Stories Don't End is the third studio album from Los Angeles four piece Dawes, who are a part of a rediscovery of the West Coast sound from the 1970's. Their music is reflective and inward looking, there is a serene contemplation to their songs, they are also very heartfelt and deep. Compared with their previous release Nothing Is Wrong this is a more polished sounding album, their sound has a tightness to it that wasn't on their last album. It's a really intriguing album musically, it's wonderfully juxtaposed perhaps because it's more uptempo and driven than their last record. Not sure why I've taken to comparing the two, I really enjoyed Nothing is Wrong but it was a really laid back and raw record. Stories Don't End is a big leap forward it still takes on matters of the heart but with perhaps a different feel, less direct.
Just Beneath The Surface rolls over the top of you, a very floating languid sound, the first indication of he musical leap that the band have taken. A very distinct west coast feel permeates across this song as it does through the whole album. Taylor Goldsmith is a songwriter with a personal and reflective tone, with a certain jaded view on life and love. From a Window Seat has a nice funky feel to it, a traveller ruminating on where they have come from and where they are going to. As he sets down for home there is a weariness at what he sees below,
So I reach down for my notebook,
To see what impressions can be spun
But it's just buildings and a million swimming pools
So I leaf back through the pages to see where I am from
Or for some crumbling map of what it's leading to.
Just My Luck sounds a little like The Band's It Makes No Difference, an aching tale of a broken relationship with a twisted sense of resignation, that it all boils down to luck,
Just my luck, I never said I loved you
Just my luck it completely slipped my mind
It's not my colder hearted tendencies that keep you from being here with me
Or the universe's brilliant design
It's just my luck.
Most People probes the idea that we all don't realise how lucky we are in life, what it takes to get through the day, something that we all face on a daily basis. Hey Lover is dripping with sarcasm and a growing sense of dissolution.
Well I'm back into the boring life that I once led
Stuffing white spread asshole on a sofa bed
Sometimes I hate myself for trying to be so bold
But nothing ever seems to get this story told.
The songwriting of Taylor Goldsmith continues to evolve, he is a songwriter who has the knack of capturing the deeper elements of our everyday existence, he writes as though he is peering in on something from an outside window. The band too have become a really tight organic unit, plenty of space for wistful guitar fragments and some deft keyboard work. They have definitely benefited from having Jacquire King as their producer, King has helmed the last few Kings of Leon albums so he knows how to build a big enveloping sound. But he doesn't do so at the expense of what makes Dawes such a great band, their raw honesty.