In terms of being one of your favourite bands, as per the title of their new record, Dawes have it down to a science: make dependable records that speak to a specific fan base. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Stylistically, their fourth record doesn’t depart much from previous ones. They’ve got the relaxed, campfire-at-dusk folk rock vibe mastered, along with stories of wayward drifters, with a country-influenced kick creeping in here and there (Somewhere Along The Way). It’s polished, accessible and familiar.

They spent time road-testing the songs prior to recording, a first for the band, and that seems to have led to a heightened level of self-awareness. Things Happen, for example, unpacks the complexities of human relationships via a quiet-loud-quiet dynamic. It’s not hooky enough for mainstream radio, but placid and agreeable enough to keep popping up in playlists. 

The title track is a slow, winding piano-driven checklist of cities and desires that preoccupy lead singer Taylor Goldsmith, with a mantra that will comfort Dawes fans: “And may all your favorite bands stay together.”

Top track: Somewhere Along The Way

Dawes play the Phoenix on July 20.



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