ALBUM REVIEW: The Dunwells, Live at The Village
Hailing from Leeds, England, The Dunwells, consisting of brothers (Joseph Dunwell, vocals/guitar, David Dunwell, guitar, piano, banjo), cousins (Jonny Lamb, vocals, drums, Rob Clayton, bass), and friends (Dave Hanson, guitar, pedal steel) are here and ready to charm the pants off of ya. The quintet released their debut album Blind Sighted Faith in August of last year, but us lucky ducks got our hands on their new live acoustic (!) release Live At The Village. The story is the band went into the studio to record a handful of promo songs, but lucky for us, they ended up recording Blind Sighted Faith in its entirety PLUS 2 bonus tracks!
Blind Sighted Faith is already a no-frills release, but in the best way- the purity of what they’re about shines through. Live At The Village exemplifies this purity in their music, lyrics, melodies, and harmonies-this group’s strong suit-even further. The band’s charming sincerity comes through on the album, weaving their way between themes of love and loss (‘Dance With Me’, ‘Elizabeth’, ‘Perfect Timing’), inner reflection (‘Blind Sighted Faith’, ‘So Beautiful’), and good ol’ carpe diem (‘Follow The Road’, ‘I Could Be A King’).
Aforementioned ‘Follow the Road’ is a highlight with its thumping beat. Reassuring lyrics such as “Find your feet my friend, time heals everything/Just go forward/As the sun goes down we carry on regardless/Believe now” make you want to get up and take on the world. ‘Oh Lord’ is another standout track that starts off melancholy and ends with strong, almost painful harmonies of ‘She says she don’t love me/I’m trying to be with her/She doesn’t love me/I can’t be with her.’ The range of their sound, especially for an acoustic album, is notable.
The Dunwells are ‘that band’ that you, your mom, and your best friend who only swears by indie music can all agree on. Elements of brit-pop and a folksy/roots-inspired sounds are all up in this record, with an honest sound that at times is reminiscent of Mumford & Sons. However, The Dunwells still manage to create a unique sound of their own which you can see for yourself (YAY!) on February 20th at U St. Music Hall.