Devin Dawson suffers for his truth in the new “Dark Horse” video, depicting a prisoner who lands in jail in the retro black-and-white clip.
“Dark Horse,” written by Dawson with Andy Albert and Andrew DeRoberts, is Dawson’s mission statement for living an authentic, honest life, even if that means existence at the margins. “I’ll side with the outsiders/Those long-shot last-round fighters/Anyone who ain’t afraid to stray off course,” he sings in the choruses. It doubles as an all-encompassing view of the creative process.
“I care about making it feel right and honest coming out of my mouth,” he told Rolling Stone Country last year. “If it doesn’t, people are gonna know that. I want to make sure it’s perfect.”
In the video, directed by Justin Clough, Dawson plays a prisoner in some vaguely mid-century time period, his almost-rockabilly hair comically mussed and face badly bruised as he grimaces for his mugshot. He’s taken to an interrogation room and given a polygraph test (which he seemingly passes), but suddenly there’s a shift and it’s the present day with Dawson (cleaned up this time) pouring his heart out in a studio vocal booth, while people watch through the control-room window. There’s some nice continuity with the microphones in each timeline and an overarching message of speaking the truth, no matter the circumstances.
Dawson released the Jay Joyce-produced Dark Horse on January 19th, 2018 and narrowly missed the Number One spot with his debut single “All on Me.” The California native recently wrapped up his Stray Off Course Tour with Jillian Jacqueline supporting. On March 14th, he’s set to kick off a series of dates in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.