The debut album from Dakota O is packed with ambient, exploratory rock songs that make you feel like you’re about to be abducted by aliens. The band, fronted by Dakota Bristow, was started last winter, featuring members of Camel Blues Band and Orange Doors. Dakota recorded and mixed the entire record in his bedroom, and encountered quite a few obstacles along the way including a fried laptop and a rough breakup, but he put his shoulder to the wheel and churned out an impressive debut EP.
“Critters”, the first song on Recluse, was actually the first full song that Dakota had ever completed. The rest of the album follows suit, with the order of tracks being the exact order in which the songs were recorded. Since the process took nearly a year to complete, we get to hear Dakota’s personal progression as well as improvements in recording quality that came with tons of practice. This is an album to throw on late at night, when you’re ready to get in the zone and oust some demons from your mind.
When he started writing these songs, Dakota says he was looking for a more creative backdrop, but ended up writing love songs and working through his breakup. To me, one of the main points of creative writing, musically and otherwise, is to grind out a troubling time or series of thoughts. You can throw it all down on a piece of paper and the troubles leave your mind, at least for a little while. So while Dakota may think the songs on Recluse don’t ring quite as true to him as they did when he was writing them, I would say that means he accomplished something worth the time spent, because he is no longer battling with the issues confronted on Recluse.
Dakota is currently working on his next project, with hopes for a release sometime this winter. You can stream the debut EP below, and be on the lookout for what’s coming next from this promising new band.