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Blake Dantier Breaks Down Every Track On Debut Album 'Dry Season'

25 March 2022 | 12:22 pm | Mallory Arbour

With the release of his debut album, we’re so delighted to bring you this exclusive track by track, as Blake Dantier talks us through each track.

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Blake Dantier’s debut album Dry Season sounds like something that should be coming out of a jukebox in a smoky honky-tonk. It bears all the hallmarks of a Nashville throwback. Yet it was created on the other side of the world.

The entire collection was penned by Dantier himself, bar one co-write. Tales of lonesome drinking are cleverly delivered with a tongue-in-cheek outlook on Wish You Were My Beer and You Don’t Mix Whiskey; while Dantier hits a more sombre note on Ash & Dust and Don’t Say When, as he ponders mortality and death. 

Of course, no country record is complete without a story of love gone wrong – of which there’s no shortage. Yet tracks like I’d Do It Again and When She Gets Home deliver a fresh and bittersweet perspective on the tired trope.

With the release of his eleven-track debut album, produced by Simon Johnson from Hillbilly Hut studios, we’re so delighted to bring you this exclusive track by track, as Blake Dantier talks us through each individual track: the creation, sentiment, and everything in between.


1. Dry Season

This is the ballsiest track on the album so I thought it would be a good place to start. It really sets the tone for what’s to come. 

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I wrote this song a couple of times in different iterations before it got here, but the idea came about when I asked a friend of mine, who sometimes sold me weed, if he had any. He was probably the second or third person I’d queried about this request. His answer was – “sorry, it’s the dry season”.

The day we tracked guitars for this song we had Duncan Toombs in the studio. He was unable to make the session the day before, where we tracked drums, bass and acoustics, so I’d set up my rig and filled in for him. I hadn’t planned on playing too much electric guitar on the album, but we decided to keep my stuff set up so Dunc and I could both track electrics at the same time, playing off each other. This took the song to a different place – leading to harmonised guitar solos as well as some harmonised guitar in the choruses. 

2. Last Call

Last Call had to be rewritten and re-recorded a year after we’d already laid down most of the track… I had CMT on in the background one day and a Brad Paisley song came on. When it hit the chorus, I stopped what I was doing and thought “Uh oh… that my song!”. I’d ripped off his lyrics without realising it (no wonder it seemed so catchy haha). It actually prompted me to rewrite the lyrics to the entire song. Which I did sitting in the car on the side of Peel Street (I was in Tamworth for the annual Country music festival), whilst my wife was getting her nails done.

It’s just a good time song about catching up and drinking with your mates – the first drinking song on the album.

3. Wish You Were My Beer

Enter the second drinking song of the album. I got way too into home brewing in 2020 – even took a job at a local brewery. With all this beer stuff rattling around in my brain it was bound to come out in a song.

The song is pretty self-explanatory. It’s about a guy who’s been down in the same dive for weeks, trying to drown his broken heart with booze (we’ve all been there, right?). Except it does the opposite. Every sip of that liquid gold just brings back her memory.

4. Ash and Dust

This was one of the first songs I wrote for the album back in 2018. We’d recently lost a family friend to cancer, and I was a bit shook by that – especially since he was relatively young and healthy. It really got me thinking about how unfairly short life can be. It made me consider the relationships I had with my family – I’d been trying to distance myself somewhat because I’d felt a bit smothered. I thought, that’s nothing compared to what some people have going on in their families – imagine if you hadn’t spoken to a parent or sibling for years because of some stupid argument then all of sudden you heard they’d passed away. That argument would start to seem extra stupid. So I wanted to write a cautionary tale of sorts, to try and remind people what’s really important in life – this is the only time we’ve got so make it count.

5. Outlaws Never Die

The idea of this central is quite central to the album and the reason the album is what it is. It sort of hit me one day while I was listening to some Waylon that outlaws never truly die – their legacy lives on and inspires the next generation to question the system and buck tradition. Not just the music of the 70s Outlaw era, but the way it came about, have been big inspirations for me. It's lead me to find my own path in the country scene - as opposed to just doing what other are doing or what people might like – and not give a f*ck about what people think about that.

6. I’d Do It Again

I wrote this song after a few puffs of the magic dragon. A lot of the time when I’m fleshing out a musical idea, I’ll just sing random words (sometimes just sounds) to get a feel for it. I sang about 4 lines then thought, “hey, what was that… that actually made sense!”. So I wrote it down. Looking at those 4 I just played the guitar again and sang another 4. Wrote them down. Still made sense! Surprisingly, I managed to write the whole song like that. I guess there was a song in there waiting to come out. When I came back to it weeks later, I decided it needed another verse – so naturally it was time to ride the dragon again.

7. You Don’t Mix Whiskey

I wanted this album to be a collection of genuine country songs. Similar in musical style to 90s neo-trad country, with classic (but not cliché) lyrical themes and modern production techniques. This one pretty much hits the nail on the head. It’s drinking song no. 3 set to the Country shuffle we all know and love.

When the album’s producer, Simon, and I were listening back to mixes from the album, I told him I thought this one would make a great collab. I mentioned that Adam Harvey would be a great fit, but I had no connection to him whatsoever. Simon said, “Oh, I play golf with him. I’ll ask”. Adam loved the track and a month later he was in the studio putting down a vocal.

8. Wrong

Continuing on the super country path, I couldn’t do an album without a train beat. I don’t take myself or my music too seriously so, this song’s just a bit of fun. I wrote it in the car on the way home from a gig in the Blue Mountains. Mostly it’s just an excuse for some Country shredding.

9. Don’t Say When   

I had the title for this song in my phone after a visit to Disneyland in Florida. The phrase was written on a tombstone outside of the Haunted Mansion ride. 

It’s one of the heavier songs on the album, being inspired by the wake for my late grandfather. When he passed, I knew there was a song to be written but it took about 6 months to come out. I was at the bar waiting for a gig to start when I got thinking about the title and the lyrics started flowing. Then finished it the next morning on my way to a beach for a friend’s photoshoot.

My Grandad was, apparently, a bit of a connoisseur of red wine and scotch. I never really had the chance to share a drink with him though. So the song is about sharing that first drink after he’s gone. He also played the accordion (classic Mauritian guy… probably had a Zydeco band too) so I insisted we put accordion in this track. It’s also drinking song no. 4.

10. When She Gets Home

This is the only co-write on the album. I had a few half-fleshed out ideas so I asked Michael Carpenter if he wanted to write them with me. We met up at his studio in Leichardt and actually ended up writing 3 songs in a few hours. This was my favourite.

11. Layover

This tune actually came out the dialogue of a TV show, The Blacklist. It’s a shoot-em-up, espionage type action-drama so you wouldn’t really think it would sprout this laid back, tropical tune. But hey, songs can come from anywhere.

We took cues from West Coast 70s rock for this one. I always knew that’s how I wanted this to sound and that was completely understood when I first played the band the demo. It was just a matter of assembling the pieces.


Listen to the full album below!

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