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Straight Lines

by Ilan Isakov

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    Ilan Isakov's debut 11-track album 'Straight Lines' on CD. Comes in an eco-wallet with track listing and liner notes.

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1.
I knew a woman who said I was a mystery We were talkin’ bout houses and memory she said we all have a room we keep under lock and key and she gave me a tour, oh it wasn’t for free — she showed me a piano, and she asked for a song and I played it all night till the questions were gone I met Camila at the hotel We had drinks at the bar things were goin’ well, She asked if I believed in heaven or hell, I said, Heaven’s right here, far as I can tell She said, Love is a game I haven’t played in so long But we played it all night till the questions were gone I remember when I was just a kid My brother ran away for weeks on end And I was up late the night he finally came in, but the look in his eyes said “don’t ask where I been” He just handed me a record, and I put it on and we played it all night till the questions were gone
2.
sheets drawn across us fragrance of blossoms hummingbird throw your tongue into us You dug a tunnel Then came the runnel Water has a way of seeping in Had no one to bargain with I admit, I believed in the myth I sold you, but you weren’t buyin You ran away with the dish and spoon But I know you, and knowin you, you’d grab a handful of honey from the lion the flood has receded I scan the beaches and measure our love with a whalebone whitewashed and sun-dried inside and outside it was much too much to carry home Wind-up dream, winding down Make it last, I don’t know how I lost you but I’m still cryin’ pounding with a fist of steel everyone knew your last meal would be a handful of honey from the lion
3.
There ain’t no rest for flyin’ feet, Lemme have what’s left of this fugitive’s dream and my foggy window fantasy Despite my hopes, the sun is back Turning rust to gold on the old train track It’s time to move my little ass, No time to weep — the time to weep has passed There’ a guiding light in the changing sky Prayers go up in straight lines And August is just a neon sign It’s mine though, it’s mine though — it’s mine All the ghosts are talking with their mouths full, and me, I’m watching the turnstiles turn And grace is god and god is the only one here with nowhere to turn in my fugitive’s dream in my fugitive’s dream Chin up, cheer up, sugarplum, The paper’s sayin’ that we’ve won Healed the leper, chased the sun, It’s over now, it’s over now — it’s done Mother beneath your gentle braids, Behind the hands that hide your face, The madmen in the marketplace It’s over now, it’s over now — We're safe I cheer from bed, still spent from sex The spiders have all gone to their nests finally I get my rest It’s over now, it’s over now — In my fugitive’s dream, I’m sneaking off to the choir to sing
4.
mouth around a cigarette i watch the wind take your silver breath down crooked streets in the city light it’s the halo round the moon tonight milky white and inky black the garden grows along your back and so i’ll trace with fingertips a sigh escaping from your lips we can’t see anything now except you and me and if i ever had regret i haven’t felt it with you yet and so i want to know completely this woman who has come to meet me singin’ autumn days, calloo callay, and all the rhymes that children say i’ll memorize and learn my part oh i wanna know you all by heart but we don’t know anything now except you and me
5.
All my heroes sit up straight they gaze at the ground — they radiate Me, I’m mumblin’ in the kitchen for the sun to pay up lonely as a ring on a cold coffee cup I’m some sick animal, I’m diggin’ for bones if it weren’t for second chances we’d all be alone These are the strangest hands I’ve ever seen I can’t believe they belong to me turning my pockets for a note that you left cuppin’ my ear to hear the wind confess: “I’m a ghost in the garden, I’m scarin’ the crows.” If it weren’t for second chances, we’d all be alone Now I’m runnin’ from nothing, no thoughts in my mind Yeah my heart was all black, but I saw something shine Thought that part was yours but it might just be mine I could share it with you if you gave me the time Now I’m all bloody knuckles and longin’ for home, If it weren’t for second chances we’d all be alone I’m shot through the head, I’m a black sinkhole If it weren’t for second chances we’d all be alone
6.
Those Who Go 03:42
Was it in your love that I was lost? Somewhere in your human heart I sinned and was left in the exhaust of a city bus What I thought was a coin in the rain — a promise kept from the cold and the wet, the regret, and the remembered pain — was just a trick of the light but from the street I heard the choir just for a moment when the door was opened to the poor and the tired, “Those who go without, let them come in.” Reaching for love in the dark, the chorus sings, inside us we grin with the age old spark those who go without, they go within Handing out poems at the gates I see Paul there’s a reason why all my friends are named for saints those who go without they go within and even my old hard-luck friend has found a song and a room and an ear to bend those who go without they go within Reaching for love in the dark the chorus sings inside us we grin with the age old spark those who go without, they go within
7.
We found where the ash falls through the trap door into the basement with the masonry nails and a cloudy cat’s eye marble Is it cold on the moon? It was cruel to leave Earth without heroes Earth without heroes I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one Your family misses you and we miss you over here Where did you get all your good cheer? Where did you get all your good cheer? I was stupid about history But it made sense to you You could see where we were headed to Oh what should I do? Who’s left to be true to? Of course I could follow you But I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one I wanna be remembered like you moving with grace in the reflection of a glass beautiful, plucked from the grass But I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one I don’t wanna hurt no one
8.
There was always a reason to wait There was always a reason to stay There was always a branch I could bend There was always a berry I could take There was always a coat to patch up There was always a bruise waiting to heal There was always an ember still aglow There was always the promise of a meal But never such quiet and stars Quiet and stars Quiet and stars Quiet and stars Funny how they fall How they seem to come on all at once Or not at all Aw There was always better weather up ahead There was always a friend in a bind There was always next seasons loves There was always a lover to leave behind There was always the same old fear Never seemed to be a choice There was always everything I held dear Then I heard the quiet of your voice The quiet of your voice The quiet of your voice The quiet of your voice The quiet of your voice Funny how it goes The feelings they come on all at once Or not at all Aw But you don't get to choose Do you? There was always an exit There was always a way out of bed There was always a light in my eyes There was always a voice in my head Funny how it goes The feelings they come on all at once Or not at all Aw But you don't get to choose Do you? You don't get to choose Do you?
9.
Words 03:34
Words mean more at night Like a song And did you ever notice, light means more than it did all day long? Words mean more at night, LIght means more, Like your hair, and your face, and your smile And our bed, and the dress that you wore So I’ll send you my words, from the corner of my room And though I write them by the light of day Please read them by the light of the moon I wish I could leave my bones, and my skin And sail over the tired, tired sea, so I could see you again But maybe you would leave too, and we’d blindly pass each other Sailin’ over the ocean blue, just to find the warm bed of our lover So I’ll send you my words, from the corner of my room And though I write them by the light of day Please read them by the light of the moon
10.
Desdemone 04:30
Oh Desdemone, she don’t sleep she just smokes and stares at the stars fallin’ on her street She’s known the night so long she tells me that each hour has it’s own song So if I drift, give me a shake or just hold my feet until I wake Until I wake, I won’t be gone Just save me a place When the new day comes They’ve got eyes and ears all over this town I can’t scratch my back without bein’ found out So I’m packin’ up, and headed West where I don’t do no good, but I feel my best So if I drift, give me a shake or just hold my feet until I wake Until I wake, I’ll dream of you Just save me a place when I come back through
11.
I can’t think when I’m standing still So I’ll walk till my feet complain And the sun grows red, just like a rose that ya throw at the end of a play See the curtain is falling down and the singer’s undressing backstage And she nods at the applause, she sings what we cannot say It’s just a step to the mailbox, it’s a walk to the new hotel, And to your door it’s a half tank of gas, and a road that I’ve traveled well I’ll pull onto the highway and turn on the radio And keep my ear tuned for a good line I can steal for my arsenal I keep some leaves in the glovebox, And I’m drunk on a box of wine, The radio voices crumbled away When I hit the state line It was the night of your whale song, and the eve of a new saint’s day And I was speechless, just like the stars, won’t you sing what we cannot say

credits

released November 19, 2021

All songs by Ilan Isakov except Words and Second Chances by Ilan Isakov and Gregory Alan Isakov

Musicians
Ilan Isakov: vocals, piano, baritone ukulele, guitar, vibes, synths, melodica
Tom Deis: bass, guitar, drums, percussion, synth, recorder, backing vocals
Daniel Freedman: drums and percussion on tracks 4, 6, 8, 10 & 11
Nat Tate: backing vocals on tracks 1, 3 & 8
Gregory Alan Isakov: backing vocals on tracks 1 & 3
Hannah Nicholas: viola on track 2

Recorded at Pineapple Room Studio in Kerhonkson NY by Tom Deis except:
Nat and Greg's vocals recorded at Starling Farm in Boulder, CO.
Viola and grand piano recorded at Ilan's house in Philadelphia, PA.

Mixed and mastered by Tom Deis

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Ilan Isakov Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ilan Isakov is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and composer based in Philadelphia. He has written music for film, television, theatre and contemporary dance.
His debut album Straight Lines was released on November 19th, 2021

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