As his stage surname suggests, Darren "Kid Dakota" Jackson hails from Big Sky country. But even if his moniker didn't give it away, his songs' spacious constructions and rustic devices (cicada croaks and screen-door swings serve as auxiliary instrumentation) betray his South Dakota heritage. Now living in Minnesota, home to his frequent collaborator, Low, Jackson still crafts country-tinged campfire melodies. On his latest release, The West Is the Future, his lyrics detail nature's awe-inspiring spectacles while describing how feelings of profound despair can make these isolated edens seem like free-range prisons. Jackson's quietly evocative delivery recalls Jeff Buckley at his most sedate; he never strains. (After all, voices carry on the lonesome prairie.) Live, Kid Dakota's sudden spurts of drum-pummeling volume stun like a jolt from a cattle prod.