Home Read Albums Of The Week: Dawes | Misadventures Of Doomscroller

Albums Of The Week: Dawes | Misadventures Of Doomscroller

The California folk-rockers stretch their legs and let down their hair on their loose & exploratory eighth LP, trading tight songcraft for epic, free-flowing arrangements.

1095

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Produced by longtime collaborator Jonathan Wilson (Billy Strings, Father John Misty, Angel Olsen), Misadventures Of Doomscroller represents an adventurous new turn for Dawes, evincing a more ambitious, exploratory approach towards recording than ever before.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on being minimalists. With this record we set out on being MAXIMALISTS,” says Taylor Goldsmith. “Still a quartet. Still not letting these songs hide behind any tricks or effects. But really letting the songs breathe and stretch and live however they want to. We decided to stop having any regard for short attention spans. Our ambitions go beyond the musical with this one.

“We also wanted to honour the traditional length of a vinyl record — 40-45 minutes — but disregard any concern for numbers of tracks. The way Miles or Herbie often did. Documenting the songs is only half of the picture. For this record, they’re also the platform for us to jump off from and get lost in. I think the best way I can say it is — we wanted this record to be less a collection of songs and more a collection of music.”

Adds bassist Wylie Gelber: “We wanted a musical drama, an ensemble cast with linked arms kicking highly; a transcription of a band meeting we haven’t even had yet. Eight legs and eight arms, in a room, stretching deeper than we ever knew we could… The intros have outros. The outros have bridges.”

Photo by Ward & Kweskin.

 

 

Taylor Goldsmith’s Track-By-Track Notes:

Someone Else’s Cafe / Doomscroller Tries to Relax
“Every time a take was completed felt like a major accomplishment. It being 10 minutes really raised the stakes. Didn’t wanna be the guy to mess up in minute 7 or 8 with everyone playing flawlessly up to that point. This whole album, and this song especially, felt a little beyond our comfort zone and I’m really proud of what that’s done to the music. I like to think that you can hear the eye contact, that you can hear us thinking on their feet. It’s already become a top fiver to play live. Happy to finally have it out in the world.”

Comes In Waves
“I had this riff and one of the verses for a while. Griffin, Wylie and Mike Viola came over to my backyard (this was peak covid) to just play music together for one of the first times since lockdown. I started sharing the song and Griffin and Mike started singing their background parts you hear on the choruses on the record immediately. It inspired me to finish writing it. The lyric is about the arbitrary demands I make on myself. I want to perceive me or my life a certain way but I make no exceptions for an off day or a misstep. Whether it’s a win or a loss, it’s all transient, and only when I can live in some version of that awareness (which is itself transient) am I able to bat away any fears or anxieties or the consequences of an over indulged ego.”

Everything Is Permanent
Everything Is Permanent is a song (about how everything about us is tracked, documented, recorded, filed, mined, bought, sold, etc. etc. on some level) that is wrapped around a molten core of a breakdown / freakout / majorminor interweave that is probably the moment I’m most proud of on the whole record. After showing you the blood and guts, we gently sew the song back together again and end with what could be the tagline for all of social media and the screen-life-culture that we subscribe to these days to varying degrees: “Did you really need to cry? Or be seen crying?”

Ghost In The Machine
“The words to Ghost In The Machine are about the early days of a band. Playing small clubs and going on small tours. As hard as it is in the moment, it’s hard not to look back at those times through rose colored glasses. It’s all a lot more romantic now. And it’s also what built our foundational faith in what we do. It’s the first time we’ve ever had a song with this kind of feel. We got Jonathan Wilson to play a second drum kit for the live take. Griffin and he switch off taking those drum breaks at the end. The solos were live on the floor and there’s no BGVs so other than extra percussion, a rhythm guitar, and an extra keyboard part, it’s all one live take. Feels like it’s gonna be a mainstay in the live show for a long time to come.”