Saturday, June 18, 2011

What We're Listening To - Dawes' Nothing is Wrong

I'm always amazed at the different sounds that come from LA. Maybe because of my East Cost leanings, but it seems like every lost dreamer and wandering soul who picks up a guitar out there coaxes a completely different sound out of it. When I read about the revival of LA rock, I'm continually baffled, not by the bands (because they are good) but by the fact anyone would try and lump that into one box.

Case in point: dusty American rockers Dawes, who are remains of previous post punkers that fell in love with some vinyl from CSNY, Graham Parsons, The Band and Jackson Browne at some point. Their sophomore album Nothing is Wrong is a marvelous slow build of harmonies, gentle folk guitars and wandering lyrical tales.

"You got that special kind of sadness. You got that tragic sense of charms that only comes from time spent in Los Angeles" Taylor Goldsmith sings on the album opener, and you know he's talking about a girl, but maybe himself a little bit. It's mostly hazy tales of love, growth and fishing for understanding on the album, redefining Americana a little bit. I tend to lose them when they slow down too much, and songs like Moon in the Water or So Well tend to fade too much into the background. But When Dawes shines on tracks like If I Wanted Someone, The Way You Laugh and Coming Back to a Man, it holds my focus intently.

It makes me want to drive, though not necessarily to LA. Dawes is evoking a picture of America far from LaLaland. But maybe that is America.

Listen to Dawes' If I Wanted Someone on Hard of Hearing Ep  013

Buy Dawes' Nothing is Wrong from Amazon mp3

Friday, June 10, 2011

What We're Listening To - The Postelles s/t

And here comes summer, skipping over spring with a fiery sustained furnace blast for the past two weeks.

A break from the heat would be entirely all to welcome. But if we didn't have summer heat, we'd have no reason for cookouts, pool parties and all night hangouts.

So I'm thankful for the summer heat like I'm thankful for the self titled debut album from The Postelles, a fun dancey rock album. It keys up on tail end of the surf rock from last year, but crossed with the pop rock catchiness of The Strokes, Weezer or Arctic Monkeys. This makes sense since Strokes' guitarist Albert Hammond Jr produced it. It's clean and not a note out of place throughout. Think a slightly older Surfer Blood.

Sing along choruses start bright and big from the album opener and keep going til the end. White Night, Sleep on the Dance Floor, and 123 Stop are party starters for sure. The lyrics don't run too deep (Boys Best Friend is a jokey little tale about falling in love with a lesbian). It does get mildly repetitive, but that's okay cos as soon as it starts it's over. No one's gonna blame you for hitting repeat.

I'd recommend going to catch them on tour this summer, and if you're in DC see them 11 JUNE at Red Palace.

Buy The Postelles's self titled debut album

Buy from Amazon