Dawes used their spot at Rolling Stone‘s March 18th SXSW showcase to debut seven songs from their upcoming second album, Nothing Is Wrong. The L.A. folk-rock quartet recorded the disc at producer Jonathan Wilson’s Echo Park studio late last year in between touring commitments, and their tight performance at Austin’s La Zona Rosa showed how the road has honed their sound. “The difference between this record and [2009’s North Hills] is that this one has a much more live quality, because they were learned and arranged on stage,” lead singer Taylor Goldsmith told Rolling Stone after the show.
Story-songs like album closer “Little Bit of Everything,” “Time Spent in Los Angeles” and “Coming Back to a Man” showed off Goldsmith’s well-turned narrative lyrics. The arrangements behind those words paid convincing homage to Dawes’ favorite classic rock acts. After the show, Goldsmith said the band was aiming for an “American rock & roll” sound inspired by artists like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Bob Seger. “We could try to figure out a way to make a recording more contemporary,” he said. “But for us, it’s like, these songs came out the way they did naturally.”
Nothing Is Wrong – which also features studio contributions from Jackson Browne and Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench – is tentatively due in late spring or early summer.