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