© Mike Gallay • Instagram

That Western Skyline

North Hills (2009)

Track 1 — 5:58

written by Taylor Goldsmith

          If you have a band and this is your 29th best song, congratulations, you're the best band in America.

          I despise the term “instant classic” though I will approach its impossible praise by describing this song as familiar, as if it's a known hit of the 1970s, necessarily featured on every Time/Life compilation of the era. It's a marriage of so much which makes Dawes complete. The lyrics are both broad and specific, pleading and mournful, as you bind your own remembrances into both the emotion and the tale. The melody is subtly complex for a down-played folk foot-tapper. Nobody is trying to do too much. Taylor's voice soars as much as it strains. The rhythm section finds a pocket and thumps it with spartan purpose. Tay roams from organ to piano effortlessly, filling gaps and giving pause. Feels like these guys played together for ages, then life got in the way of what might have been, and now we find them at a reunion in a flickering makeshift backyard setup where their friends encourage them to give us just one song. They haven't seen each other in years but everything is right where they left it. This song feels like forever.

          Makes me want to both visit Birmingham and get the hell out of it. Oh Lou, I'd like to let you know this is how it all started and it all feels made for me.

          8 / 10


Watch & Listen to a live version of That Western Skyline



Oh Lou, I'd like to let you know that I do not feel welcome
All the birds, the trees, the falling snow
No, they were not made for me
And though this is where her heart resides, we met in California
She saw a city's promise reaching through my eyes
And she turned her self away


Well how I curse that western skyline
And yet I thanked it for my start
Oh Lou, no my dreams did not come true
No, they only came apart

So I followed her here to Birmingham, where the soil is so much richer
And though my aching pride might guide my hand, she did not ask for me to come
So I wait for her all through the day, as if I wait for her surrender
And every time I get her to look my way, she says I'm not where I belong

But I watch her father preach on Sundays
I know the hymnals all by heart
But oh Lou, no my dreams did not come true

No, they only came apart

All the snow fall this time of year, it's not what Birmingham is used to
I get the feeling that I brought it here, and now I'm taking it away
But let's share one more drink together, before I go reload my car
And oh Lou, no my dreams did not come true
No they only came apart

Oh oh oh oh oh
Take me home
Oh oh oh oh oh