I’m convinced Taylor Goldsmith and I would be great friends.
Like the Dawes lead singer and guitarist, I reflect on the life choices I’ve made and wonder where I’m headed.
I also find meaning in everyday situations – late night drives, extra chicken wings, western skylines, cross-country flights, drinks at a bar and passing conversations – and believe they define me.
I see a similar pattern of thoughts recurring throughout Goldsmith’s lyrics for Dawes’ four studio albums – “North Hills,” “Nothing Is Wrong,” “Stories Don’t End” and “All Your Favorite Bands.”
In Dawes’ music, Goldsmith isn’t afraid to admit he’s made mistakes, taken the wrong path or wished for different outcomes. His introspective songs invite listeners to learn from his actions and apply “his plans of attack” to their current challenges.
That’s what I enjoy most about Dawes. Their music is direct and honest with no frills.
Goldsmith is the type of friend I would call if I needed advice about a tough decision. We’d meet at a bar to drink tequila, dissect the situation and commiserate over the ramifications of our life’s choices.
He’d also provide an empathetic ear while cutting through the emotional bull and focusing solely on the facts.
At the same time, Goldsmith also sees potential in all people, especially the troubled ones who “take him to the edge and make him watch.” Goldsmith isn’t there to judge, he’s simply wants to connect with people through the band’s music.
During a Dawes show at the Royal Oak Music Theater in July, Goldsmith talked about the intuitive connections he makes with audiences while on tour.
“This song is about where we come from and sort of about that weird phenomenon of how you can sort of see when someone else is from where you’re from as well without even talking to them about it,” he said before singing the band’s 2011 single, “Time Spent in Los Angeles.”
“This is song is about Los Angeles, but it could easily just be about here as well or anywhere else.”
While I don’t live in Los Angeles, I strongly feel connected to the band’s music here in Michigan. That connection grew stronger today when I read an NPR All Songs Considered article about Dawes’ announcing their new album, “We’re All Gonna Die,” which comes out Sept. 16.
The article also introduced Dawes’ new single, “When The Tequila Runs Out,” a funky track featuring a catchy chorus that’s backed by bluesy Dan Auerbach-style guitar riffs and the band’s signature indie folk bass line.
The following “Tequila” lyrics are classic Goldsmith and Dawes:
“On the floor of the living room I saw my past life passed out/Laying next to a handsome new frame/I didn’t recognize his face too much except for the grimace on his mouth/Looked a lot like me/He seemed to be in pain.”
The “We’re All Gonna Die” album title reflects a more serious tone Goldsmith and his bandmates have taken with their fifth album.
“Pretty much every song on this record explores a difficult situation and tries to find a way to find the good in it, or at least remind yourself that it’s not always that big of a deal,” Goldsmith told NPR’s Robin Hilton. “After all, as scary as it is, we are all gonna die.”
Yes, we’re all going to leave this world at some point. However, it will be somewhat easier to leave knowing I’ve befriended Goldsmith over a shot of tequila.