Album: Dawes, Nothing Is Wrong (Loose)

5.00

The West Coast revival continues with this splendid second album from Dawes, the Los Angeles combo who were adopted by Robbie Robertson as his backing band for recent promotional performances, presumably because he heard something natural and collective in the way they played together.

That is certainly the impression given by Nothing Is Wrong, which was produced by Jonathan Wilson, whose recent Gentle Spirit offered a soothing simulacrum of the classic Laurel Canyon close-harmony sound that backdropped the late-60s singer-songwriter boom. Built around the Goldsmith brothers, drummer Griffin and guitarist/songwriter Taylor, Dawes' sound is redolent of faded denim, scuffed cowboy boots and hours spent sharing seats on a tour bus.

"Time Spent In Los Angeles" opens the album, with Benmont Tench's organ prominent behind Goldsmith's guitar as the latter muses upon the melancholy charm exhibited by Angelenos. It is followed in the sluggish, whiskery manner of Crazy Horse with "If I Wanted Someone", in which the short journey in the refrain from "maid" to "easy" summarises the constituent influences of Neil Young and The Eagles, the former brought to mind by the snarling, wiry guitar break, the latter by the sleek harmonies. Sometimes, local references combine unusually – as when "The Way You Laugh" blends the prancing gait of Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" with slide-guitar licks that bring to mind Jackson Browne's sidekick, David Lindley. In none of these comparisons would Dawes be found notably wanting.

Goldsmith writes, apparently, on a typewriter, claiming that the discipline helps with the precision of lines like "Some people were just meant to be a memory, to be called upon to remind us how we've changed" and "You broke the quick, giving heart of a kid, and you're now coming back to a man". Both sentiments are indicative of his fascination with the unalterable past and its effect upon the future. It forces him into some unusual positions, as in the break-up songs "Fire Away" and "Million Dollar Bill". In "Fire Away" he offers to be the emotional punchbag for the split, taking the blame for everything even when that is clearly not the case. In "Million Dollar Bill", he expresses a desire to remain a strong presence in the memory of an ex-lover by having his face on banknotes or becoming a famous film star or astronaut, an unavoidable cultural icon. It is as threatening and dubious as "Every Breath You Take" or "The One I Love" and it is likewise lubricated by a languid grace, particularly in the cooing, Eagles-esque harmonies.

Elsewhere, the plaintive "Moon In The Water" offers a moving metaphor for unreachable love, before "A Little Bit Of Everything" closes proceedings with a lengthy and detailed exploration of the desire to experience everything, and both the wonders and saddening downsides furnished by that experience.

It is a thoughtful, mature conclusion to an album that seems to summarise one of the more welcoming trends in American rock.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Time Spent In Los Angeles; If I Wanted Someone; A Little Bit Of Everything; The Way You Laugh; Coming Back To A Man

Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'