Hailing from the Golden State, the sun-drenched tunes of folk-rock quartet Dawes feature bright acoustic sounds and easy, soulful melodies reminiscent of California folk forbearers like Neil Young and Gram Parsons. But while the swirling blend of warm keyboards, classic guitar tones, and layered harmonies lend a timeless historicity to their sound, a modern sensibility in the group's deft songwriting invests time-tested conventions with a freshness that is absolutely infectious. After the split of their post-punk band Simon Dawes, songwriter Taylor Goldsmith and bassist Wylie Gelber stripped down the group's name as well as their sound, augmenting the line-up to include Goldsmith's brother Griffin and keyboardist Alex Casnoff. Wasting no time, Dawes recorded and released their debut North Hills in 2009. On the tails of a fantastic Daytrotter session earlier that year, the live-setting, analog tape-recorded album quickly drew the attention of Rolling Stone and Paste magazines as an achievement that positioned Dawes as a rapidly upcoming, "breakout" group. Currently touring North America, Dawes star continues to rise as more fans are exposed to their welcomingly familiar, yet refreshingly original music.
"While their debut album came out in September of last year, Dawes is starting to pick up traction-their buzz is mounting and they continue to grow in well deserved popularity," says Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager of Programming for WXPN. "They were one of the MVP's at this year's SXSW and the talk of the music festival. The inclusion of their single on Live @ the World Cafe Vol. 29 is a highlight of the disc."
Dan Reed says, "Already, on their consistently excellent debut album North Hills, Dawes has created a bona fide anthem in 'When My Time Comes.' The band's songwriting and playing abilities should ensure that it won't be their last. There's a sense of history, discovery, and righteousness in each and every song here."
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Since 2003, the XPN Artists To Watch series has been a reflection of WXPN’s commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces the alternative rock service, Y-Rock On XPN (yrockonxpn.org) as its secondary radio channel in HD. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.