The title and opening track of Dierks Bentley's Black album, the song is named after his wife Cassidy. "Black is mysterious and sexy and has an edge that describes the sounds we were going for," Bentley said. "A lot of it happens after dark, in the black of night. It's personal too … Black is my wife's maiden name."
"It's a relationship album that covers the ups and downs of the journey and ends with some self-realization and evolvement," he added. "The song 'Black' helps set all of that in motion at the top of the album by guiding you into the darkness and the shadows of the night."
The Black album was born from this song. "Whenever I'm moving forward into a new album, I'm definitely looking for a new sound, some new idea to kind of like start writing to wrapping the album around. So, it's either a sonic thing or a lyrical thing or an idea," said Bentley. "On the last record it really came from, I had some personal stuff going on in my life with people passing away and people being born. On this record, it really came from the song 'Black,' which is the album title. Just these milestones were passing me by, and I didn't really get a chance to celebrate them or honor them.
My wife and I had our 10 year anniversary, and it just kinda came and went, so I kind of started thinking about that and relationships in general and how crazy it is to be with someone for 10 years. And that really sparked the idea for the song 'Black,' and really from there that's kind of the cornerstone of the record, that song, and that's where the idea for this kind of relationship-based record came from and trying to do it in a way that's a little bit different than just a love song, all love song-based album."
The black and white visual is the last of a four-part video series. Wes Edwards
shot all four of the clips. Bentley and Edwards decided instead to go with black-and-white to align with the album's theme. "I saw it originally in color and I thought, 'Damn, that's pretty racy!'" the singer told Rolling Stone Country
. "In color, it's almost like Skin-emax, but you put it in black-and-white and it's more like Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game
': sexy cool. So we went a little more Chris Isaak, a little less Skin-emax. [Laughs]."
The video follows clips for "I'll Be the Moon
," "What the Hell Did I Say
" and "Pick Up
," that play out the storyline of a woman keeping a secret lover from her evil boyfriend.
In the "Black" visual, the woman escapes with the lover, after seemingly murdering the boyfriend. "The final episode of the series actually ends with some questions still to be answered, which is kind of what relationships do…it feels like they are always twisting and turning, and it is really all up for your own interpretation," said Bentley. "The album was built around the song 'Black'…it's the first song in the album sequence and those three and a half minutes set the rest of the story in motion. It's really bare and also one of the most intense songs I've ever written."
Black debuted at #1 on the Country Albums chart, selling 88,000 copies in its launch sales week. The sum was Bentley's best ever sales week overtaking 2006's Long Trip Alone, which arrived at #1 on Top Country Albums with 82,000.
Dierks Bentley penned the track with Ross Copperman and Ashley Gorley. "It's no secret that this record is named after my wife, and she was both brave and generous to let me write about our relationship as the foundation of a lot of these songs," Bentley said. "I've talked about how it explores some of the darker corners and edges of the heart, what happens in the black of night, and this song was really central to forming the rest of the project. It's probably not what Cass expected when I told her I'd written a love song and named it after her, it's more of an in-the-moment love song."
Wes Edwards also shot a second video. This steamy clip involved a four-day shoot in remote areas of Iceland and features Bentley pursuing his wife Cassidy across wintry landscapes and enjoying intimate moments together.
"We've been talking about Iceland as a location since before I even released the album last year, but I never thought we'd actually go. The next thing I know, there's a shoot booked and we are standing on the side of a glacier half-dressed," laughed Bentley. "The crew wasn't kidding around…. it was four long, cold days in some really treacherous conditions.
We were on a lot of the same locations that Game Of Thrones and the Star Wars films have shot, and it's just crazy what those people go through every day. I had the idea of putting my wife in the video, which is totally taking her out of her comfort zone, but I just couldn't imagine doing a video for this song without her in it and she reluctantly agreed…but then totally NAILED it. It wouldn't have been genuine without her. I think the end result is something really special, and it was a trip of a lifetime for everyone involved."
Cassidy Bentley told Entertainment Weekly she was struck by the video's more symbolic meaning. "When I think about intimacy, you do go through these landscapes together that are totally foreign that you've never been in," she said. "You have to take turns leading and following each other to stay together."