Saturday, October 6, 2012

Early Days: Simon Dawes

During the time The Musically Inclined went on hiatus this spring/early summer, I developed a great love for L.A. band Dawes, which weirdly is not really reflected in this blog. Case in point: Death Cab for Cutie has a whopping 31 post tags. Well, I guess there's nothing stopping me now. In reading up on the band, I found out about an earlier incarnation, if you can call it that, called Simon Dawes featuring Taylor Goldsmith and bassist Wylie Gelber plus a couple randos. They didn't last too long, but they managed to pack in an LP,  two EPs, and opening gigs with the Walkmen and Band of Horses (to name a few) in the three-ish years they were active. There are some scattered Youtube videos out there, and only one of their EPs, Final Noise, is on Spotify. The part of Simon Dawes I like the best is how not Dawes it is (Alternative? Indie rock? Punk lite?). It's fun to hear the difference. A while ago I read an article that basically said when Simon Dawes gave out to Dawes, it was like the they started wearing boots and plaid shirts and just took on that Jackson Browne-Laurel Canyon-70s California rock-thing, and after hearing the early stuff, I'm was thinking, "My God, they kind of did." How do you just do that? How do you just drop a style and cop another one? Must take some intense dexterity.

I'd like to be disappointed or something, but I'm not. It's like running across an old high school yearbook photo. The two Simon Dawes on Spotify are hard to ignore. "If You Were A Girl" has a very mid career Beatles-esque melody. "The Awful Things" is raggedly energetic and is probably implying an influence I don't know. The lyrics are Goldsmith good, too. "I know the bookies at the corner store. They taught me secrets of the universe and how to talk to girls– a sticky situation that'll put your tongue in curls." I'm going to pick up their debut album Carnivore when I can and see how the rest goes. Check out the Spotify playlist above for those two tracks.

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