Now this is just the sort of sul­try num­ber to make you long for the prop­er return of live music, an evening in an inti­mate venue, doing your stuff on the dance floor with social dis­tanc­ing noth­ing but a dis­tant mem­o­ry. The artists in ques­tion are Dako­ta Jones, a funk blues and soul out­fit mak­ing waves at home New York. Their lat­est sin­gle I Did it to Myself is a catchy, feel-good track that had me check­ing out their out­put to date and dis­cov­er more plea­sur­ably slinky tunes. I just hope they get to tour, and swing by the UK some time.

What hits you straight away is the raw, sur­pris­ing­ly deep and sen­su­al vocals belong­ing to lead lady Tris­tan Carter-Jones. Set­ting the tone for the album, I Did It To Myself is the open­ing track on the upcom­ing album Black Light, out on August 27. Tris­tan (her mid­dle name is Dako­ta) opens with the line “Stretch marks from grow­ing pains” – this track is all about adjust­ing to adult­hood and the mixed bless­ings that brings. There’s a cap­ti­vat­ing accom­pa­ny­ing video too.

The artists’ press release says ‘the band’s debut album’s mes­sage of proud black her­itage and tri­umphant queer­ness man­i­fests itself in Carter-Jones’ abil­i­ty to chal­lenge norms of adult­hood and femininity. ’

Says Tris­tan Carter-Jones: “I’m a black, queer woman express­ing myself through love and music. Some folks still find that to be a trans­gres­sive act in and of itself. I work to fight that idea. I write a lot about my sex­u­al­i­ty and the ways in which I express it. Songs about sex and love bounce back and forth between songs about heartache, hang­overs and self-med­ica­tion, and the plea­sure and pain of tru­ly find­ing your­self. I don’t think we get to hear these things from a woman’s mouth as often as we should.” 

“I’m a black, queer woman express­ing myself through love and music.

Dako­ta Jones: Tris­tan Carter-Jones (vocals), Scott Kramp (bass) Steve Ross (drums), and Randy Jacobs (gui­tar) – for­mer mem­ber of Was(Not Was)

Debut full-length album, Black Light is out on August 27. The first sin­gle – I Did It To Myself out on June 18.  

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