“A Shot in the Dark” is sung distinctively in the Huapango huasteco style, and Chicago’s Dos Santos’ folkloric cantation contrasts the track’s futuristic sonic landscape. Its gorgeous stop-motion accompanying animated video was made by Miguel Jara of the Mexico City-based Estudio Pneuma in collaboration with Pilsen, Chicago-based mixed-media artist Amara Rebel Betty Martín.
Dos Santos’ core band consists of drummer Daniel Villarreal, percussionist Peter “Maestro” Vale, bassist Jaime Garza, guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Nathan Karagianis, and multi-instrumentalist/singer/lyricist Alex Chavez. “A Shot in the Dark,” co-written by Chavez and Karagianis with production by Elliot Bergman (Wild Belle, Nomo), builds upon traditional music from Central Mexico. “My go-to when I’m trying to imagine melodies is Huapango music,” explains Chavez, “It’s part of how I grew up, it’s music that’s important to me.”
“A Shot in the Dark” was a happy accident. “Nathan and I were actually working on another song, trying to find a sound on an electric keyboard to use, and we stumbled on the beginning vocal sample. Elliott pushed us in that direction,” Chavez says. Bergman then assembled a beat and cut the sample into a loop, with Chavez offering the track’s central falsetto, noting, “I’ve never sang that way in Dos Santos, but—in the spirit of experimenting—we just went there and it fit perfectly.” The final product is a trance-inducing exploration of hopeful desire, adorned with lilies and starry nights.