Dawes: Stories Don’t End

dawes, stories dont endLuarel Canyon folk rockers Dawes present their latest offering Stories Don’t End on HUB records. Building up to the release there was much anticipation at the StGA offices. At last year’s Newport Festival, Dawes lead singer/songwriter Taylor Goldsmith stole the show, hopping onto a keyboard and improvising his own form of dancing to the Deer Tick performance. Later in the day, members of the group were brought onto the main stage to back up Conor Oberst‘s solo performance, giving it the punch his lyrics so deserve.

In the interim between Nothing is Wrong and the present offering the group had kept themselves rather busy. Aside from pairing up with Jackson Browne to entertain Occupiers on the streets of NYC, Mr. Goldsmith found himself enrolled in the Deer Tick/Dawes side-project Middle Brother. Their self titled release proved to be the best of both worlds, incorporating Deer Tick’s Matt McCauley’s libertine, majesty through self-destruction with Taylor Goldsmith’s sentimental, heart sparked hope despite all approach to songwriting and structure. It was really a fantastic album, (Partisan, 2011) and had our humble staff expecting the world with Stories Don’t End.

However, from first to last the album disappoints. Foregoing all contrast, every single track falls into the mid-tempo trap that can spell death to an intent audience. The songwriting itself seems a cut below what we’ve come to expect out of Goldsmith, and neither does his backing group do much to illustrate emphatically the individual track’s lyrical content.

This was supposed to be a break out record for Dawes. The group has done quite well for themselves so far, but they have remained at the periphery of national attention. This album should have propelled them out of that gray area of band’s you’ve heard of but never got around to exploring. While peers and contemporaries, Deer Tick, Jonny Corndawg, and Shovels and Rope, have seen their individual careers blossom it feels like Dawes has taken a step back with Stories Don’t End.
Rating: 4.2/10
MP3: Dawes “From a Window Seat”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl