Listening to the music of singer/songwriter Don DiLego, one would never guess he is based in New York City. He plays an arresting style of Alt-Country music that combines his favorite aspects of the country music of old with 80’s indie-pop influences, giving him a sound that seems more rooted in Nashville or Oklahoma. Though he was born and raised in rural Western Massachusetts and spent his early adulthood in Boston, DiLego ended up settling in the Big Apple, where he established his Velvet Elk Studio in the East Village.
He released his first album The Lonestar Hitchhiker in 2001 and subsequently recorded three more albums at his Velvet Elk Studio, plus the soundtrack for the film Ranchero in 2012. His albums are self-produced, and recorded with musicians that have formed the core of his band The Touristas over the last couple records. He dropped his appropriately-named album Magnificent Ram A in July 2016, a collection of 10 excellent tracks that really showcase his songwriting and musical talents. In December, he released the beguiling single “Idiot Heart.”
The song is a gentle but melancholy ballad about falling for someone and wanting to do right by them, but knowing it won’t be easy given past transgressions. DiLego’s beautiful vocals convey a heartfelt sincerity, making the lyrics all the more compelling. Musically, the song features a somber piano riff and delicate percussion, backed by smooth synths and ambient guitars that give the song a somewhat haunting, ethereal vibe.
“I’ve been waiting for some time
For the sidewalks to come alive
I’ve had good days and sleepless nights
Cause you and me got lost in time
I was praying for a sign
For the tides to begin to unwind
I was splayed out among the pines
When you and me got lost in time
I’ve been trying to change my life
I’ve been trying to do what’s right
But my idiot heart won’t oblige
But I’ll try, I’ll try, I’ll try
Oh wake me up
Lay me down”
The gorgeous video for the song shows a young woman in a contemplative mood before joining her boyfriend for the day, having lunch together, then walking through the forest alone wearing his raincoat, and ending up lying face up in a snowy meadow.
Here’s a great video worth watching of DiLego and his musicians performing songs for Magnificent Ram A at Velvet Elk Studio.
Learn more about Don by checking out his website. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his YouTube channel. Stream his music and follow him on Spotify, and purchase his music on iTunes, Bandcamp and other sites offering music for purchase.