Dawes has easily made progress as one of America’s leading bands. On their fifth album We’re All Gonna Die (Hub), they continue to make timeless, song-based rock, with a distinctive style, led by lead vocalist Taylor Goldsmith.
The group’s organic sound based on solid, at times idiosyncratic, yet accessible songs marks them as a group with real staying power. The group uses odd rhythms as a counterpoint to what are actually very melodic songs that in a good way get stuck in your head. Part of this vocal-rhythm symbiosis no doubt is the result of the fact that the group’s primary vocalist Taylor and drummer Griffin are brothers.
The other strength of the group is the contribution of Blake Mills. Mills produced the album and was once a full-time member of the group. Over the past several years, Mills has become a much in-demand producer working with such artists as Jim James (who appears on this new Dawes album), Alabama Shakes, Laura Marling and many others. The album also features support from Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, veteran drum legend Jim Keltner and Will Oldham.
Dawes have always had a lot of fun with song titles and lyrics, but it’s hard to say exactly we’re they’re going with the title of this new album. The song that is the centerpiece of the album is “Roll with Punches,” so perhaps the album is more a warning than a dire prediction. One prediction that is safe to make is that Dawes will continue to be around for some time making some of the best music of just about any American band on the scene today.