Dawes North Hills

The steady build-up of praise for Dawes's major label release, North Hills, attests to their talent as well as to our collective hunger pangs for some good old fashioned country folk rock reminiscent of the Band or Crosby, Stills & Nash. The love fest is well deserved and music brokers are hastening to stake their claim of approval and discovery before the young Californian quartet earn mainstream recognition. Dawes are made up of brothers Taylor Goldsmith (vocals, guitar) and Griffin Goldsmith (drums, vocals), along with band members Wylie Gelber (bass) and Tay Strathairn (piano). A throwback to the vintage Americana of Lauren Canyon, California, North Hills was produced by Jonathan Wilson (Elvis Costello, Jonathan Rice, Jenny Lewis) in Laurel Canyon itself. Recorded live in studio to analog tape, there's a gritty, palpable genuineness to the recording. Their four-part harmonies flow naturally and the lyrics, despite being rich in meaning and meticulously composed, exude spontaneity. You'd be hard-pressed to dislike a single track on this record. (ATO)