In September of last year, we set up an interview with Dalton Domino for a Single Spotlight on his upcoming album’s lead single, “July”. What was supposed to be a 15-minute interview, turned in to an hour-long conversation about the upcoming record “Corners”; with Domino describing the project “as something [he’ll] never be able to make again”.
Domino’s life had just gone through a rapid transformation shortly before tracking the record. With a turn towards sobriety and a departure from what he described as “a bunch of shit that wasn’t good for [him]”, the last few months had taken him on a rollercoaster of life’s up’s and downs. As he detailed the various songs, and how he put every bit of emotion he experienced throughout his transition into the album, one thing became apparent: this was going to be a very special project.
I caught up with Domino before playing a show at The Tap this January, and once again we fell into a captivating conversation, as he filled me in on the background of a few more songs. He sent me the files for the album that night, and I didn’t even make it out of the parking lot before the first song was playing through my truck’s speakers. He had already warned me that the bookends of record, “The River” and “Monster”, were going to be a “little different”….and I’ll just put it like this, that’s certainly understatement….Intrigued by the dark and mysterious intro track, I headed for #2 “Decent Man”. I dove right into the edgy, toe-tapping rhythm and could immediately see the growth and maturation in his songwriting after hearing philosophical punches like “I can live my life as a decent man, but purpose lived in the dark ain’t worth a damn”.
As I dug further into the album, I became entranced by the deep sound, big instruments, and the thematic production (Nick Jay and Jay Saldana at Century Recordings in Dripping Springs). I was on the 5th track “More Than You” by the time I pulled in the driveway, and the song’s funky groove and high-spirited instrumentation convinced me that even though it was 2 AM, I should go grab the two Miller Lite’s out of the fridge, come back to the truck and finish the record that night in my driveway.
With the top-popped on beer #1, I scrolled to the next track, “The Rain”. As a sad-song enthusiast, I have a pretty high standard for the deep, dark, and the depressing parts of a record, so when I found myself hanging on every lyric by the start of the chorus, I knew this one was going to be one of my favorites! The emotional build of the delivery and music, haunting female accompaniment, and metaphorical comparison of a tornado and a broken relationship, had me hitting the replay button and wailing “bring the raaaaaaiiinnn….” several times before going on to the next track. From there, the record goes into the gripping, blue-collar story of “Sixteen Years”, the honesty of heartbreak in “Mine Again (I’d be a Fool)”, struggling with one’s demons in “Sister” and the 5 minute, introspective semi-psychedelic rock track “Monster”. Between the late hour, the alcohol, and the awe of the album, I sat there for a few minutes in kind of a bewildered, amazement and contemplated what I had experienced over the last hour.
The record was unique, diverse, appealing, and it completely blew me away! Over the last 3 months, I’ve really dug into it, finding another the thing I like about it with each passing play-through. Now the time has finally come for its release to the masses tomorrow (4/28), and we feel pretty confident that it’s going to make a BIG splash! In fact, it might be one of this year’s biggest records….
Our *PICK* of the album is the title track, “Corners” featuring Jack Ingram. Boasting the best songwriting on the record, the beginning of the track seems to play as a therapeutic outlet for Domino, as he explores his regrets and the destruction they’ve caused. As the music and tempo build, he transitions from the despair of his past transgressions to finding solid ground to assess them and then on to attaining confidence that he’s not the person his past has presented him as. This is one DAMN good song!
“People like me, have to live in hell to see if heaven is worth it,
Take the worst of unanswered questions, and try to find purpose,
I’m not praying for acceptance, and forgiveness never comes, I’ll understand,
But if I die, I’m going to die with me knowing, who I was, ain’t who I am”
Take a listen to our *PICK* of the album, “Corners”, below and grab yourself a copy of the record when it drops at midnight tonight!
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.