Dawes showcased their heavy and gentle sides on Tuesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, performing the bluesy rocker “Living in the Future” and soft rock ballad “Crack the Case.” On both tracks, Taylor Goldsmith meditated on spreading optimism in divisive times.
With “Living in the Future,” a brawny track highlighted by a riff alternating between bars of 6/8 and 4/4, he focused on “gettin’ through the night” by finding common ground. “We’re livin’ in the future, so shine a little light/ It may not make it any better, I’m just hopin’ that it might,” he sang, building the arrangement with spacey synth pads and a wailing guitar solo.
On “Crack the Case,” the band slipped into a dreamy atmosphere of acoustic guitar, piano and electric slide guitar. As Goldsmith recently told Rolling Stone, the song is an attempt to envision political and social issues from the opposite perspective.
“With ‘Crack the Case,’ I didn’t want to answer anything because I don’t know if a song is enough to do that,” he said. “A song is a song, at the end of the day. But that song is a suggestion of an approach for myself. I can come to a conversation and I can hear where somebody else is coming from without immediately saying, ‘I can’t believe that you would think these ways.’ And rather than judging and alienating others, I do think there’s an opportunity that no one is taking, myself included, to actually understand why somebody is coming from a certain place.”
Both tracks appear on Dawes’ recently issued sixth LP, Passwords. The band will launch a headlining tour on August 2nd in Oakland, California.