Dawes - Stories Don't End

Led by singer/songwriter/lead guitarist/all round creative force Taylor Goldsmith, Californian quartet Dawes have made no secret of their intention to break out of their comfort zone on their third album. When we caught up with Goldsmith recently, he explained why they thought recording the album across the country in North Carolina, and his change of tack in songwriting from the broad to the detailed, would bring a different feel to their sound. While the Laurel Canyon tag they’ve been lumbered with applies to some of their music, the band themselves are a central part of the rising Americana scene in the US, where they’ve toured with the greats (Bob Dylan), the established (Grace Potter & the Nocturnals), and the up-and-coming (Shovels & Rope) in 2013.

Dawes' third album is the very much a grower. On first listen it drifts by pleasantly enough, then second time around you realise you’ve taken in the melodies, and notice just how catchy it is (‘Some People’, ‘From The Right Angle’). The rocking ‘Hey Lover’ and soft ‘Someone Will’ encapsulate the span of the bands sound, and slightly tweaked versions of ‘Just Beneath The Surface’ top and tail the album.Stories Don’t End is actually not a huge change in direction, but the subtleties are there to hear, right from second track ‘From A Window Seat’, an observation on the minutiae of air travel. Despite the odd misstep - ‘Just My luck’ is a droll tale of misfortune - on the whole this is a satisfying and chilled out listen.

Overall

7

out of 10

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