Many Charleston music lovers didn’t know the name Dakota O until a few days ago when the young artist dropped his debut on Bandcamp. The collection, titled Recluse EP, quickly created a buzz with its eight tracks of shimmering lo-fi, electro-psych rock.
The artist behind it all is Dakota Bristow, who says he began creating the masterpiece last winter and, despite setbacks, finished it up over the summer — not a bad time frame considering he did everything himself. Every vocal and instrument is all Bristow, and he recorded, mixed, and mastered it all, too.
He may call Recluse an EP but it’s nothing you can easily get in and out of — plug in your headphones and get stuck in tracks like “The Room is Alive,” 10 minutes of trippy tranquility, or the nearly seven-minute dreamscape of “The Water’s Fine,” or “Drown” and its four-minute guitar-driven, soft-spoken journey through some curious other galaxy. “Blue is Everywhere” is also a standout piece, with its snail’s-pace indie rock backdrop swaying underneath a baritone-falsetto conversation.
Recluse is perfect music for waiting for fall to finally, really arrive, soundtracking meditative moments of both promise and melancholy. And it is the perfect season for Dakota O’s debut. It’s evidence that Charleston’s increasingly exciting and diverse music scene is full of the unexpected, and your new favorite album could be just quietly chillin’ somewhere, waiting to make its mark.