California-based roots rock band Dawes were formed in the Los Angeles suburb of North Hills by brothers Taylor Goldsmith and Griffin Goldsmith (lead vocals/guitar and drums, respectively), Wylie Gelber (bass), and Alex Casnoff (guitar).
They were previously in the band Simon Dawes, but after Blake Mills left the group, the changed the name (and added Casnoff, who was soon replaced by Tay Strathairn). Unlike the more intense indie rock sound they had as Simon Dawes, Dawes were heavily influenced by the gentle, acoustic-based musical trappings and rich vocal harmony of the Laurel Canyon sound (Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell), as well as by the shambling, romanticized Americana of the Band. After connecting with producer Jonathan Wilson, the group began participating in informal jam sessions at Wilson's house with Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, the Heartbreakers' Benmont Tench, and the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson. The loose feel of these get-togethers informed the group's aptly titled 2009 debut North Hills. The album was recorded in Laurel Canyon live to analog tape, which lent Dawes' recorded sound an authentically vintage vibe. The band's second album, 2011's Nothing Is Wrong had a similar feel and peaked at number 23 on the Billboard album charts. That same year, the band had the unique experiences of playing at the Occupy Wall Street protests and appearing as themselves on a prime-time network television show (Parenthood). Stories Don't End, the group's hotly anticipated third studio album, arrived in 2013. ~ Pemberton Roach, Rovi