For Many local music fans, The Dunwells have been a name on the scene for a couple of years now. They have gone from playing on local radio and to a loyal local fan base to touring in the US and signing to record label Concord.
Their rise has been a series of right place, right time moments, coupled with a strong work ethic and a passion for writing warm, catchy songs.
The band is a family affair, with brothers Joseph and David Dunwell and cousins Robert Clayton and Jonny Lamb.
Citing artists such as Damien Rice and Bon Iver among their influences, the band blend beautiful vocal harmonies and simple melodies, with an youthful energy that is infectious.
Their journey has certainly been intense and full of adventure. We caught up with Joseph Dunwell ahead of their EP release and UK tour.
“We recorded our first album in 2010 in Austin, Texas, and then toured pretty much constantly in America for about two and a half years.
“We were surrounded of scorching heat and the studio we recorded in had so much history, with people like Willie Nelson and so many other huge stars recording there, it helped us to shape the sound of the first record.
“This time, we recorded in a little place outside Bridlington called Kilham, an hour and half away from our home.
“We spent lots of time on really crafting the songs and working with our producer, Steve Harris [Kodaline, Dave Matthews Band, Kula Shaker and Kaiser Chiefs producer]. I am so pleased with what we’ve done, everyone is really pleased with it.”
With music clearly a family trait, Joseph explains how he and his brother first started playing.
“At first it was David that started playing guitar. My dad plays classical guitar as well, so there was always guitar in the house. I didn’t start until I was about 18. I learnt all the tricks of the trade from David, and he learnt from me.
“When it gets tough, when we don’t know where the next paycheck is coming from, or when the next tour is happening, and we think ‘Shall we give all this up and get proper jobs? We can’t! It’s all we know.’
“The songs on the new EP were such a risk for us. We thought, ‘If this all goes wrong, at least we know we’ve done the best we can do’. Steve Harris really helped us shape who we are now, and we are so proud of this EP, I am so in love with music right now, I can’t wait to get out there and tour.”
The Dunwells play at The Wardrobe in Leeds on September 5 with the EP, Show Me Emotion, released on the September 8.