Slingshot Dakota (Carly Comando – keyboard and vox, Tom Patterson – drums and vox) is a Bethlehem, Pa based indie band that has been touring continuously, having appeared at this year’s The Fest and playing dates with bands such as Hostage Calm, Diamond Youth as well as fellow Topshelf artists Prawn, Sirs, and The World is a Beautiful Place and I’m No Longer Afraid to Die. Despite the tour schedule they have managed to complete a full length album, called Dark Hearts – a 12 track commentary into various emotions and feelings.
Comando and Patterson took a unique approach to the record by placing Comando’s superb keyboard mastery in the forefront, which adds an emotion to such songs as “Disaster” that would be lost with a guitar, and seems to meld with her voice much better. As for the vocals, Comando’s voice rings loud and true and gives power to the lyrics of each song, with Patterson accentuating the vocals at the right moment. And while the keyboards lean more towards the traditional piano, the song “Rasta Bacca” showcases more a synthesizer sound and math rock like complexities in relation to the rhythms and drum lines (and is incredible live). More intricate rhythms lines can be found on such tracks as “Words” and “Gossip” which Comando and Patterson present brilliantly.
The lyrics are thought provoking and sung in a self-reflecting point of view. For instance, in the song “Mayday” the lyrics of being passive one’s life and failing to enjoy life is sung over a driving groove that reminds one of a bustling crowd at rush hour. Another song, “Cassette”, is about failed relationships and features Comando on guitar in the beginning, and “Good Year” addresses the changing view of what is important as we grow older.
Dark Hearts take a mature, introspective look at how we view ourselves and the world around us as we grow older, masterfully presented in intelligent and well-crafted music. You can pick up your copy at this link at the Topshelf Records website.