Dawes: Their Time Has Come

| 5/5/2011 11:02:58 AM

dawes_img02_smallThe California four-piece Dawes has captured audiences with its low-key folk rock sound, especially their anthem “When My Time Comes.” We caught up with front man Taylor Goldsmith via e-mail. The band is currently finishing up work on a new album.

“When My Time Comes” is a really compelling song, and it looks like it’s doing pretty well on YouTube. Can you tell us a little bit about the genesis of the song? 

“When My Time Comes” has definitely been the song people have drifted to most. If I had to guess, it’d be because it’s a bit quicker; it’s a coming-of-age song that doesn’t get too specific, allowing everyone to potentially relate; and also because part of the chorus is wordless, and that is always easier to sing along with.

As to the genesis of the song, I was 22 when I wrote it and I definitely felt aware of the fact that there wasn’t too much life experience I was drawing from to base my material on, so this song was more about admitting that and trying to open myself up to whatever’s in store, rather than pretend I already have a handle on it.

A lot of the press about you compares the band to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, but I hear a lot more post-punk undertones in the way you put songs together. Does the comparison annoy or flatter you? 

It’s very flattering. CSN+Y is on every classic rock station and are responsible for some of everyone’s favorite songs, so that isn’t a comparison we mind. The post-punk thing is interesting. I definitely am into coming off that way, but I am always listening to the structures of more classic songwriters’ work. Guys like Bob Dylan, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson—who use simple structures and therefore find different ways to make the songs unique through the lyrics or arrangement of that simple structure. But my key influences are always changing. I’m willing to give anything a listen and try to wrap my head around why or how it moves anyone.

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