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It’s been a long three years for Carly Comando and Tom Patterson, the husband and wife team that make up Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s punk-pop duo Slingshot Dakota. Their last album, 2016’s Break, became a quick favorite amongst both fans and critics; they were even featured as a Rolling Stone “Band You Need To Know."
But as that year came to a close, both Carly and Tom started to truly witness the inequalities of the music industry and this country after “he who shall not be named” took office. Carly had an awakening; “I realized things weren’t all that fair; there were so many of us artists and bands that deserved better, and the self-discovery of it all really changed my life.”
The time since has been spent quietly harnessing all of that energy and turning it into some of Slingshot Dakota’s strongest and most impactful work yet.
Crafting each song in real-time when emotions were fresh and at their highest, Slingshot Dakota have created a must-listen collection of unapologetic, heavy pop with their upcoming album Heavy Banding, out May 24 on Community Records/Specialist Subject Records.
Perhaps there’s no better display of the massive growth and strength behind this new era of Slingshot Dakota than Heavy Banding’s first official single, “Louder,” out today. With the energy and sound of a full four-piece band, “Louder” is an equally scathing and hopeful response to the feeling of getting lost in the boys’ club that is the music industry. It’s a rallying cry for inclusion and perseverance in the face of unprecedented injustice.
The ten songs that construct Heavy Banding cover several themes with afocus on Slingshot Dakota’s professional frustrations in music, friendship and the heartache that can come with it, and family. The band saw the album as a moment to express their impenitent truth, from the rallying vibes of “Louder” to album standout “Casino Night,” a song for fans of both Carly Rae Jepsen AND Julien Baker.
A mid-tempo Thank U, Next for adult friendships, “Casino Night” ultimately mourns a deeply personal betrayal with gratitude and grace. It’s proof enough that Slingshot Dakota ishell bent on world domination, one exhilarating anthem at a time.
Since their inception, Slingshot Dakota has been able to check many boxes off their list of goals: they own a house, have a van, and have figured out who they want to be, musically speaking, although they recognize that songwriting is an ever-evolving art. “Our longevity is our greatest achievement as a band,” Carly explains. “We get better and better every year, stronger both mentally and physically, we have a ton of fun, and we’ve never let music industry trends/changes affect us. We’ve never stopped being true to our goals and ourselves. We learned how to book our own shows, tours, and take our business into our own hands.”
By making honest music and confronting the faults of the music industry, Carly has paved the way for other female artists to follow suit. “We have nothing holding us back,” she says, and this sense of freedom is felt in the driving force of emotion behind Carly’s powerful tone.
Slingshot Dakota plans to tour as often as possible over the next few years in support of Heavy Banding, starting with a full U.S. tour this summer.
“It’s still a huge dream to play Riot Fest, to be on SNL or some kind of late night show, and to tour with a band like Pearl Jam. We’re still like little kids and even though it still feels like some of these goals are unreachable, we’re starting to learn that they’re not.”