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Folk rock outfit Dawes have announced a new album, their first since 2016’s We’re All Gonna Die. Called Passwords, it’s due out on June 22nd via the band’s own HUB Records.
Passwords is described as an album “for and about the modern age” in a press release. “We’re living in such a unique moment in history,” said lead singer Taylor Goldsmith. “Many of these songs are an attempt to come to terms with the modern world, while always trying to consider both sides of the story.”
“At the same time,” he added, “I’m also writing about the shifts in my own life, including getting married. Together, the songs process some dark moments – paranoia, anxiety, the wreckage of what you might’ve done in the past – and arrive at some sort of hopeful resolution. I’m hoping it’s our first step into adulthood as a band.”
For the record, Dawes reunited with producer Jonathan Wilson, with whom the band recorded its first two albums. “Part of the DNA of Dawes was shaped by Jonathan, much like your first serious girlfriend dictates how you approach relationships for the rest of your life,” Taylor said. “Those first two Dawes records have a certain essence to them. We were figuring out who we were. When it came time to produce our sixth album, why not go back to the guy who started it all with us?”
Full band performances, as well as Taylor’s vocal takes, were tracked live during recording in an effort to emulate the energy of their live performances. They also tease a “spacier, experimental approach” on a few songs due to the integration of keyboardist Lee Pardini, who joined the band in 2015.
Taylor also said there’s a “slight political implication” buried in the album’s titled, emphasizing “the idea that something so seemingly innocuous and frivolous can potentially shift the direction of a life or even a country.”
He added, “But more broadly than that, a password – this series of numbers, letters and figures – serves as a thin veil between a world you can see and understand, and one you can’t. That means songs can be passwords, too, because they’re a means of giving access to someone else’s perspective, thereby elaborating your own. Songs can unlock something in you, change something, tighten something, enlighten some-thing, or gain access into deeper corners, and that idea makes referring to a collection of songs as Passwords feel really good.”