After Dawes released their debut album, North Hills, just two years ago, they toured almost continuously. And it was in-between all this touring that they managed to write their new LP, Nothing Is Wrong (released on June 8th via ATO Records).
From the lyrics, you can tell how much the time spent on the road influenced – and ultimately shaped – their new album. It is very telling that the band chose this as the very first line of the album: “my friends don’t seem to know me, without my suitcase in my hand” (from the song “Time spent in Los Angeles”). This very sentiment of displacement is echoed throughout the album.
Nothing is Wrong is very much like a documentary of a band on the road, with constant references to home, places and people. We can sense the exhilaration of the journey and, on the flip side, the loneliness and nostalgia for more familiar faces and places, as well as the longing for comfort.
This album is about journeys – whether it is touring around the country, or just taking off to distant places away from home, it matters not. It is about the self-examination upon being confronted with something new or different and even experiencing the confusion it might bring. It’s about dusting off old memories and revisiting them with fresh eyes. But ultimately, it is also about that moment when you realize just how much you miss home and you start to make your way back. “I used to think someone would love me for the places i have been and the dirt that ive been gathering deep beneath my nails, but now i know what i ve been missing and im going home to make it mine.” (again, from “Time Spent in Los Angeles”).
Not surprisingly, Dawes included a track called “My Way Back Home”, which appropriately states: “and in my constant quest for truth, I am condemned to facts alone. And though my dreams all lead me nowhere, I won’t forget my way back home” In this sense, this album is also a celebration of the idea of home – whichever it might be – and everything it represents.
The sound is classic Americana at its finest, with a focus on smooth, heartfelt narratives and harmonies. The band picked up right where they left off in North Hills, continuing to display great musicianship and amazing songwriting skills. This is the kind of album that will stay with you long after it’s over.
“If I Wanted Someone”: