sign?
Track Name: Sex and Sensationalism
you watch the TV for hours
satisfied and disensitized
eating lies from the wise
while you die

show me skin and a spin
head turning and thin
queen of our hearts
and the king of sin

masters of disguise
soldiers always die
there is no good war
even if we're poor

i never read that poem
never heard that psalm
that story never told
no one listens to the old

it's all sex and sensationalism
it's all sex and sensationalism

whatever pays the bills
doctor give me the pills
our ratings soar high
when we lay the girls

you always want it quick
stay the course keep me sick
just show a white girl in stress
and maybe i'll forget

it's all sex and sensationalism
it's all sex and sensationalism
it's all sex and sensationalism
but god how we love to buy and sell it
Track Name: Royal Rule
on the lake of wine
stood the rod of fire
and it's not for us to touch
for we might die

your throne is god's throne
under the peaceful waters
the scepter of your royal rule
i love to pass under
if it's mine it's yours
under our righteous father
the scepter of his royal rule
we need to pass under

over rocks of ice
i was given air twice
but i couldn't breathe
for the air was thin
and a permanent sheet

your throne is god's throne
under the peaceful waters
the scepter of your royal rule
i long to pass under
if it's mine it's yours
under our righteous father
the scepter of his royal rule
we need to pass under
Track Name: Prosperous (Dare To Be Rich)
the best thing we've done
is have god be our financial partner
no longer living in an apartment
or driving an old car . . . we're on the fast track

you must
become increase minded
set your heart on a wealthy place
this is your time for a breakthrough
just sow your seed and the doc's on his knees

it's a shame we all can't live this way
drop top chevrolet
isn't this heaven today

whatever you've got
i can guarantee
the lord's annointing for ten times your lot
isn't it time
to call this number
just have a little faith
and i'll pocket the rest

oh no what happened to all my fortune
seems that while i was rising so were the poor

now it's true
everything rots
and i saw some kid
living in a cardboard box
he was happier than me
he saw something i couldn't see
he bought something for free
yeah, he was happier than me
Track Name: Washed Figures
money in your life
it takes the place of everything
i'd rather make flowers bloom
and loose tables in time
it's all washed figures

you've got most of your life
maybe it'll give me a job
think i'd rather put ice on my lips
then lose people in time
it's all washed figures

i think id rather put mice in my socks
for washed figures

for your washed figures

making sense of a holy right
wearing coats for the countries might
i think i'd rather be wearing nothing
over washed figures
Track Name: We're Making It Hard
dread life without you because
i am only human
and you have always known that well
search universal beings
because i am without maker
being of only faulted
images of a complete
and innocent form
helpless and burned
by a culture of worms

i lay my head to rest
kiss the feet

comparing myself
while killing my health
we're making it hard
making it hard to
give as you give
we're making it hard to
live as you lived
we're making it hard to
love the lover
oh my god