In this age of readily available musical technology, most modern Americana rock bands make the conscious decision to stick to analog production and instruments in an attempt to retain the folksy minimalism the genre’s forefathers. But finding a way to tread new and unique ground with these constraints is where expertise is required. Dawes has proved they are up to the challenge time and time again. Taylor Goldsmith’s poignant songwriting and the band’s strong musicianship has made Dawes stand-out among their peers despite their classic instrumental make-up.
(Actually, before their debut album North Hills (which is almost entirely acoustic folk), members of Dawes, along with songwriter Blake Mills, comprised a far louder, alternative, almost art rock, band called Simon Dawes, vastly more experimental than their current outfit…there’s a Snapple lid fact for you.)
However, with the new addition of keyboardist Lee Pardini, the band has continued to expand their sound which is what makes their latest album, We’re All Gonna Die, a breath of fresh air without abandoning the band’s signature sound.
On Wednesday night, Dawes condensed their extensive repertoire into two sets at Brooklyn Steel. They opened the show with “Quitter,” a fuzz-bass gem from the latest album, but delved deep into their catalog (future and past albums alike) as the show progressed. The dynamic nature of the night’s set lists went from acoustic, soft-spoken introspective pieces (like the upcoming song “Crack the Case,” which Taylor performed solo) to the band’s brand of overdriven modern classic rock songs like “Most People” and “Time Spent in Los Angeles.” Concertgoers ears and eyes were glued to the stage for the duration of both sets, despite the lack of Simon Dawes bust-outs.
Article: Bobby Lewis