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You’re driving down a road to a familiar place. Although some things might have changed in the meantime, it’s a place that shaped who you are and, at the time, laid the groundwork for what is to become the present-day you. All the things you’ve learned, felt and experienced resurface and, although it’s been ages since you’ve been here, it all feels so timeless. Welcome to the magic of Dakota Mill’s debut, AGES.

“Nothing on the counter but an empty fruit bowl, Bread in the pantry but it’s growing blue mold… Oh, please come home”

– Dakota Mills (from “Home”)

Having completed the Music Industry Arts program at Fanshawe College, the Kilbride, Ontario singer/songwriter has since been on a journey to rediscover himself through his music. Sure, it’s a vision through the lens of one person’s perspective, but that’s just it about AGES – it just feels so applicable and relatable to ourselves. Art is subject to interpretation and this can feel like a self-reflection piece. From genuinely poignant lyrics to their smooth delivery and instrumentation, he has the innate ability to pull you into your own mind and let you re-acquaint with your essence through the power of his music. Drawing influence and inspiration from ongoing, everyday experiences, Dakota Mill has the ability to transfer these elements into his songwriting. Released on July 2, the record has 5 immersive, contemplative tracks.

The journey begins with “Up Against the Wall”, a defiant track that pushes against the day-to-day adversities of which it seems to speak of. The rhythm, in tandem with the  lyrics, embody the force that persists within us to overcome the struggles and hardships we all face. It’s a song that gets you out of bed and gives us the will to resist the urge of giving up with strums of determination. “We can never say what, we always feel is right, send me with a single shot, I’ll come back with an open mind” is just one of many lyrics that resonate and play into what we can all identify with as the human condition.

Picking a track at random, “Home” is a hauntingly fascinating listen. While what we call “home” has its flaws, it remains our sanctuary and safe place and this track evokes that need for security and comfort which only home can provide. The lyrics are delivered in a rap-like fashion (reminiscent to Anthony Keidis of Red Hot Chili Peppers) which lends well to an enveloping sense of desperation and urgency, playing against the mellowed acoustic strings and drums work in tandem to create a distressing atmosphere.

While the harmonies and song structure throughout the record seem to lean towards a alternative folk pop feel, the thematic depth and masterful lyricism keep it firmly embedded in the folk indie category. The poppier aspects shouldn’t be a deterrent though, as there’s much beauty within its simplicity. It’s a testament to acceptance while embracing who we are and what we’ve become, through both the good and bad. While being a first entry, you can already feel, based on the maturity it portrays, that Dakota Mill is about growth. It will be an anticipated pleasure to see where he grows from here in the coming ages.

Dakota Mill is said to be working on a music video as well as a follow up record in which he has yet to set a release date for. Follow him on social media and check out his web site for more great news and music.

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