What does it sound like?:
In 2011 I was in New York and had one of those ‘stop you in your tracks’ moments. I was there on business and travelling in between calls on a less than fruitful business trip. My friend TIm the driver of the car and also an avid music fan had WFUV on the radio our preferred station if in the New York area.
They were playing a song that sounded like Jackson Browne but wasn’t. It had great lyrics and a lovely melody. We arrived at our next call while the song was still playing. I asked Tim to let the song play to its conclusion. It was a song called ‘A little bit of everything’ by a band called Dawes who I had never heard of at that time. To say I was smitten was an understatement. I bought that album and their first and everything since. That song is without doubt the most played song in my collection in the 9 years since I first heard it. I became something of a fan and then I was a little disappointed with their last release Passwords – it wasnt awful, I just felt it had lost some of the excitement of the previous releases. In correspondence on here @niallb told me I should invest in their new album Good luck with Whatever as it was really good. Thankfully I listened to him and there are for me two ‘stop you in your tracks’ moments. St.Augustine at night is just out of this World – similar in construction to A little bit of everything it is a beautiful story song with the premise of whatever goes wrong just leave me the view of St.Augustine at night. The other standout is the final track Me Especially which finds the band on fire and is a fitting end to what is a great album. A couple of tracks seem to chronicle the passing of time especially the opener Still feel like a kid. Taylor Goldsmith is a great lyricist and although I love the band I would love to see him cut a solo album in the vein of Nebraska. He certainly has the talent.
Sadly I have still not got to see them live and regret that I allowed work pressures to make me bail out on their last gig in London. Will definitely be there when they next visit these shores – whenever that might be.
What does it all *mean*?
Sometimes you need to trust your instincts – all of their releases have had merit – I shouldn’t have doubted this release. Sage advice from a friend rectified my mistake.
Goes well with…
Nights listening to great songs or driving – St.Augustine at night was first heard as I was driving home from work. I hit repeat as soon as it finished. The next time I got in the car I played it without telling my wife what or who it was. ‘This is a great song’ is not a frequently heard comment from my wife but nonetheless vindication if ever it was needed.
Might suit people who like…
They still get likened to Jackson Browne and the Laurel Canyon sound but I think those influences have faded with each subsequent release. If I had to compare them to anyone I would suggest maybe Fountains of Wayne or The Shins but really they are their own band.