Devin Dawson does not waste any time in grasping our attention with his new record Dark Horse. “Dip” kicks things off and with an extremely upbeat vibe and catchy chorus. This song is exciting, and after just one listen I felt as though I was being talked into a secret musical adventure, possibly the remainder of this record.
Sure enough, the doors opened up to another 11 tracks, all packed with emotion and outstanding musical elements, each one different than the next.
“All On Me”, which none of us are a stranger to is second, and his tone drastically changes into a more vulnerable and softer sound, which compliments his genuine words perfectly. Two tracks in and we have already seen the wide range of variety that is Devin Dawson, and just what his voice and talent are capable of.
“Asking For A Friend” is a perfect example as to why this record needs to be carefully listened to, not just played.
“Let’s say this friend of mine went and messed up real bad,
He’d do anything in this world girl, to get you back,
Hey what kind of sorry would it take for a man to erase his worst mistake,
And will this even begin to make a dent…”
As a songwriter, it is a true accomplishment to create a piece that the listener can pull out their own meaning from, therefore making it instantly relatable to each of us.
“Symptoms” is thrilling, heart pounding and steamy, using commanding metaphors to describe the power she has over him. You find yourself in a trance until this song ends.
The mood shifts again in “I Don’t Care Who Sees” to a lighthearted and playful vibe. Even the soft echoes that come along with the chorus will have your heart melting.
“You know, I know, the right way to treat a woman, when everybody’s looking,
But I, I can’t lie, when you put your hand there on my knee and get that look up in your eyes.”
Devin Dawson is spectacular at diving into the character of his songs. His voice in “Secondhand Hurt” is vulnerable and raw and in “I Don’t Trust Myself”, he stays deep as he explores a situation that is bound to end in heartache.
A heavier sound comes out of “Prison”, as expected with the name of this track, and a song that will shine in a live setting.
A simple guitar progression and the voice of the hour sings us out in the title track “Dark Horse”. The message ties this entire record together and almost acts as a foreshadowing of what we can expect throughout his career.
“I side with the outsiders, those long shot last round fighters, anyone who ain’t afraid to stray off course.
My heart bleeds for country music, where the honest outlaw true is
No I ain’t no white knight, I’m a little more, Dark Horse.”
Out of this record also comes the message to always be you, and not let anyone else tell you differently. Devin Dawson put out a debut record that will be talked about for the entire year and beyond. From start to finish, it is full of natural, raw talent that deserves to be heard.