Now that M. Ward has taken a big old chunk out of my heart, I have to admit it’d be pretty nice to have a new folk squeeze to fill the void. And just like that, serendipity be damned, out of nowhere pops Dawes. They’re a young quartet from California, as susceptible as any to being tossed nonchalantly into that strange pseudo-category people call Americana. (Just make sure you don’t mistake them for fellow Golden State group Simon Dawes.)
Think Fleet Foxes, except if they listened to a little more Wilco and a lot more of the Band. (Okay, so they probably listen to buttloads of both, but you get the idea.) Dawes might not be topping any major best-of lists in the near future, but they do have harmonies to match their Seattleite brethren, with a low tenor swimming around down there and adding an compelling element.
And while Dawes do love ’em some acoustic guitars, don’t miss out on the electric propulsion on “When my Time Comes” (it's available on the group's MySpace page).
If you’re in Austin next week for South by Southwest, check these guys out; they’ll be performing at the Red Eyed Bar at 3:30 p.m. on March 18, and at the Habana Bar Backyard at 9 p.m. on March 20.
Hey, they might be warming me up to this Americana label. I mean, watch the video for the beautiful “Love Is all I Am,” above, and just try to tell me it doesn’t leave your tongue smacking of sweet apple pie.