There have been many occasions where films and songs have romanticised the beauty and evoked the darkness and danger of Los Angeles, California. Films such as Collateral, Drive, and Nightcrawler expertly look at characters that are creatures of the night, lone coyotes roaming a city where the lights are somehow tinged with their own personality. This list displays twenty classic songs about the city, all of them somewhat dark in theme or tone. Los Angeles has often been positioned as a ponderous but vibrant city where fantasies can appear and disappear like smoke.
LA singer songwriter Dakota Blue writes dark, moody tunes about the City of Angels. Don’t have the Drive soundtrack at hand? This is the man for you.
Singer songwriter Dakota Blue looks to be continuing this tradition with his meandering guitar driven tracks. He has My Friend The Night, his latest, and two other singles; Tennis At Dusk and After Dark. Notice a theme developing already with the titles? You did? Good. Dakota Blue makes a home of Los Angeles and seems to be drawn to the night like many others, making music that could easily accompany a trek across the Californian desert.
In After Dark he displays the kind of agonised, late night/early morning contemplation that has been defined by many before him. He mentions that “I was on the prowl”, “I think too much and it’s hard to sleep,” and “I’m out of touch when you’re out of reach” in a song that doesn’t quite seem to reach its destination; more ground to be covered.[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=2797972241 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Dakota Blue is joined by Julio Lane on drums and Andrew Freire on bass who create sounds that are all very subtle. There’s always a steady beat to support the wandering guitar and crooning vocals and it’s all very easy to get lost in.
Tennis At Dusk follows a similar path to After Dark (although earlier in the day) that turns a literal game of tennis into a spooky, edgy experience that the video clip for the song captures brilliantly. Dakota Blue has the ability to be a great storyteller. While he sings, he makes you think reflexively in response to what he is telling you, like what he’s saying could affect you personally.This emotionally disturbing mood is akin to not being able to get comfortable on your chair. This is because your chair is always moving with Dakota Blue behind you pushing.
His latest track My Friend The Night is even more languid than his first two, his voice taking us through an inky, slow journey through the mind of darkness. The night “lets me tag along,” he says, and us as well. Despite the songs musical consistency and relatively docile tones, Dakota Blue’s vocal talent impresses upon us surreal feelings of danger and delusion that brings back childhood fears of the dark.
By the same token, all the tracks are quite tender and beautiful and increase in depth with each listen. If you’re into driving aimlessly around at night and don’t have the Drive soundtrack handy, Dakota Blue is an able accessory to have.[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=398474944 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]