In the decade since Dawes emerged from Southern California, the band, consisting of guitarist/singer Taylor Goldsmith, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, bassist Wylie Gelber, and keyboardist Lee Pardini, has evolved and electrified and grown into a forward-thinking band for the 21st century. The result is Passwords, a warm, lived-in album that spotlights Dawes’s strength as a live act while also staying rooted in studio craft and consideration.
Ultimately, Passwords is a clever and clear-eyed defense of empathy in the face of apathy (on songs like "Living In The Future") and a timely call for patience and understanding in an age of political partisanship (on "Crack the Case"). “Songs can be passwords,” Goldsmith says, “because they're a means of giving access to someone else's perspective, thereby elaborating your own.” In this way, Passwords uses its words wisely, unfolding with well-reasoned articulation and pointed punch, while never compromising the band’s innate musicality and song-writing prowess. Rarely has a band created such an appropriate soundtrack for the modern age, and with Passwords, Dawes does just that.