New Music Monday: Dawes

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By Nick Mattos, PQ Monthly

Hearken back to the warm vibes of AM radio with the 1970's-influenced sound of Dawes in today's New Music Monday. If you're a fan of Jackson Browne, Neil Young, Gillian Welch, or Bon Iver, we'd like to introduce you to your new favorite band: Dawes. Composed of brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith along with Wylie Gelber and Tay Strathairn, Dawes is considered one of the leading bands of the so-called "Laurel Canyon sound" — a Los Angeles-based musical movement which hearkens back to the rootsy country-rock sensibilities of folks like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Dawes new album Stories Don't End, released last week, continues the band's progression up from the canyon with a slightly heavier sound facilitated by former Modest Mouse, Melissa Etheridge, and Tom Waits-producer Jacquire King. The result is thrilling the roots intelligentsia, as Chris Talbott of the Associated Press explains — while giving away PQ's number one strategy for finding New Music Monday artists:

"Here’s a pro tip for those of you obsessed with finding new music: Figure out the songwriters your favorite songwriters love and go listen to them. Here in Nashville, Tenn., a huge number of the writers I dig also dig Dawes, and you can find out why on the group’s smooth-groove third album, “Stories Don’t End.â€

The album’s cover depicts the band around a campfire exchanging stories, and that image perfectly captures the 12 songs here. It’s a tour de force of cinematic storytelling by lead singer and main songwriter Taylor Goldsmith. Steeped in the California singer-songwriter sounds of the 1970s, each track is familiar musically. Lyrically, the tracks contain complex layers of meaning and vivid imagery that require repeated listening."

Listen to "From A Window Seat," the first single from Stories Don't End, along with less recent works "That Western Skyline," "When My Time Comes," and "Love Is All I Am." If you end up taken with Dawes, great timing — they'll be playing the Crystal Ballroom with fellow PQ favorites Dr. Dog on April 28, with tickets on sale now. See you there!