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Stories Don't End

Dawes

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Album Review

Stories Don't End, the third outing from breezy Los Angeles-based retro-rockers Dawes, takes its name from a line in author Joan Didion's 1984 wartime novel Democracy. It's an enigmatic phrase to be sure, but it certainly applies to the group's penchant for crafting highly literate slabs of smooth, West Coast Americana out of the highway wreckage left behind by artists like the Eagles, the Little River Band, Poco, Jackson Browne, and Gram Parsons. Less overtly Laurel Canyon-centric than 2011's Nothing Is Wrong, due in some part to the East Coast Blue Ridge Mountain locale in which it was birthed, the album keeps the band's classic rock underpinnings intact, yielding a fresh catch of smooth and soulful, largely midtempo offerings that focus on substance over style, relying primarily on the strength of the tasteful, measured arrangements and bandleader Taylor Goldsmith's easy voice and crafty wordplay. Stories Don't End barely registers upon the first spin (it's easy pop for the millennial generation), but if given the time to percolate, it produces a damn fine cup of coffee. This adherence to familiar singer/songwriter tropes is best exemplified on tracks like the rolling "From a Window Seat (Rivers and Freeways)," which echoes Midlake's "Roscoe," the Ben Folds-esque "Just My Luck," and the lovely, mid-record ballad "Something in Common," the latter of which frames Goldsmith's tale of hope and heartache in the reassuring glow of vibrato guitar, simple kick and snare, and a melody that sounds like it floated out of the studio sessions for Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years.

Customer Reviews

Constantly Improving

I got the special edition LP with sky blue vinyl yesterday at my local record store. The vinyl packing is a disappointment - they might as well have used a paper bag. But then I put the disc on the table and out spun some great tunes. Very good writing, good straight ahead songs, with Taylor's usual long-ish phrasing. A bit more polished than the previous releases and different than the other two. Most People has the catchy riff that is almost Zevon / Eagles like. Also includes just the right amount of Blake Mills' touch and his great song, Hey Lover. The album is peppered with nice subtle guitar licks. The Jackson Browne and Laurel Canyon influences are kind of cliche at this point but they're hard to escape. For me that's not a bad thing - I love the next generations' spin on the mellow California sound. All in all, a very good release.

Take a few hours to listen

I've been a fan of Dawes since their first album back in 2009/2010. With their third album, they have yet to disappoint. Taylor keeps getting better as a writer and the band's musicianship is incredible. No wonder they are touring with Dylan. Put it on repeat and get lost for awhile. Understand that Dawes has found their sound. And it sounds like Dawes

A Little Bit of Everything

Just based on the single that has been released, this album with have "a little bit of everything" nestled inside if it. Love these musicians, they never cease to amaze me!

Biography

Formed: 2009 in North Hills, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

California-based roots rock band Dawes were formed in the Los Angeles suburb of North Hills by brothers Taylor Goldsmith and Griffin Goldsmith (lead vocals/guitar and drums, respectively), Wylie Gelber (bass), and Alex Casnoff (guitar). They were previously in the band Simon Dawes, but after Blake Mills left the group, the changed the name (and added Casnoff, who was soon replaced by Tay Strathairn). Unlike the more intense indie rock sound they had as Simon Dawes, Dawes were heavily influenced by...
Full Bio

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