Watch This Now: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “We Almost Lost Detroit”

“No-one stopped to think about the babies, or how they would survive…”

Sometimes, the joy of discovering new music can be completely accidental. Such is the case with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – they were not the act I was planning to watch on the SXSW live stream on YouTube (I had actually tuned in for Kimbra), but they were the act I got all the same. And I was mesmerised – these guys have to be one of the most fun, inventive and exciting indie-pop acts going in North America right now. I love their debut album, It’s a Corporate World, and I love the video that they recently put out to celebrate two huge parts of American pop culture – the late Gil Scott-Heron and the city of Detroit.

It’s a tribute to the former in that this is his song, released around 35 years ago on his Bridges record. It’s a tribute to the latter in that the band filmed this video in and around their beloved city. It doesn’t come across as self-grandeurizing or an attempt to tack themselves onto a historical legacy – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. With this video, DEJJ manage to profess the love they have for their city in a very sweet, unique and clever way. It warms my heart to see them do this, especially when you learn more about just how much this project meant to these guys. There’s a greater layer of story here, but I’ll leave that extracurricular reading up to you. For now, kick back and enjoy this.

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