It’s day 27 of the government shutdown.

Caught in the political riptides, many Americans find themselves trying to sort through and mend damaged relationships in a system that seethes in dysfunction. Los Angeles folk-rockers Dawes are among those trying to crack the case.

Passwords, the band’s sixth album on their own label, HUB Records, finds the band deftly utilizing their rootsy, weathered sound to find a needed pathway to kindness and understanding.

Shifting in sonic texture from their Laurel Canyon-bathed back catalogue, the record finds lead singer/songwriter Taylor Goldsmith and bandmates utilizing softer pianos, strings and woodwind flourishes to smooth out the rougher edges of their guitar-driven material.

Their primary missive? Find grace when surrounded by anguish.

“I wanna sit with my enemies and say, ‘we should have done this sooner,’ while I look them in the face,” Goldsmith desires on album highlight “Crack The Case.” Throughout the song, Goldsmith pushes to “call off the calvary” and aims to “forgive our shared mistakes.”

In an era of clenched fists and Twitter tirades, these hopeful ruminations and vocal harmonies are warm enough to thaw the coldest of hearts. In Dawes’ hands, reconciliations seem within reach.

Dawes strolls through Oakland to support Passwords at the Fox Theater on Friday, January 17.

The Fox Theater
January 18, 2019
8:00 pm, $36