Citizen Dance

by The American Automobile

supported by
  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price

    You own this




released August 4, 2016


All songs written by a.
All lyrics written by a, but Abram McCluer co-wrote tracks 1,4,7. Nathan Elliott co-wrote track 5, Tajhmahal Robinson co-wrote track 8.

Produced by Nathan Elliott (2), Brant Boettger & Brendan Seyka (3,5,8,9), a (1,4,5,6,7,8,9)

Recorded between February 20 and July 29, 2016 in multiple locations.

Brant Boettger - vox (8)
Nathan Elliott - guitar (2,5), vox (5)
Abram McCluer - drums (1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9), vox (8)
Emily Noël - vox (2)
a - organ (1,2,6), aux. percussion (4,6), banjo (1,2,5,8), bass (1,6), guitar (all except 9), harmonica (3,6), lap steel (5), piano (2,5,9), vox (all)
Tajhmahal Robinson - vox (8)
Brendan Seyka - organ (5,8), bass (3,5,8,9), lap steel (3), glockenspiel (5), vox (3,8)
Chance Timm - vox (4)
Miles Winchester - trombone (8)

Mixed and Mastered by Nathan Elliott (2), Brant Boettger & Brendan Seyka (3,5,8,9), Randie Strouse (1,4,6,7)


all rights reserved



The American Automobile Detroit, Michigan

The American Automobile came out of small town isolation. Quiet depression and substance abuse and long drives and light pollution. Truck stops and Laundromats and grocery stores and gas stations. Squatting in abandoned grocery store. Came out of long talks on back porches and basement jam sessions. Learning from friends, breaking up, healing. ... more

contact / help

Contact The American Automobile

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: American Heart
My blood flows like the Detroit River
And my veins are the highway systems
And all the cars that populate them
They’re all the stolen medication.

There’s something in my eye
There’s something deep down in the water
Like some terrible, prophetic crime
You know he’ll never do time.

Everyone in Michigan’s a sinner
And they’re having heart attacks for dinner
A discount in the microwave
Gas guzzlin’ superstore slaves.

Hang yourself with the shackles of boredom
You weak chaos children
Will you do the Citizen Dance for me because

I’ve got an American Spirit,
I’ve got an American heart
Will you do the Citizen Dance for me?
You do the Citizen Dance right now.
Track Name: Porch Light
There’s a boy in your bed
And a heart in your chest, I know.
And you’re far from home
And I’m all alone, you know.

But the moon makes me shiver
And you come closer to me.

I’m so American
I swipe this card, and throw this back.
And I’ll be outside
Smoking under the porch light.

But the moon makes me shiver
And you come closer to the sun.

But the moon makes me shiver
And you come closer to me.
Track Name: Bottle Rocket
If the morning brings me death
Like it's been known to do
Please don't make a scene
Just see that my grave's kept clean.

I'll be the type of ghost
That'll love you until you die;
Until you've turned as blue
As the light polluted sky.

You know I could wait all night
I've already waited my whole life.

So spread out your blankets
Set up your lawn chairs
Empty out your pockets
'Cause you, you are a bottle rocket, oh no.
You, you are a bottle rocket.
Track Name: Part Time Drunk
The sand is cocaine
And the Great Lakes are rum.
I don’t know where we stand
But kid you better run.
You’ve got no money,
You’ve got no friends,
This old town will be the end of you.

Part-time drunk
And full time forgotten,
Get a job with your time allotted
Swallowed whole by the factories
Swallowed whole by the industry.

Toss your shoulders over the bridge
And breathe the factory smoke,
Because you are liar
With a light head and hard hands
Gotta go in today
So cancel all your no-man-plans.
Track Name: Saint Johns
It's hard to be sympathetic
When this place is so pathetic
I don't want to live here any more
I don't want to live here much longer.

I think that I'm just gonna lay in bed instead
Think that I'll just call in, for seven bucks an hour
I won't sell my dignity.

Walking home this place has been fucked by
Strip malls, interstates, and one too many road signs
I want to quit my job
But there's nothing here for me.
Track Name: Commodity
Well you can’t live forever off of TV-dinners and drugs
And someday you’ll find that out when the liquor store screams in your face.

But now your veins are tight from loss
Too many nights of fingers crossed.

You don’t want to live like this anymore
You don’t want to live at all.

Now the whole world’s gotten paved
Your house, your mother’s grocery store, could not be saved.
Now you’re staring at a shopping mall so depraved
And tomorrow they’re going to ask you to vacate,
You couldn’t pay your rent.

You don’t want to live here anymore
You don’t want to live at all.

How much money do you think they make?
Probably enough to pay my rent for a lifetime or two.

Now they’ve got me hooked on prescription pills.
I really think they’re trying to kill.
Pump in the poison so the poor folks don't rise up.
Track Name: Screaming, Detachment
I don’t know what’s behind the wine
We’re passing out to pass the time
And I can’t remember what your laughter sounds like.
We’ve been known to do the Citizen Dance,
Stuffing pills down our pants to get high
Not any more.

Well I don’t need to know
Just where you were last night
You were already there.

The black breath on my bed
Of a good friend of mine
And the thought that he could’ve died.
His shoulder pressed to mine
On the wooden chest
His cough’s been suppressed
Passed out in Ella’s hospital bed

Of all the beds that I could die in,
None is more empty than mine,
Just blame it on my softened mind.

The walls are all magnets,
I keep falling into them at night.
My veins are tight.
I’ve been dancing with the white lady
And you know she’s gonna step on my toes.

Well nothing hurts anymore
It’s all become commonplace
Isn’t that how it should be?
Track Name: Oh, I Cry For The Workers
We was field workin'
Knees in dirt
Dirt on hands
Needs in dirt
These black problems
They don't understand
Plant a black life and we grow the land
If we dying then we holdin' hands
Stand tall
Brick buildings and water dams
We humans are great
We just fuck ourselves
What you accomplish
That God ain't conjure?
Money is evil
I be off the juana
And don't apart the Father
I do my work on a Sunday til' Friday
And rest on my Saturdays
My Sabbath days be twappin'
I believe if you believe and work to top it
The universe will stop and help a cause if it be proper
So work Good fruits
And ya fruits ah work Good too
And it will last forever
Because that is what Good do
And you blessed cause you could choose

Oh, I cry, I cry for the workers
Oh, we are the great adapters.
Oh, I cry, I cry for the workers
Oh, we are the great adapters.
Track Name: Cheap Motel Blues
I’ve got these cheap motel blues
Better than a hospital room.
I lived in the bottle
Straight out of an American novel.

I’ve been a slave almost my whole life
To the things I think and the goods that I buy.
But nothing has held me down
Quite like this failed industrial town.

It’s not like I’m waiting around
But I’m not doing much else.
Everything is a moving part
You are just a beating heart for a while.

Everything is a moving part
You are just a beating heart for a while.