Jammerzine has an exclusive interview with Tristan, the multi-mega-talent and frontperson of NYC based Dakota Jones.

While many of us take music into our hearts and that is why we are true fans (and most of you are here reading this), this genre-hopping band takes it into their souls. Ingesting their influences and making them their own. Tristan, and as much the rest of the band, are as much fans as they are a musical unit. And it shows. In every song from their new album titled ‘Heartbreakers Space Club’, dropping today.

‘Heartbreakers Space Club’ is a career defining concept that deserves a listen in the order they want you to listen. Songs of personal journal-like entries, each with their own, sometimes enigmatic, sometimes lucid, soundtracks set to future memories.

And, in today’s exclusive interview, we talk with Tristan about as much plus how Dakota Jones came to be and where they are going. Enjoy!

Check out our other features with Dakota Jones HERE.

About Dakota Jones & ‘Heartbreakers Space Club’

Following their acclaimed 2021 debut album Black Light, Brooklyn, NYC’s Dakota Jones are set to release their follow up Heartbreakers Space Club on June 2nd, expanding on their established soulful sound.

While their previous full-length found itself in old school grooves and sensibilities, the new album from Dakota Jones has one foot firmly in the future. Interestingly, Heartbreakers Space Club acts as a return to the band’s roots, experimenting and genre-bending as was the journey across a string of EPs and singles released prior to Black Light. Nevertheless, the retro stylings remain present on the new record with slick rhythms and organ keys while allowing room for the band to add futuristic elements to their sound, complete as ever with the powerhouse vocals of Tristan Carter-Jones.

On heavy rotation during recording were the iconic Ziggy Stardust album by David Bowie, as well as D’Angelo’s discography and early Prince, an intriguing mix of music providing inspiration that can be heard throughout the album, yet still delivering the unwavering and uncensored confidence as well as a whole lot of joy that comes solely from Dakota Jones.

‘Heartbreakers Space Club – doubling as both something celestial and a place that you hold for yourself, is where you lose yourself to find yourself, break yourself down to build back up into the most authentic version of you. One moment you’re sitting in a dark corner of the bar smoking a cigarette, gazing out of the window into a candy pink sky, the next moment all of the walls disappear and you’re floating in the middle of nothing, weightless and without a care. Let it take you there.’
– Tristan Carter-Jones

Kicking off this cosmic journey is the intense psychedelia of ‘Moon Song’, introducing this new guise of Dakota Jones on a wild ride to another planet, accompanied by scuzzy guitars that suddenly drop and make way for a spoken word outro. Then it’s onto recent single ‘Misbehave Me’, gently overflowing with charisma and sensuality. As described by the band, ‘If Moon Song is the landing, Misbehave Me is exiting the ship, a stranger in a strange and glorious land. It’s a moment of self-discovery and exploration in a world beyond your wildest imagination.’

Also within this flirtatious realm is lead single ‘Sugar Pie’, a slice of smooth funk that serves up a whole lot of fun with a raised eyebrow and crooked grin, celebrating the joy of love and ‘giving me sweet songs since day one’. ‘Feel Something’ raises the temperature higher, with Carter-Jones’ vocals soaring as the tune slinks along in a slow groove then explodes at the moment a saxophone enters the mix.

When asked if their home city of New York impacts their sound, Carter-Jones says, ‘Definitely. We wrote this album over the course of a full year, and throughout the year in New York you feel those distinct changes and differences in the seasons. It’s not just the weather that’s changing, it’s the entire attitude of the city.’ The pulse of the city flows through ‘Dissent’N’Gin’, a nod to 90s hip-hop featuring Carter-Jones spitting bars and singing with equal effortlessness, with some record scratches thrown in for good measure as the crescendo unsteadily builds in a track described as ‘a jewellery heist in all black leather’.

Perhaps the most prominent example of Dakota Jones’ new era of experimentation is ‘Downtown’, tapping into a retro-futuristic sway that feels familiar at times and unexpected at others, unease creeping when the lyrics sing ‘I’m not scared, just a little bit apprehensive’. The pace picks up in this thread on ‘Scared’, a musical equivalent of short breaths and heart palpitations that explores a lack of trust in a relationship.

However, all is well for the album’s closing track ‘Countdown’ as this odyssey draws to a close for the return journey back to your own world. The band explain that with this track, ‘suddenly you’re back in the middle of nowhere, nothing but stars, but it doesn’t matter because you’re hand in hand, off to the next adventure.’ A galloping end that looks towards whatever may happen next and, for Dakota Jones, the possibilities are endless.

Production duties on Heartbreakers Space Club were kept in-house, being overseen by the band’s very own bassist and multi-instrumentalist Scott Jet Kramp, which Carter-Jones says fed into the sense of freedom this record has: ‘His fingerprints and brain waves are all over this album, instrumentally, for sure. I would say that the biggest impact that this choice had on the record was that it allowed us space and freedom to do… really anything that we wanted to do. It was an extremely collaborative process and, because we’ve been making music together for so long, there was a real trust and openness there. We worked in a creative space that had no bounds, no preconceived notions, no worries, just freedom.’

Dakota Jones have been stomping around and making noise for nearly 8 years now. Featuring Tristan Carter-Jones on vocals, Scott Jet Kramp on bass, Steve Ross on the drums, and Eddy Marshall on the guitar, Dakota Jones have moulded their sound into something at once commanding and vulnerable, spontaneous and deliberate, familiar and refreshing. Harnessing a timeless groove and magisterial queer black power, they first burst onto the UK scene in 2021, easily translating their formidable energy as a live act into their debut record. Channelling furious energy inspired by the likes of Chaka Khan, Janis Joplin and Marvin Gaye, the group showcased their uncensored songwriting and were unafraid to take a deep dive into life’s most visceral emotions.

The result, ‘Black Light’ went on to win critical praise from the likes of The Times, Classic Rock, DIVA Magazine and Echoes Magazine – establishing them as one of the best new funk/soul bands to emerge for a very long time. Since then, the band have gained further support with their 2023 single releases from titles such as billboard, them, EUPHORIA and Beats Per Minute. Dakota Jones continue to follow their instincts, carrying their gritty funky sound wherever it takes them; through some of NYC’s most respected venues, on tours exploring America’s coasts, and well beyond.