It seems as though America’s obsession with the British indie invasion will never cease. Between Mumford & Sons collecting the award for Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards and Blur being announced as a headliner for this year’s Coachella, the Brits just keep coming.
We’ve got one more to add to the list. February 20, the five best mates of the English folk group The Dunwells grace America’s shores with their presence at the U Street Music Hall, presented by the 9:30 Club, and we have a pair of tickets to give to one lucky winner.
Having been described as “utterly natural,” the music of The Dunwells and the story of their rise from the dingy pubs of Leeds, England to America, where they scored a record deal and a stunning debut album in just two years is simply that: natural. The music of The Dunwells is both soothing and soul-cleansing. Striking the chord of organic sound between an electric and acoustic balance, their songs sound and feel like a breezy summer day along England’s shores.
Although the band hails from Leeds it should be no surprise that their sound attracted American labels alike, and eventually they were signed in Memphis, Tennessee. “When we started to write the music for the Dunwells, the Americana side to it just came organically,” vocalist and guitarist Joseph Dunwell claims.
Having grown up with artist such as The Beatles, Donovan, and Fleetwood Mac, both Dunwell brothers began playing guitar at an early age. It would make sense considering their father was a talented classical acoustc guitar player himself. David and then Joseph Dunwell then started writing songs and participating individually in open mic nights and other easy gigs in Leeds. It wasn’t long before the suggestion arose that the brothers unite to create one sound in one band.
Their first album as a band, Blind Sighted Faith, was released on Playing In Traffic Records in 2012. The album contains 11 captivating and timeless tracks that offer a rich collection of songs deeply rooted in the Americana soil with unique British soul. Blind Sighted Faith is a beautiful debut album that allows its listeners to feel every second of each moving song. The Leeds Telegraph said, “With their easy-going nature, their sheer enjoyment of playing and supreme musicianship this band looks set to burst onto a much wider scene. You can almost taste the expectancy.”
The band spent most of 2010 touring Britain and other parts of Europe, playing in many prestigious festivals as Hop Farm, Fringe Fest, Triumph Live, and the Fete De La Musique in Paris, France. Following the release of their first EP in October of the same year, the band was named Artist of the Month by Caffe Nero (England’s “Starbucks”). Now, with a successful debut album behind them, The Dunwells are ready to expand their audience and play for as many people as they possibly can.
“We’re all in it together,” says David Dunwell. “We love making the music.”
To treat your ears to some genuine British Americana straight out of Leeds, be sure to get yourself the U Street Music Hall next Wednesday! For a chance to win tickets, tell us your favorite “British invasion” band.
And you’ve gotta be more original than naming The Beatles, as much as we love them, forever and ever. (All you need is love. Happy Valentine’s Day!) The winner will be chosen at noon on Tuesday, February 19. Tickets are still available.