Dawes – ‘Nothing Is Wrong’ is the second studio offering from Dawes, a California based quartet making a name for themselves with the classic Laurel Canyon sound. First listen of the new album takes the listener back in time to a soft, dreamy place where sunshine falls softly on the grass and children run breathlessly through the yard. Built with heartbreakingly honest lyrics wrapped in simple music with a pop-country tinge; radio friendly, easy on the ears and still connecting on a deeply personal level this the music that takes a journey and takes the listener along for the ride.
Wylie Gelber (bass), Griffin Goldsmith (drums), Taylor Goldsmith (vocals/guitar), and Tay Strathairn (keyboards) toured relentlessly after the release of their debut album ‘North Hills’, resulting in confident and well executed songs for ‘Nothing is Wrong’. The growth between albums can be attributed to experience, in the vein of country or alt-country storytelling. Rather than simply write and record the album in a rehearsal space the songs were born, then raised on a stage over the past few years, allowing the band to rearrange and tighten the numbers before heading into the studio.
One they made the time to return to the studio it is no surprise that they chose to return with Jonathan Wilson and his Echo Park studio to record. Laying down the music on 2” analog tape was part of the process, and integral to the sound. Recording to tape forced the band to focus on the music, “We do it because , it demands something out of us. It doesn’t allow us to show up lazy or not on our game” says Taylor. For the listener this means what you hear on the album is what you will get live, the warm, full sound is not the product of clever manipulation but of talent.
Time Spent in Los Angeles opens the album and sets the tone painting a picture in the mind of the listener so vivid that the line between memory and suggestion is heavily blurred. A gentle look back at time well spent, this is the song that every girl wants written about her.
My Way Back Home long trip, winding roads and introspection make this song a must listen and echoes the mood of a road-weary traveler. Written over the road in the last few years it epitomizes the Dawes’ traveling-roots sound.
If Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles were to have a lovechild it would surely play Fire Away the day it was born. This is the fastest and most aggressive song on the album; the harmonies are amazingly full and for more than six minutes the group of four becomes one creature and delivers a powerful statement.
All 12 songs from ‘Nothing Is Wrong’ are solid, written well and executed perfectly. Dawes manages to capture an old sound, reminiscent of The Band or the Eagles yet appeals to those who are young and coming into their own. The album is timeless, in that it has something for everyone and doesn’t appeal to one demographic, it will resonate universally.
Little Bit of Everything, is the album’s closing number. Leaving the listener with a hopeful feeling, and some wizened words it wraps up a lifetime of experience. “It’s not some message written in the dark, Or some truth that no one’s seen, It’s a little bit of everything.”