Dakota Blue pours so much of himself into his music that it often blurs the line between uncomfortable and endearing. His approach to songwriting involves solitude in motion. Meaning, he often finds inspiration while walking Los Angeles and absorbing the cosmic drama that surrounds him. Small everyday moments can become the most grandiose should you choose to shine the right light on them. On his new EP, Rodeo Knife, Dakota Blue has employed razor-sharp precision to every detail.

The incredibly tongue-in-cheek opening track, “Aw Man,” perfectly captures the beauty of this record. Arguably the most melodic of the songs on the record, “Aw Man” starts with the lyrics “I promise/I don’t like it/When you say I’m/Well-spoken.” The song pokes a lot at Dakota’s introverted nature by tackling his inability to accept compliments and staying in while all of his friends are out socializing. All of this comes to a head with the defeated two-word chorus of “aw/man.”

These are the moments that feel the most candid. Dakota has no problem bearing all for the sake of his craft, even if that means poking and prodding at the parts of himself that he may want to change. In a similar light, “Cashmere” is another standout track. It never gets louder than a whisper, but that whisper could move mountains. The delivery is comfortably soft, as the name would suggest, but this another track wherein critical focus is pointed inwardd. Lyrics like “I analyze all too much/I touch/I’m paralyzed” drive that point him all too well. The hushed delivery amplifies the already vulnerable track; making it nearly four minutes of goosebump-inducing self-reflection.

The whole of Rodeo Knife feels a little like an exhale. Moments spent endlessly strolling and observing informed the stories being told on the album, allowing Dakota Blue to show off his endless talent by packing the quietest moments with some of the most emotion. These fragile moments also seem to carry the most weight, lending themselves perfectly to the folk-inspired approach employed on Rodeo Knife. 

I’m a huge fan of the kind of songwriting that Blue brings to the table, so I recently asked him for a brief statement about the inspiration for Rodeo Knife. Here’s what he had to say, “Rodeo Knife is a collection of songs influenced by a specific zone of LA. A cowboy brandishing a knife and a lasso on Rodeo Drive. A stroll through space themed streets devoid of people. In this comfortable and isolated space, the songs just wrote themselves. Emotions range from Aw Man’s anxious energy addressing borderline agoraphobia to Cashmere’s soft nostalgic ballad about previous homes.

I’m excited to share the new Dakota Blue EP with y’all. You can stream Rodeo Knife in full below.

Rodeo Knife will be self-released on September 29th. You’ll be able to purchase the EP directly from Dakota Blue via his Bandcamp, here.