This stunning seven-track album from the self-proclaimed “prog-bluegrass locomotive” fueled by Billy Kirst (vocals and guitar), Kyle Rhodes (vocals and mandolin), Jordan Adema (violin) and Ryan Shea (bass and vocals) pulls listeners along a personal journey while they ride in “psych-folk” boxcars filled with frustration, nostalgia, love and self-discovery.
The journey begins with the energetic title track and captures the frustration of living in an era when “…instead of seeing everyone as sisters and brothers/They started pointing fingers at one another.”
While the lyrics brilliantly capture anger and blame, the band’s acoustic guitar, violin, mandolin and bass harmoniously meld together and instrumentally portray a sense of hope for the future.
That hope is carried through to “Madison,” which features Kirst’s and Rhodes’ lush harmonies coupled with nostalgic lyrics and the fast-paced sonic partnership of Adema’s violin and Rhodes’ mandolin.
Dawes is quickly becoming one of our favorite bands.
Brian and I made the 90-minute trek to Kalamazoo, Mich. last night to see the Los Angeles-based indie folk rock quartet play two powerhouse sets at the State Theatre for about 1,000 fans.
Called “An Evening with Dawes,” the 2.5-hour show served as the band’s first headlining performance at Kalamazoo’s historic 90-year-old theater and included 25 songs that spanned their eight-year career.
The show is part of Dawes’ current 51-city North American tour and most recent album, “We’re All Gonna Die,” which came out in September.
My visit was brief – about four and a half hours – but I traveled through the shimmering, dreamy soft rock tunes of Denver-based indie pop band Tennis.
Tennis created a 1970s sonic feel by featuring pre-show music from Hall & Oates, Minnie Riperton, Bob Welch and other artists from my favorite decade.
Led by wife and husband duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, Tennis played a sold-out show to an energetic crowd of 400 at Ferndale, Mich.’s The Magic Bag, one of my favorite music venues in southeast Michigan.
In a sense, Friday’s show also served as an informal release party for Tennis’ fourth album, “Yours Unconditionally,” which dropped that day and features a 1970s-inspired pop sound. The album’s cover includes a faded close-up shot of the duo that’s reminiscent of 1970s era vinyl album covers.