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Dawes' Story Gets A Fine New Chapter

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Dawes' Story Gets A Fine New Chapter

Music Reviews

Dawes' Story Gets A Fine New Chapter

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Ever since they arrived with this song back in 2009, Dawes has been described as a band on the verge of greatness.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHEN MY TIME COMES")

SIEGEL: Following several years of heavy touring - including opening for Mumford & Sons - the L.A. quartet has just released its third album. It's called "Stories Don't End." And critic Tom Moon says it contains disarmingly beautiful, refreshingly simple songwriting.

TOM MOON, BYLINE: These days, when a rock band is tagged as a next big thing, there's usually some high-concept gimmick involved. Dawes is different.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST BENEATH THE SURFACE")

MOON: Singer and guitarist Taylor Goldsmith writes straightforward verse-chorus songs that focus on the turmoil beneath the surface of relationships, romantic and otherwise. Some of them seem downright ordinary until Goldsmith changes the perspective between verses or slips in a startling self-aware observation that makes you go, wow, this guy is cutting close to the bone.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST MY LUCK")

MOON: Dawes has affinity for the easygoing California folk rock of the early 1970s. Jackson Browne and The Eagles are big influences. But with this album, the band has expanded its range. In addition to its restless road songs, the new album has several slow, hypnotic meditations.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SIDE EFFECTS")

MOON: And there are country rambles too. Goldsmith says much of the new material came after he immersed himself in the songs of Willie Nelson.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOMEONE WILL")

MOON: This is the third Dawes record, and as happened with the first two, it's been greeted with huge next-great-hope-of-rock kind of superlatives. That seems a bit overheated for this band. They may never reach superstardom, and it's almost beside the point because they've crafted such solid, exceedingly disciplined and sharply observed songs.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MOST PEOPLE")

SIEGEL: The new release from Dawes is called "Stories Don't End." Our reviewer is Tom Moon.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MOST PEOPLE")

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