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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