Dark Horse

Album: Dark Horse (2018)
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Songfacts®:

  • The term "Dark Horse" is used to describe a person about whom little is known, but reveals unsuspected talent. Here, Devin Dawson uses the phrase to describe himself as a champion of the underdog.

    Yeah, I side with the outsiders
    Those long-shot last-round fighters
    Anyone who ain't afraid to stray off course
    My heart bleeds for country music
    Where the honest outlaw truth is
    No, I ain't no white knight
    I'm a little more
    Dark horse
  • Having spent two months in the studio recording his debut album with producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town), Devin Dawson felt the record lacked a track that described exactly who he is as a person. To that purpose, he got together with two of his best friends, Andy Albert and Andrew DeRoberts, who know him well.

    "As a new artist I wanted to tell people, 'This is what you need to know about me right here,' and I couldn't find the right way to do it," he told Taste of Country. "I couldn't find the right song that didn't feel contrived. When we came out of the studio, this song just fell out."
  • Writing with his two pals enabled Dawson to truly let his guard down and open up about his shortcomings.

    No, I don't go to church, can't quote a bible verse
    I couldn't sing a song but that don't mean that I don't talk to Jesus
    Girls say I push them off, that I can't open up
    But I ain't afraid of love, when I say it I just want to mean it


    "When we wrote it that day we all agreed, 'Let's just go for it. Don't think twice about what you're going to do in 50 years, or who's going to say what, or what you're going to feel like if you sing this about yourself. Do you really want people to know this? Let's just be honest,'" Dawson recalled. "I think that's why we finally got that song and why it felt honest, because it is. It doesn't feel contrived and it doesn't feel like it's forced or anything. At least, I hope it doesn't."
  • Other uses of the term "Dark Horse" in popular music include a 1974 single, album and tour by George Harrison named after the phrase. The ex-Beatle also named his record label Dark Horse Records. In addition, Katy Perry had a US #1 single in 2014 with a song titled "Dark Horse."
  • The music video, directed by Justin Clough, is in Dawson's signature black and white. The country singer features as a 1920s hardened criminal in an interrogation room and an artist in a recording studio. He explained: "Both places people confess their stories. I loved the grit and honesty to the story and how it related to the song, and my own confession of my truth."

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