By Brigid Dolan
When I was sent the Slow Dakota EP, Rumspringa, at the end of January, I didn’t have any background knowledge of his previous work. After rifling through the countless albums I was being asked to promote that week, I finally got around to listening to Rumspringa, and was instantly enthralled. The EP masterfully weaves influences of chamber pop, electropop, and delicate instrumentals to form an entirely unique sound; almost reminiscent of your favorite new wave band of the 80s with a twist of entirely modern lyrics.
Listening to this at the end of January in the Midwest, where it was a devastating temperature of below freezing accompanied by ice and wind, was a much-needed refresher, and was amplified by finally getting around to reading the book I promised myself I would read in early December. If we’re going to talk about ~aesthetics~ the artwork on the album alone would draw me in, if it wasn’t my job to listen to it in the first place. The artwork presents images of vintage and rustic Americana-esque visuals, but I was surprised with what played when I started the album.
And in case you’re wondering, the beautifully entropic relationship of the artwork and the initial sound does hold up throughout the EP. My favorite song from Rumspringa, Jebediah Iowa, expresses this beautifully in the idea that once you think you have the sound of the song figured out, it does a 180 and completely changes into a totally different sound, yet still staying harmonious with the beginning.
The music was like a punch in the face, but in the best way possible. When writing this review I tried to think of similar artists that I could compare, but none came to mind. Not knowing how to exactly describe the genre of Slow Dakota is a much-welcomed surprise that I was happy to experience. I’m already calling it and saying that Slow Dakota will be one of my favorite new artists (to me) of 2018, and I’ve started delving into his earlier work, with much of it taking over my unreasonable amount of playlists on Spotify. So please, do yourself a favor, and give Slow Dakota a listen for your own sake.
Perfect scenario for listening: a mild-temperature Spring day reading in your room with the windows wide open