Everyone here is familiar with Dawes and my love for the California quartet. In fact, sometimes, I think my adoration for Dawes (a-dawes-ration, if you will) borderlines on obnoxious, then I remember that my adoration for Archie Powell & the Exports is far more obnoxious and feel better about writing another article about Dawes.
What people might not be so familiar with, however, is the humble beginnings of them Dawes boys. Once, you see, Dawes was known as Simon Dawes which is sort of like Dawes, just minus one Goldsmith and keyboardist Alex Casnoff and plus a Stuart Johnson and a Blake Mills. After Mills left Simon Dawes, the Simon part was disbanded and Dawes became a lot more than anyone probably imagined they would.
Now, Mills is releasing solo material, starting with this summer's stellar Break Mirrors and despite the fact that he and the Goldsmith's aren't in the same band anymore, they remain friends, as evidenced by the fact that Dawes has taken it upon themselves to cover Mills' "Hey Lover".
Mills' "Hey Lover" is a sexy, sunny jam that recalls an endless summer that's equal parts the best time of your life and a weary mix of ceaseless, booze-fueled parties that wear thin.
Dawes strips the tune down on their take on "Hey Lover", making the song into a d.i.y. folk country singalong. Whereas Mills' version recalls the California beach where both bands call home, Dawes' version reminds me of the Midwest, of drinking 40's on porches in your sunglasses and cut off jeans. Do one of these outshine the other? It's hard to say because, while they're the same song, they simply feel so different.