OK I made my choice: the DsD Album Of The Week choice in the Dropbox is Dakota Suite’s Alone With Everybody.
First things first, the short track in the vid isn’t on AwE, but I thought Shane would appreciate the visuals. But back on topic …
Dakota Suite is primarily a vehicle for Chris Hooson, with longtime support from guitarist David Buxton, and visuals & inspiration from Chris’ other half, Johanna.
As close as my music collection gets to slavish worship of an enigma, I adore the melancholy feel that washes over me whenever I listen to Dakota Suite music. Veering from piano&silence minimalism (that will be familiar to those who own Mark Hollis’ solo album) to fully-scored orchestral pieces, very little of the DS output is a “natural” fit for the DarceysDad reputation as a lover of guitar-heavy classic rock. But somehow it has almost all got under my skin in a way that very few of my friends can understand.
I won’t deny that you need to be in an already-receptive mood to “get” this kind of stuff – ejaydee once emailed me about Dakota Suite with the one-line question “Why so blue, Rich?” The answer? “Well I dunno!” [Two bonus ‘Spill points for naming the RR A-listed song that (spoken, not sung) quote comes from.]
The band’s website
will give you a fuller discography, most of which I own, and their MySpace page
is always good for unreleased extras. But what you may notice is that I’ve chosen the album that is actually a compilation of sorts. There’s a couple of reasons for that:
(i) It was the first DS album that I bought, based solely on the almost rabid ramblings of staff behind the counter of a now long-gone Bradford record shop.
(ii) It is possibly the most varied of DS albums, due to its compilation status. I reckon this gives me the best chance of at least some of it scoring some hits on you lot.
No, Chris’ voice isn’t brilliant. No, there’s no viable radioplay or accessible hooks in here. But for me, Dakota Suite music is mostly a thing of quiet beauty, and in these 100mph, stressful times, it is … as I’ve said before … balm for the soul.
Dakota Suite rarely tour. Chris has issues about that, and is hugely dedicated to his career in social care. He does however, interact online with a dedicated fan base. I once tried to become part of that crowd, but unfortunately I seriously misjudged the tone of a question from him, and rather badly offended him in my reply. I’ve never heard from them / been on the mailing list since.
That hasn’t hurt my love for the music, and I submit for your listening pleasure one of the albums I’d definitely take to my desert island.
Enjoy … discuss … and please don’t leave me hanging here looking like the stood-up sadsack outside the cinema. (I can’t tell you how ridiculously nervous this had made me feel!)
UPDATE – I’VE NOW DROPBOXED THE ALBUM AGAIN IN MP3 FORMAT. SORRY TO THE NON-WINDOWS USERS!