A mere year ago Dawes warmed our hearts with an album spotlighting the line, “May all your favorite bands stay together.” Now they’re back with a new record and a darker message: “We’re all gonna die.”
NPR debuted a complete stream of We’re All Gonna Die this morning. It is a departure from the band’s warmer folk-rock sound of the past, nowhere more obviously than on the title track, which Dawes released on YouTube yesterday. It begins with murky, low piano notes, a distorted guitar, and a sparse drum pattern, and is also the record’s most electronic song. It’s not without lightness, though, from bright string trills to an assurance that “everything is fine” and “it’s not that big a deal.” In fact, by the time a cheerful key change rolls around, it has transformed into something of a subdued version of Jens Lekman’s sunny “Opposite of Hallelujah.”
Lead singer Taylor Goldsmith told The FADER that he was originally worried that the track “didn’t sound like a Dawes song.” After fleshing it out and rethinking his preconceptions, “We’re All Gonna Die” began to define “the mood of the rest of the record” and feel “like the anchor that puts everything else into perspective.”
“We’re All Gonna Die” is the second track Dawes has released from their forthcoming album, due to come out on Sept. 16 via their own label, HUB Records. Listen to it below, and stream the rest of the album via NPR here.