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Interview: The Dunwells


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If you like good, honest, indie music then you’ve come to the right place.

With new album Light Up The Sky just around the corner, The Dunwells just dropped their latest single ‘Hurts’, naturally we had to have a chat and find out more.

The Dunwells

 “Have you ever trapped your finger in the car door?” asks drummer, Adam Taylor.

“Well, that was what it was initially about but they made us change it for some reason. Personally I think that shit really hurts…” he laughs.

“No really, Joe wrote this song on one of his own experiences regarding a friend that had gone through some troubles, he sought Joe's help to get back on track.”

Harmoniously blending soaring vocals and rich percussion, the track builds to an anthemic chorus. Highlighting the band’s foundations; they’re built on honest songwriting. You know, the sort of lyrics that spill from the gut and the heart. Like a less dramatic version of that famous Downton scene…

The Dunwells are dubbed the ‘band of brothers’. Partly because of the actual sibling connection between Joseph and David. Then down to the tightness with friends, Adam and Rob. It’s as though every member is an actual Dunwell.

Across their wealth of back material, their lyrics could have only been derived from an unbreakable bond.

Together they confess into 'Sleepless Nights', ‘through these sleepless nights, I cry for you’ cooing with folksy guitar.

They ask the normally awkward questions that gather dust in the backs of minds, ‘Was it all worth it now? Did you turn your life around?’ with gospel beauty.

Then they declare royal roots, wear their hearts on their sleeves, and sometimes can’t believe their luck. The Dunwells are romanticist story tellers, thriving on honesty.

 “We've seen a lot of bands split up or take time out because one or more members has upset another member, so from the start of this line up we've been completely open and honest with each other regarding any aspect really."

“I think it’s important to leave your ego at the door when entering any band situation then it can’t be hurt in any way. As long as we all know we don't mean any harm or anything personally it totally works."

"We respect each other… that has to be a priority. To take any criticism as constructive.”

Aren’t they angels?

“But if anyone’s naughty they just have to take a time out. If that doesn't work we take away privileges like sweeties or beer....easy. If that doesn't work, it’s a fight to the death.”

From their earlier folks roots, with intricate riffs and rough vocals, the boys revived 70s country rock. Their 2013 album Follow The Road was made for drinking whiskey in the bar. Starting the evening with frenzied banjo playing, ending with soaking your tears in a lonely ballad.

As the years rolled forward, so did The Dunwells’ sound. Introducing rumbling basslines and electronic elements, their sound shaped around experimentation. Still keeping to their country roots, they perked the edges with rockier riffs and picked up the pace with energy.

Their forthcoming album (the “big brother” of 2015’s Lucky Ones EP) is said to be one of hope, struggles with everyday life, sadness, happiness, and honesty. It’s almost as if they make music for humankind. Their themes are universal, the music accessible.

“We're really lucky to have done some incredible things; travel, play shows I would of never imagined being able to play, but at heart we're all down to earth guys who go through the same issues in life everyone else does,” Adam explains.

“Whether it be, financial, love related, happiness, sadness or running out of coffee. You know, the serious stuff! Or wait, alcohol. That’s even worse…”

“We write songs that relate to us and in turn if other people can relate to them too that’s amazing… We want you to feel it like we do otherwise what’s the point in doing it."

“But I wouldn't say we aim to stir emotion, we aim to portray ours and in turn hope people listening feel it too.”

Having already been introduced to ‘Hurts’, ‘Strange Feeling’ and ‘Hey Now’, the tracks represent what to expect on the new record. Through changing tempos and attitudes, the songs are each connected to one another.

They transpire stages of life; the good, the bad and the ugly through angelic backing, power melodies and mounting atmosphere. Vocals are loud and proud, like the band are finally comfortable in their own skin, ready to face their demons.

“Every song we write is personal to us individually and as a band, they're close to our hearts, we never really write about being in the club and partying. Much to my disappointment! It suits to write about things closer to home. Besides, if we do go out we rarely remember what happened, so it would make writing that much more difficult!

“They are very much connected as all of the songs relate to us in some way. They grow and change with us I guess.”

What sets The Dunwells’ latest releases apart however, is the use of electronica pumping into the heart of indie rock. The tasty fusion of rock guitar and husked vocals with shadowed synths and sleek bass is one to immerse into.

“Having that electronic element might appeal to listeners of different styles and types of music. Maybe even open doors to new fans that might normally be into guitar music. On another level everyone in the band has completely different musical tastes, so by adding different elements, it’s a way for all of us to have an input in the overall sounds of the tracks. 

“Personally I love electronic music and embracing that in our sound is a wicked thing for me.”

With big choruses, and moments of pure empowerment, you’ll find inspiration where you least expect it. Their uplifting melodies and memorable choruses dance with strong rhythm. The end results are often bright singalong choruses.

Though, this wasn’t their first intention. I guess, the unity of the band rubbed off on the fans.

“I don't think we really set out thinking ‘right, everyone's gonna sing along to this one’ we kind of just start writing and see where it takes us ... like a road trip! But it’s always incredible to play to a crowd that loves your music so much they sing with you."

“It’s great in case we forget the words, the crowd can prompt us. I’d rather have them throw lyrics at us than bottles or plastic cups with wee in them… I actually saw that at a festival last year!”

With a string of UK tour dates coming up, let’s just hope the record goes down a treat and the Leeds lads manage to escape the gruesome bottles. Though they can give “no spoilers” as to what expect from the tour, we can only imagine that sublime atmosphere laid out from the live tracks.

A band of brothers, with a whole lot of heart.


Light Up The Sky is set for release February 26th

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