Posts Tagged ‘Taylor Goldsmith’

Dawes: <i>Passwords</i> Review

Taylor Goldsmith and his band Dawes latest album release. “Passwords”, This Is Dawes’ sixth studio album, It features 10 new soft-rock songs indebted to Laurel Canyon circa 1972 and in particular the sound of Jackson Browne, with plaintive melodies, soothing piano and lyrical platitudes that are just unspecific enough to feel relatable, like the scenarios in self-help books. There’s the earnest, if self-satisfied, attempt to find common ground on “Crack the Case,” where Goldsmith murmurs rueful lyrics as piano and acoustic guitars mingle behind him. His regretful would-be lover on “Mistakes We Should Have Made” wishes he’d gone for the kiss despite the obstacles, his ardor framed by the prominent snap of a snare drum pushing a mix of acoustic guitar and keyboards, with distant backing vocals from the girls of Lucius. “Feed the Fire” slides around on a slippery guitar riff and shimmery synth parts, and Goldsmith reflects on empty ambition at the top of his vocal range in a way that calls to mind Private Eyes-era Hall & Oates.

Passwords, inspiration pulls guitarist/ singer Taylor Goldsmith, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, bassist Wylie Gelber, and keyboardist Lee Pardini into their most universal, topical territory to date. This is a record about the modern world: the relationships that fill it, the politics that divide it, the small victories and big losses that give it shape. Taylor’s writing is personal at points – the result of his recent engagement, which lends a sense of gravity and self-reflection to album highlights like “Time Flies Either Way” and “I Can’t Love” – but it also zooms out, focusing not on the director himself, but on everything within the lens.

Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith on the Secrets of <i>Passwords</i>

Some artists are naturally loathe to discuss their work in microscopic detail, lest any telling trade secrets be revealed. Not perpetually-disheveled Dawes frontman and main songwriter Taylor Goldsmith. At the mere mention of the Los Angeles group’s slightly sinister new sixth set Passwords, he sings like a canary over every last nuance of the Jonathan-Wilson-produced set, which opens with the Brontosaurus-stomping “Living in the Future” and the abject ode to apathy and ennui, “Stay Down.” And he holds nothing back.

“On one hand, it was important for me to start the record with those two tracks, since they were the bleakest of all he songs, and I felt like if the album were to end with either of those songs, we would have been sending a listener off in the wrong mood,” he explains. “And that’s a mood that we don’t believe in or subscribe to. Other more upbeat numbers like “Crack the Case” and “Time Flies Either Way” are a reaction to that attitude, so I was questioning certain things in life, of what it means to be alive at this moment in time.”

Elsewhere, he expands on these theories, like in “Feed the Fire,” wherein his need for stardom is the same flame that will eventually consume him, and on “I Can’t Love,” which—without cynicism—celebrates the new love he’s found with his fiancée, actress Mandy Moore. “And ‘Greatest Invention’ is a swan song to an image of a woman that never existed,” he says. “And the whole record is about where we’re living, how dark I might feel about it, and then finding some sort of purpose and some sort of meaning in a connection with just one person.”

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This LA band has quietly amassed one of the more consistent catalogs in all of ’10s left-coast Americana, steadily putting out one very good album every year or two for the past decade. The forthcoming release Passwords (due out June 22nd) starts off on a ham-fisted note with the political number “Living In The Future,” but the rest of the album thankfully is in the vein of “Crack The Case,” a spare, synth-accented folk-pop number that ruminates on fake news and the value of forgiveness. Presented as a retro-future lyric video with its storyline scrolling across a space-race era computer console, the track appears to be asking one very big and very current question: “How can we all get along?” With delicate piano and acoustic guitar strains, ethereal steel-guitar runs and light synth accents – plus front man Taylor Goldsmith’s typically-poetic vocal delivery – the band comes to a compassionate conclusion.

Fans of Springsteen’s Tunnel Of Love period will want to pay special attention.

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American band Dawes have announced a new studio album, their first since 2016’s We’re All Gonna Die. Called Passwords, it’s due out on June 22nd via the band’s own HUB Records. “Passwords” is described as an album “for and about the modern age” in a press release. “We’re living in such a unique moment in history,” said lead singer Taylor Goldsmith. “Many of these songs are an attempt to come to terms with the modern world, while always trying to consider both sides of the story.”

For the record, Dawes reunited with producer Jonathan Wilson, with whom the band recorded its first two albums. “Part of the DNA of Dawes was shaped by Jonathan, much like your first serious girlfriend dictates how you approach relationships for the rest of your life,” Taylor said. “Those first two Dawes records have a certain essence to them. We were figuring out who we were. When it came time to produce our sixth album, why not go back to the guy who started it all with us?”.


Full band performances, as well as Taylor’s vocal takes, were tracked live during recording in an effort to emulate the energy of their live performances. They also tease a “spacier, experimental approach” on a few songs due to the integration of keyboardist Lee Pardini, who joined the band in 2015.

Taylor also said there’s a “slight political implication” buried in the album’s titled, emphasizing “the idea that something so seemingly innocuous and frivolous can potentially shift the direction of a life or even a country.”

He added, “But more broadly than that, a password – this series of numbers, letters and figures – serves as a thin veil between a world you can see and understand, and one you can’t. That means songs can be passwords, too, because they’re a means of giving access to someone else’s perspective, thereby elaborating your own. Songs can unlock something in you, change something, tighten something, enlighten some-thing, or gain access into deeper corners, and that idea makes referring to a collection of songs as Passwords feel really good.”

Dawes will also be hitting the road later this summer with Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra, who are embarking on their first North American tour in over 30 years.

DAWES New album Passwords available June 22nd.HUB Records

Dawes are excited to announce their sixth studio album “Passwords” will be released on June 22nd via HUB Records.

Hi folks. Taylor here.

As you’re probably aware, it’s a wild time to be alive. There are a lot of thoughts and feelings we feel less inclined to share than we ever have before. At least in my lifetime. A lot of controversial conversations that feel like they only serve as something for the next person to crumple up and toss aside.

So it’s with all that in mind that we are proud to announce our new album ‘Passwords.’ In this rapidly approaching age of transparency, passwords can feel like this last vestige of a wall between a world we can see and one we can’t. Having a password allows you gain access to some information or perspective that you didn’t have before. In that sense, I like the idea of looking at a song as a password – an opportunity for some sort of insight that had previously been unavailable to you. And that goes for the singer as much as the potential listener, I promise. 🙂 These songs are about everything to the extent that any Dawes record has been…but in this case there is more of an objective…at least for us – to think a little harder about not just how but WHY we (not just ‘you’ or ‘I’ but ‘we’) feel the ways that we do. What small steps can be taken to revisit these old ideas of empathy? How can we develop a form of communication that goes beyond making sure you’ve said your piece and accurately aims at being heard?

Dawes are pleased to announce that they have recorded and released a live album titled We’re All Gonna Live. The album includes selections recorded over the first four shows of the An Evening With Dawes tour, and was mixed, mastered and released within 15 days. We’re All Gonna Live is available through streaming services HERE.

Dawes have teamed with Record Store Day to participate in this year’s Small Business Saturday. The band is releasing We’re All Gonna Live on vinyl, which was previously released as a streaming-only project.

We’re All Gonna Live is the first official live concert recording from Dawes via their own HUB Records, and will now be released on limited-edition vinyl (2000 copies) on November 25th, 2017

“With this tour we’ve felt like we’ve begun to turn a corner as a live band so we figured it was time to share some of it with everyone. It’s not the full length experience but we’re hoping that it’s enough of a taste for people to take a little bit of the show experience back into their homes with them and hopefully inspire them enough to come check out the show once we get into town.” – Taylor Goldsmith.

The band recorded the fifteen-song album during the first four shows of their 2017 An Evening With Dawes tour.

Track List / Side Splits:

Side A
1. Coming Back To A Man
2. One of Us
3. Right On Time
4. Quitter

Side B
5. Somewhere Along the Way
6. Roll With The Punches
7. A Little Bit Of Everything

Side C
8. Less Then Five Miles Away
9. Things Happen
10. From The Right Angle

Side D
11. Still Gonna Die
12. We’re All Gonna Die
13. Picture of a Man
14. When The Tequila Runs Out
15. All Your Favorite Bands

Dawes are excited to share “Alternative Theories of Physics”, a film about the making of their latest album “We’re All Gonna Die”, which includes interviews with the band and behind-the-scenes footage from the studio. Alternate Theories of Physics was directed, shot and edited by Kevin Hayes.

Alternative Theories of Physics is a film about the making of We’re All Gonna Die with Blake Mills, and includes song-by-song interviews with Dawes, along with behind-the-scenes footage from the studio

A movie about the making of We’re All Gonna Die by Dawes.

Dawes are pleased to announce that they have recorded and released a live album titled “We’re All Gonna Live”. The album includes selections recorded over the first four shows of the An Evening With Dawes tour, and was mixed, mastered and released within 15 days.

Dawes released a new surprise album, as the band has collected a mix of live tracks from their early 2017 shows and released them as We’re All Gonna Live. The new live album, which is available for streaming only at the moment , references Dawes’ latest studio effort, We’re All Gonna Die, and includes live versions of tracks from that album, along with its predecessor, All Your Favorite Bands, and more. Experience the live album in person, as An Evening With Dawes tour is still making its way through the United States and Canada.

“We’re All Gonna Live” is available through streaming services HERE. “With this tour we’ve felt like we’ve begun to turn a corner as a live band so we figured it was time to share some of it with everyone. It’s not the full length experience but we’re hoping that it’s enough of a taste for people to take a little bit of the show experience back into their homes with them and hopefully inspire them enough to come check out the show once we get into town.”
Taylor Goldsmith

Dawes have also released a new video for a track taken from “We’re All Gonna Die”  The Video features Mandy Moore who knows a thing or two about separation. The former pop star/This Is Us actress went through a pretty open drawn out divorce with another high-profile musician, but they both seem to be moving on nicely. He wrote what could be his best album in years after the split, and she shacked up with Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith. But in the video for Dawes’ “Roll with the Punches”, it looks like that relationship is crumbling too.

The clip for the track finds Goldsmith and Moore dividing their property after they break up. Only thing is, they take “dividing” extremely literally and hire a construction crew to cut all their stuff in half. The bed, the couch, the toaster, even the hair drier all get the saw as the two former lovers share forlorn looks.

Director Daniel Henry (Kurt Vile’s “Pretty Pimpin’”, Jack White’s “High Ball Stepper”) said the concept was inspired by a true story. “I got the idea for the video after I read a true story about a disgruntled German man whose 12-year marriage ended tragically, “He quite literally split all of their belongs in two, in a vindictive-yet-beautiful move that inspired the video. The whole idea made me laugh at its extreme pettiness, but ended up perfectly representing the process of moving on.”

The Los Angeles rock band named Dawes took a sharp turn without signaling on their latest work. The group’s earlier releases cemented their role in the neo-Laurel Canyon folk-rock scene, along with acts like Jonathan Wilson, Jenny Lewis and Rilo Kiley. They all riff on the work of acts like Jackson Browne, CSN and the Byrds. Dawes‘ leader, Taylor Goldsmith, has gone the furthest in that direction, aided by the similarity between his wan timbre and that of Browne. But for ‘Die,’ Dawes killed their darlings, swerving sharply from folk-rock to the warm, ’70s pop-soul of Michael McDonald and early Steely Dan. In the process, they downplayed their guitars and drums, focusing instead on the funk of their bass and the soul in their keyboards. The result offered a fascinating parallel to the trajectories of Wilco and My Morning Jacket. Both bands made their own leaps from traditional folk, rock and country to something more inventive. At the same time, the new songs by Dawes prove catchier than anything produced by either of those acts. You’ll find more melodically-sweet tunes on ‘Die’ than on any rock album released the year.

Dawes performing “Somewhere Along The Way” at Sofar London on November 5th, 2016

All Your Favorite Bands sounds effortless in a way. Producer Dave Rawlings nearly captures the Dawes’ reputable live sound, and the band for their part are relaxed yet adventurous, with plenty of confidence in their words. Sure, Dawes’ sound has always been easily comparable to a handful of classic ‘70s soft-rock bands (read: Jackson Brown, The Band), but the songs have always existed in their own continuum, which is why they work so well. Singer-songwriter Taylor Goldsmith doesn’t shy away from cliche, but he’s able to do so unabashedly and eloquently, a crucial skill in pop music. And while the band doesn’t tread any new ground for themselves this outing, it still showcases a band at the peak of a sound they’ve been crafting for years. All Your Favorite Bands also marks the end of keyboardist and founding member Tay Strathairn’s creative relationship with the band. Strathairn has always been a central part of the band’s sound, leaving little doubt that this album marks the end of an era for Dawes. All your favorite bands might not stay together, as Goldsmith warmly wishes, but they will press on.


Dawes, 'We're All Gonna Die'

This Los Angeles. outfit’s first four albums faithfully recreated the folksy, confessional vibe of Seventies Laurel Canyon singer-songwriters like Jackson Browne, but with the band’s former guitarist Blake Mills producing, the studio now becomes Dawes‘ playground. “As If By Design” is overrun with wild bar room piano and mariachi horns, while on several tracks Taylor Goldsmith’s vocals are filtered with heavy electronics and the drums and guitars are processed to a digital crunch that recalls the more adventurous side of the Black Keys. Goldsmith’s lyrics are still thoughtful and earnest (“I’m asking you for help/How do you fall in love with anything?” he sings on the title track), but he’s also looser and more playful on cuts like the lead single, “When the Tequila Runs Out” (“We’ll be drinkin’ champagne”). With this bold left turn into sonic experimentation, Dawes proves that you can be faithful to your roots and sound and still branch out.

We’re All Gonna Die certainly comes out swinging with big guitars, chunky grooves and what seems to be a concerted effort to mix things up from their usual wistful balladry and thoughtful mid-tempo.

But what’s most surprising about the album is just how well Taylor Goldsmith’s intricate lyrics fit into the aggressive music, especially on the circus-like “No Reason At All” and the crunching “One Of Us.” And on “Roll Tide,” the band slips back into balladry like it’s a velvet glove, just in case the new direction doesn’t take off.