Revel. From the first chord. Sad, longing. A guitar, a bass, organ, drums. Soulig, bluesy. Music for very, very late at night, for the time when time no longer plays a role.

The chords may even be somehow ordinary, borrowed from the blues pattern, but the mood – it’s anything but off the peg. And the voice, which then after a few bars nestles to this blueprint for dreams, has it all the more in itself. Its owner is Devin Dawson. A cool, always a bit gloomy looking, big tattooed beauty from California, who supposedly lost his heart to country music. That’s what he claims in the title track of his debut “Dark Horse”. Well, it may be true. Because what you understand by country today is more pop, more Katy Perry, than Dolly Parton. But if country is a synonym for “soulful”, then this smart Californian has what it takes to become a country singer. He proves it especially in this mentioned soulful, bluesy, melancholic ballad with the unusual title “Secondhand Hurt”. In it, he describes the feeling of how one (he?) feels when one ends a relationship. When you send someone you still like but perhaps no longer love into the emotional desert. Not big words, but apt ones. He dresses her in a gooseflesh melody, garnishes it with a few, but great arrangement accents – and thus creates a credibly emotional song.