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Los Angeles based folk-rock band, Dawes, rocked the Royale last night with screeching guitar solos and floor pounding percussion. They co-headlined with Blitzen Trapper, playing many of the tracks off their sophomore release, Nothing Is Wrong. But before setting fire to the stage, Dawes made a stop at the WERS studio for a live acoustic session.
Lead man Taylor Goldsmith brought his beautiful 1964 Gibson acoustic and a few of his fellow band members along; they soothed the studio with folk-rock gone mellow. He opened with “If I wanted Someone,” and his voice took a melancholy tone that contrasts the rock and roll bravado he would flaunt later that night during the over-sold out show at the Royale.
His second track was “Time Spent in Los Angeles.” Before serenading us, Goldsmith told us a little bit about the work that went into Nothing Is Wrong, which was recorded using two-inch analog tape—as opposed to being recorded digitally. Rumor has it that the use of analog over digital creates a slightly warmer sound. Goldsmith didn’t know for sure if this was true, but he did have this to say about the process:
“When you listen back to something, rather than everybody crowing around a computer screen and looking at waves go by, you’re actually kind of putting your head down, and closing your eyes, and listening. I feel like that in itself will make a big difference. It’s also a lot harder to edit with analog, and that forces someone to really think on their feet and be on their game, maybe a little more than they’re even aware of. Things like that really create an experience that we really appreciate with using the analog rather than digital.”
After playing a third track, “A Little Bit of Everything,” Goldsmith told us a little bit about what goes into songwriting for him:
“I admire people that can, but I’ve never been able to kind of let it [music] write itself, just let it come out, and just say ‘it is what it is’. I always have an intention or some sort of theme or idea, some sort of payoff, a reason why I use a certain title or something. It depends on each song. It’s always different.“
The same can’t be said of how Goldsmith crafts his albums. He explained after the performance:
“There’s never really any concept for a whole record, if there is any connection between songs, that is not something I am conscious of, or doing intentionally. For me, it’s just a song-by-song basis.”
Dawes continues their tour with Blitzen Trapper in Toronto on Sunday, and then it’s off to the Midwest. The will return to their home in Los Angeles after being on the road for almost two months, in mid-November. Perhaps a new song will be in order: “Time spent away from Los Angeles.”