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The Key Studio Sessions: Slingshot Dakota

With this appearance, Lehigh Valley indie pop duo Slingshot Dakota joins the Key Studio Sessions three-timers’ club. And while we haven’t yet decided if members of their elite society get a jacket, we can tell you that watching artists grow over a span of years and albums — and instudio performances — is something truly special.

In 2013, singer-keyboardist Carly Comando and drummer Tom Patterson were two contagiously upbeat people with catchy songs, deep feelings, and a record called Dark Hearts that showcased all of those things. In 2016, a Break-era session found them more at a more complicated place, and writing songs that reflected the good and the bad of adulting; the deepening of relationships as well as the frustration of not moving as quickly in life as you’d like.

Their solution: keep getting louder, as the lead single of their tremendous new record Heavy Banding suggests. It’s 2019, Slingshot Dakota are writing the best songs of their career, and as a musical two-piece they are more tightly in sync than we’ve ever seen — a connection that obviously carries over to Comando and Patterson’s marriage as well. (Keep tabs on their social media for lots of #couplegoals content, and find even more in this ongoing photo essay by photographer Matt Smith.) Continue reading →

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Slingshot Dakota deepen their sound on impressive new album Heavy Banding

Slingshot Dakota’s Heavy Banding LP | cover photo by Em Dubin | courtesy of the artist

Bethlehem-based indie punks Slingshot Dakota have gotten even more ambitious on their new album Heavy Banding, and the payoff is strong. For more than ten years, the wife and husband duo Carly Comando and Tom Patterson have been bringing melodic and lyrical sensibilities from pop and pop punk into the soundworld of current indie and alt rock using only a keyboard and a drum set. Now more than ever, their chosen combinations of thundering drums and fuzz-washed synth sounds often recall the thick textures and rough-around-the-edges mixes on recent records by Mitski and Waxahatchee. Other touchstones could be fellow Pennsylvanians like Kississippi (with whom Slingshot Dakota toured in 2016) or Cayetana. Continue reading →

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Watch Slingshot Dakota’s mystical video for “Casino Night”

Slingshot Dakota | photo by Em Dubin | courtesy of the artist

Carly Comando says she wrote the latest Slingshot Dakota song when she realized there was a crucial gap in breakup music: there were no breakup songs for friends. While the rousing “Casino Night” addresses toxic friendships and how they’re often not worth the effort, the new music video directed by Adam Peditto takes a mystical, magical approach to interpreting its themes. Continue reading →

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Slingshot Dakota’s “Louder” is the sound of determination

Slingshot Dakota | photo by Em Dubin | courtesy of the artist

When Lehigh Valley punk / pop duo Slingshot Dakota released the teaser for their new Heavy Banding LP last month, the minute-long video clip featured the roar of keys and drums, and Carly Commando’s voice repeating “We’ll just keep getting louder.”

Today, we’ve got the full version of that new song, called “Louder.” It falls right in the middle of the album, and moves at an urgent pace, with Commando’s eerie high pitched Moog-sounding synth balanced by her low-end power chord bass notes, and propelled drumming from her bandmate and partner Tom Patterson.

The song speaks to self-doubt of not succeeding in life quickly as you hoped, the frustration of having to keep up pleasant facades, and the importance of determination. Continue reading →

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Slingshot Dakota will release their new album Heavy Banding this spring on Community Records

Slingshot Dakota | still from video

Lehigh Valley punk duo Slingshot Dakota has just announced that their next album, Heavy Banding, will be released May 24 on Community Records, Specialist Subject Records and stiff slack records. This’ll be the band’s first release since their 2017 Broken EP; they also re-released their 2004 album Keener Sighs last year. Continue reading →

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Slingshot Dakota, Mal Devisa, Ill Fated Natives, Orion Sun, Old Maybe, Deer Scout and a gabillion more will play Pi Lam’s 40th BBQ

Slingshot Dakota
Slingshot Dakota | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

The annual Pi Lam BBQ turns the big 4-0 this year, which is kind of bonkers to think about. It’s been around longer than SXSW, longer than Lollapalooza. Independent minded folks have been bringing a daylong live music extravaganza to Spruce Street’s legendary “punk rock frat” since before most artists on this year’s lineup were born, and the show continues to get wilder and more expansive every year. Continue reading →

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Watch Slingshot Dakota’s asskicking Audiotree Live set

Slingshot Dakota at Audiotree | via facebook.com/slingshotdakota

Bethlehem punk duo Slingshot Dakota wrapped by going on a U.S. tour with their New Jersey neighbors in Prawn, and on the way through Chicago on December 14th, they stopped through to record an asskicking live set for the good folks at Audiotree.

Singer / keys queen Carly Commando and drum machine Tom Patterson rock through a five-song set, featuring “Paycheck,” “Doreen” and the title track from 2016’s excellent Break; they also performed “Rasta Bacca” from 2012’s Dark Hearts; and “Grudge” from last year’s Broken EP. Continue reading →

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Slingshot Dakota’s Carly Comando wows with an expansive performance of her piano ballad “Everyday”

Carly Comando | photo via facebook.com/carlycomandomusic

Carly Comando may be known around here as one half of the delightful power duo Slingshot Dakota, but that band doesn’t even scrape the surface of the Lehigh Valley artist’s work. In Comando’s other life, she’s a classically trained, Emmy award-winning pianist and composer, best known for the achingly beautiful piano ballad “Everyday.”

You can search “Everyday” on YouTube and find countless recordings of the song, which according to Deep Elm Records receives upwards of 100 million cumulative plays per year on the site. Now, Comando has released her first-ever filmed performance of the popular song.  Continue reading →

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Tag along on Slingshot Dakota’s shenanigan-filled tour with video for “You”

Slingshot Dakota | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

Bethlehem duo Slingshot Dakota are about to kick off a new tour with label-mates Ratboys, leading them to Austin for SXSW. But before they set out, the band has released a video for their song, “You,” which reminisces on the fun, kooky moments of their past tour with Kississippi — which they booked entirely themselves.

For a song that’s just so dang catchy and fun, this light-hearted video is the perfect, playful match. Giving fans a close look into the kinds of shenanigans that spouses Carly Comando and Tom Patterson get into while on the road, the video ranges from car malfunctions, to a day at the jungle gym, to Patterson’s fabulous news/weather reports, to just simply lounging around — all amidst clips of the two rocking out and Patterson’s bountiful curls magically blowing in the wind. Continue reading →