On 2015’s All Your Favorite Bands, Dawes leaves listeners drenched in nostalgia. The LP features narratives of distant memories over rich vocal harmonies, acoustic guitars and bluesy riffs. Known for emulating the folky Laurel Canyon sound of the ’60s and ’70s — think Jackson Browne and Neil Young — Dawes (which hails from Southern California) seems to have found its niche. But don’t think you can put the band in a box.
“We’ve never really spent any time in Laurel Canyon, though I know it’s not a geographical thing, it represents a sound and a certain time period,” vocalist Taylor Goldsmith said in an interview with The Chicago Tribune when asked about the band’s ties to the famed region. “I definitely relate to a lot of those artists. Warren Zevon is my favorite songwriter who ever lived. I definitely think of that as being a part of our first few records. It’s something we’ve grown out of.”
The band has opened for a diverse range of artists, from Alison Krauss to Bob Dylan to Conor Oberst. History shows that growth comes naturally for Goldsmith and his bandmates, and that growth is a testament to the skill and dedication that comes from the musicians. Birthed from a previous project called Simon Dawes, the band’s musical style shifted from Post Punk to Folk Rock. In the same Tribune interview, Goldsmith expresses the frustration he feels as an artist to be packed into one category with no room for growth, which is why he strives to have a sound that is continuously evolving.
Fans can expect to get a taste of the evolution when the follow-up to All Your Favorite Bands drops in the near future. Rumor has it this release, which will be the band’s fifth, will feature heavier bass riffs and keyboard elements than on any of Dawes’ previous efforts. Though it may be leaving the Canyon behind and stepping into a new era, with the diversity that this band thrives on, one can only imagine even greater success awaits.