My Body Longed for the Summer is the most personally impactful country/folk album I have ever heard. When we received it at the station, I cried while briefly previewing it. This album was written in its entirety past midnight, in the shelter of a beat-up truck. The lyrics are simple, familiar, yet speak to the universal experience of a yearning felt though physical distance, the passing of time, and love since lost.
Dakota Hall Scott’s debut album features pocket-sized melodies that wax and wane with unmatched ease; each song is its own world where every beat and lyric hums in its right place. This album neglects grandiose flourishing or complex orchestration, its humility speaks to Scott as an artist and of his modest forthcoming in the genre. Scott is aware of his own obscurity, coming from Albuquerque and writing his debut album amidst traveling uncertainty. Though he utilizes the basic acoustic progressions and vocal twang of any country folk artist, his sound is unmistakably authentic; as if his voice, pathos, everything molds into a larger masterpiece beholden to his soul’s experience. The album opens with “I’m Leaving this Place”, a cheerful, yet determined farewell to his previous home. It is the perfect opening to his journey through the Pacific Northwest, as the album’s sequence takes its listener through tales of Denver, Oklahoma, etc., while remaining anchored in Scott’s heart’s home, saying “If I fall just short of heaven, won’t you banish my soul to New Mexico.” He concludes with a faithful promise: “Pressing Onward” is the meek ending of a long trek forgone, promising a final resolve and return to those held in his heart.
The overarching feelings experienced from this album are authenticity, fellowship and comfort. Something about his voice and lyrical content just feels like coming home, like one could play this at any time of day and it would fit perfectly, regardless of mood or context. I’ve best enjoyed this album in casual but specific moments; curled up in bed past midnight, driving home after moving out of an apartment, walking aimlessly through north campus. Yes, this is my album of the summer, but more than that, it’s a concept piece that’s continuously transformed moments, moods, and mindsets. This album is a game-changer, and I hope whoever listens to it is both inspired and comforted by the humble songs of D.H. Scott.