Dan ZimmerDreamFalling somewhere between folk and film noir soundtrack, the hard-to-nail down sound would be at home in a smoky bistro or ripping it up in a small rock club. Gee – they could have even been the band in David Lynch's Twin Peaks...

Dreams of Earth
Artist: Dan Zimmerman
Sounds Familyre
11 tracks 43:28

Perhaps "Walk Into Life," the last song on Dreams of Earth, best sums up Dan Zimmerman and his art: "Tell ya' somethin' – I don't have a clue in this life / But I'll never be lost where I'm goin'..." and later, "If I wanna' walk – I walk / if I wanna' sit, I sit / I do not strive to be something else..." Ignoring trends and blissfully free from demographic guidance, Zimmerman is who he is, and we're the better for it.

Like a man born out of time, Zimmerman's rich vocals imply the sound of a singing prophet, a poet, a philosopher. If there really was a Middle earth, he might just be an Ent (nerd alert). There's a sense of deep wisdom about his songs, even though the lyrics might be baffling – somehow we still get a sense of what he's talking about.

Dan and his band play a unique hybrid of acoustic-based music with electric edges. Falling somewhere between folk music and film noir soundtrack, the hard-to-nail-down sound of his band would be at home in a smoky bistro ("Je Regret") or ripping it up in a small rock club ("The Midst of This"). Gee – they could have even been the band in David Lynch's Twin Peaks red nightclub....

Introspective, pure, human music – this is what Dan Zimmerman creates. There's such an undeniable honesty about that voice that a profund quality permeates the songs – songs that are not at all complex, and certainly don't rely heavily on studio ornamentation or musical pyrotechnics. The band is more than competent, with all of the tools of rock and pop's varient styles, honed down to the bare basics.

"This is only an interim space / for the clock has already run down
Show is over, and so is the race / the clock has already run down
There's a tiny stretch yet to run, but the battle is already won 
This is only an interim space / we should all be above it by now
But it's written all over your face – we should all be above this by now
Just beginning to find the rungs, though the battle is already won..."

The lyrics are from "Interim Space." It's a slow-paced song with a strong melody – a haunting tune made all the more memorable by Zimmerman's haunting vocals. You trust him. You believe him. This is the voice of a man who's seen his fair share of life.

Probably not everyone's cup of tea, Dreams of Earth will appeal most to those who might feel slightly out of place here on the home-world. Kindred souls to Zimmerman will 'get' it – others might not. The sparse production highlights the songs themselves, with no musical camouflage to hide behind. What you get is pretty much Dan and his comrades, some reverb for atmosphere, and a female singer adding ethereal vocal backgrounds, which – while adding that Lynchian touch – might be the only somewhat intrusive element in the mix.
Dream along with Dan Zimmerman.

Bert Saraco


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