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While the city of Los Angeles has been both an inspiration and a home to the four members of Dawes, they found themselves traveling east last fall to record their third album in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with newly enlisted producer Jacquire King. "Stories Don't End" is not so much a departure from the quartet's previous efforts as a distillation of them. It spotlights the group's maturing skills as arrangers, performers and interpreters who shape the raw material supplied by chief songwriter and lead vocalist Taylor Goldsmith into an artfully concise and increasingly soulful sound.
Before he started composing for the album, says Goldsmith, "I went through a Joan Didion tear." It was right after he read the legendary author's "Democracy" that he found the title, "Stories Don't End," in her work. Though Didion is currently a New Yorker, she is most associated with Southern California, its culture of the sixties and seventies, a subject she examined in gimlet-eyed prose. When Goldsmith started penning new songs after several months on the road in support of Dawes' 2011 disc, "Nothing Is Wrong," his writing was even more keenly observant. "From a Window Seat" was the first he completed and, he admits, "It's a very singular song. A lot of the songs on the record can be a little broader, about a period in someone's life or trying to explore a certain feeling. This song is about a specific experience of being on an airplane and that's not a very poetic or lyrical idea."
"With Jacquire," explains Goldsmith, "we were able to hold on to an essence of what we had been, but I feel now, more than with our first two records, that this makes a case that we're a band from 2013. There a lot of bands that harken back to a period or style of a different time and that can be really limiting. That was never our intention."