All Your Favorite Bands Dawes
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- 1Things Happen04:03
- 2Somewhere Along The Way05:39
- 3Don't Send Me Away04:55
- 4All Your Favorite Bands03:35
- 5I Can't Think About It Now06:16
- 6To Be Completely Honest04:44
- 7Waiting For Your Call04:09
- 8Right On Time04:49
- 9Now That It's Too Late, Maria09:46
Info for All Your Favorite Bands
“And may all your favorite bands stay together,” sings Taylor Goldsmith on the title track to Dawes’ fourth album, All Your Favorite Bands, on their own HUB Records, harking back to a time when that very special rock group helped define who you were, expressing the joy and passion the foursome put into the release.
“Your favorite band can identify you, express how you see yourself,” explains Goldsmith, who co-wrote the song with Jonny Fritz and is the sole author of the album’s other eight tracks. “They enable you to articulate your feelings through the way they play their instruments and the lyrics.”
On All Your Favorite Bands, Dawes manage to transcend their well-documented Southern California influences to establish their own sound and themes, which range from the glass half full optimism of the first single, “Things Happen” and the minor-chord tension of “I Can’t Think About It Now” (featuring background vocals from Gillian Welch and the McCrary Sisters) to the soulful gospel of “Waiting for Your Call,” the rocking tongue-in-cheek lyrics of “Right On Time” and the epic, Dylan-esque set piece, “Now That It’s Too Late, Maria.”
Produced by David Rawlings (Dave Rawlings Machine, Gillian Welch, Robyn Hitchcock, Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie Watson) at Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville, Dawes recorded these new songs after they had already been road-tested in front of live audiences in intimate venues from Sonoma to Santa Barbara, with Rawlings in tow. The producer even played guitar solos on two of the tracks (including that jangling noir Epiphone acoustic on “Somewhere Along the Way”), with Richard Bennett on acoustic guitar and Paul Franklin on pedal steel, also contributing.
“We played and recorded the songs as a band, with very few overdubs,” explains Taylor. “It was a real joy to work with Dave, who is such an incredible musician with a deep understanding of what goes into a song. We found ourselves immediately speaking a language we both understood.”
Rawlings originally jammed with the band when they were Simon Dawes in their North Hills, CA, rehearsal space around seven years ago, then joined the group on one memorable occasion at the tiny Crepe Place in Santa Cruz for a raucous encore after one of his own shows down the street. Dave threw his hat in the ring to produce them, mutually agreeing on the goal of making their recordings sound more like they do live. “I was always a big supporter of the way they went about things, and how hard they worked,” said Rawlings. “I was also impressed with their growth as musicians.” The pairing of Dawes with Rawlings couldn’t have been a more perfect match of band and producer.
“Playing these songs with them in a live setting in front of an audience before we ever set foot in the studio was a lot of fun,” enthused Rawlings. “I was really pleased to see the new material not just holding its own with the older stuff, but in some cases sound even better and fresher.”
Fresh from his game-changing experience working on the New Basement Tapes with producer T Bone Burnett and bandmates Marcus Mumford, Elvis Costello, Jim James, Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor took the spontaneity and organic interaction of those sessions – along with a newfound self-confidence – into recording the new album.
“We didn’t get super-precious about it,” he said. “The rest of the band were able to react and respond in the moment, so even during the guitar solos, you can hear everyone else expressing themselves as well.”
The first single, “Things Happen,” is accompanied by a video that expresses Dawes’ joie de vivre, a bittersweet tale of a Beatles busker (played by their actor friend Nate Michaux) who works Hollywood Blvd., where he meets fellow street performers Charlie Chaplin (Taylor), Elvis Presley (Gelber) and Marilyn Monroe (Strathairn in drag).
“In a literal way, I’m singing to a friend, but I’m also giving myself a pep talk,” said Taylor. “Things might be bad, but the only thing you can do is shift your perspective to deal with it. Hoping it will go away by itself is a little unreasonable.”
There are also glimpses of past relationships in “Somewhere Along the Way” and “Waiting for Your Call,” while “I Can’t Think About It Now” offers a disquieting view of how repressing your problems ends up making things worse, and “Right on Time” describes the serendipity that makes up a long-lasting romance, posing a dichotomy between the dramatic music and the blatantly over-the-top lyrics. The sprawling, nine-minute-plus “Now That It’s Too Late Maria” was the first song the band recorded in the studio, and set the template for the album’s loose-limbed, yet deliberate approach.
“Griffin played a relaxed, mid-tempo beat and I just started singing it that way,” recalls Taylor. “Dave just told us not to think about what we were doing, just do it, and that’s what we did. It was a very special moment for us as a band. It really set the mood and made us confident and comfortable in our own skin, helped us embrace ourselves as a band. We realized nobody could do what the four of us do together.” Making the new album helped Dawes realize just how special – and unique — they were as a unit. It’s a worthy addition – and a noticeable advance – on their three previous albums, 2009’s debut North Hills, 2011’s Nothing Is Wrong and 2013’s Stories Don’t End.
“They are a tremendously talented group of guys focused solely on the music as part of their lives,” offered Rawlings. “I remember sitting in the control room with Taylor and Griff as they went through their iPods and pulled out pieces of songs, swapping ideas back and forth over a great breadth of different styles from all different eras. There’s a good level of passion and friction, and there was a healthy give-and-take, of questioning things, then coming to an informed decision in the studio. I certainly lea
rned a great deal working on this album.”
Taylor suggested the energy of All Your Favorite Bands matches that of their very first album, though this time the spontaneity was part of a concerted plan rather than the necessity of budgetary limitations.
“There is so much joy in these songs, they make me smile when I hear them,” he concluded. “We woke up every day looking forward to the fact we would be playing together in the studio. That’s all we ever care about doing.”
„Dawes plays it old school. The group’s music evokes the best of the classic canyon rock era of the ‘60s and ‘70s.” (Los Angeles Times)
'Dawes put a smile on my face, reinvigorated me…Made me believe what once was, that elusive elixir that hooked me back when, has returned.' (Bob Lefsetz)
„Dawes are natural experts at vintage allure: the precise twang and breezy introspection of Seventies California rock. The great Browne and Anglo-L.A. Fleetwood Mac albums also masked profound turmoil and broken paradise. Dawes treat these wounds with the same trusted medicine: warming vocal rain and a rich weave of guitars and keyboards. It still works.“ (Rolling Stone)
Taylor Goldsmith, lead vocals, guitar
Griffin Goldsmith, drums, background vocals
Wylie Gelber, bass
Tay Strathairn, keyboards, background vocals
Gillian Welch, guitar
The McCrary Sisters, vocals
David Rawlings, guitar, vocals
Richard Bennett, acoustic guitar
Paul Franklin, pedal steel
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, they 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 the gentle, acoustic-based musical trappings and rich vocal harmony of the Laurel Canyon sound (Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell), as well as by the shambling, romanticized Americana of the Band. After connecting with producer Jonathan Wilson, the group began participating in informal jam sessions at Wilson's house with Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, the Heartbreakers' Benmont Tench, and the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson. The loose feel of these get-togethers informed the group's aptly titled 2009 debut North Hills. The album was recorded in Laurel Canyon live to analog tape, which lent Dawes' recorded sound an authentically vintage vibe.
The band's second album, 2011's Nothing Is Wrong had a similar feel to the debut and peaked at number 23 on the Billboard album charts. That same year, the band had a pair of unique experiences: playing at the Occupy Wall Street protests and appearing as themselves on a prime-time network television show (Parenthood). Stories Don't End, the group's hotly anticipated third studio album, arrived in 2013. Recorded in Nashville at the esteemed Woodland Studios with producer David Rawlings (Gillian Welch, Old Crow Medicine Show), the Hub-issued All Your Favorite Bands arrived in June 2015.
This album contains no booklet.