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South Dakota

South Dakota:

Mystery Pills

Mystery Pills

CITY: Rapid City
SONG TO DOWNLOAD: “The Glass Traditions”

Multi-instrumentalist Raj Dawson writes minimal pop songs under the moniker Mystery Pills — and according to his Web site — he records them inside a bank vault in downtown Rapid City. His self-released, self-titled EP boasts clean-sounding guitars, a few electronic touches, and plenty of hooks. The video for the EP’s opening track, “The Glass Traditions,” features scenic black-and-white shots of the barren South Dakota countryside. They’re interspersed with clips of Dawson piecing the song together — holding a guitar, playing piano, looping effects — appropriately subtle visuals for the sweeping, layered sounds. Toward the end of the video, in a Dorothy-we’re-not-in-South-Dakota-anymore twist, the black-and-white images suddenly change to Technicolor. The shift reflects the song’s wide-eyed hopefulness, and suggests that there’s a deep connection between Dawson’s landlocked address and the intimate quality of his music.

_Patrick McDermott

Read more about Mystery Pills

Record Label You Should Know: Init Records

Founded on the blood, sweat, and working-class DIY ethos of Steven Williams of Sioux Falls, Init has released more than 60 punk and hardcore records since 2001.


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