It was the spring of 2002 when I experienced my first break-up. Sure, I was young and clearly didn’t understand the power of love, but that didn’t stop me from falling head-first into a seven-year relationship. Because this love made me dance around my bedroom, sing (mind you, loud and horribly out-of-tune) in the back of my parents’ car and doodle lopsided hearts in the margins of my schoolwork. That’s why when *NSYNC disbanded in the spring of 2002, I grieved as any music fan would over the loss of a musical companion.
It’s that feeling of loss and regret (of “Bye, Bye, Bye”, if you will) that fuels All Your Favorite Bands, the fourth studio release from seminal folk rock band Dawes. As band frontman Taylor Goldsmith puts it, “I know that my favorite bands are a really deep part of who I am. They help define me, they help represent me, they trigger certain emotional memories… I would love for someone wishing me well to put it in the terms of ‘may all your favorite bands stay together.’ That would be a real friend. That person would know what truly matters.” So goes All Your Favorite Bands, a record that represents the too-sweet highs and post-breakup lows of human connection.
Since their 2009 debut, Dawes has done a fine job of creating a grassroots following, acting as openers for Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne and Mumford & Sons along the way. But with the release of All Your Favorite Bands, the Los Angeles four-piece shows that they have the stuff to be (rather than play back-up for) your next favorite band. Whether they’re invoking The Eagles’ “old school cool” on “I Can’t Think About it Now” or speaking to our well-worn hearts with the introspective “Things Happen,” Dawes consistently crafts an emotional rollercoaster fueled by love, regret and just a dash of hope.
If you’re a Dawes superfan, you might prefer their critically-acclaimed 2011 release ”Nothing is Wrong” over this record. Regardless, All Your Favorite Bands is a solid album from start to finish, and new and old audiences can surely look to “Things Happen,” “Somewhere Along the Way” and “Don’t Send Me Away” for repeat listens.