I admit it: I have been on a Dawes binge.
Who — or what — is Dawes?
A 21st century band, with a sound that echoes the Eagles, the Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, Neil Young, and even, improbably, Big Tent Revival.
A modern band with a lyrical sensibilities that are equal parts wry and witty with an occasional heartbreak thrown in.
Dawes is throwback and modern, timeless and timely. And here are my five favorites songs by my new “favorite’ band:
Number One. A Little Bit Of Everything. Three vignettes — a would-be jumper from the Golden Gate Bridge, an older man trying to forget the death of his dreams and the loss only son while standing in a buffet line, and a young bride-to-be writing her wedding invites — form the background for the poignant chorus. In the case of Buffet Line Guy:
I want a little bit of everything,
The biscuits and the beans,
Whatever helps me to forget about
The things that brought me to my knees,
So pile on those mashed potatoes,
And an extra chicken wing,
I’m having a little bit of everything.
Comedy — an extra chicken wing — and tragedy — the man’s visceral losses — combine almost perfectly to bring both protagonist and listener to their knees.
Number Two. All Your Favorite Bands. Another gem of a ballad in which pain and hilarity stand side-by-side. What more could any of us want from life than this?
I hope that life without a chaperone is what you thought it’d be
I hope your brother’s El Camino runs forever
I hope the world sees the same person that you’ve always been to me
And may all your favorite bands stay together
Number Three: The Way You Laugh. You might think from #1 and #2 that the Dawes’ catalog is exclusively made up of ballads that tell a story. Not so fast. The Way You Laugh has a rhythmic drive that bites almost as hard as do its lyrics.
Number Four: I Can’t Think About It Now. Part blues, part jazz, part background vocals, all genius. I can’t stop thinking about the song the singer can’t stop thinking about.
Number Five: Things Happen. Talk about a song that will preach. Check out the chorus.
Lets make a list of all things the world has put you through
Lets raise a glass to all the people you’re not speaking to
I don’t know what else you wanted me to say to you
That’s all they ever do
These are five. There many more that could have made the list, particularly from 2011’s Everything Is Fine and 2015’s Favorite Bands.