Interview: The Dunwells set to light up charts with new album

The Dunwells.
The Dunwells.

By Graham Chalmers

For everyone except, perhaps, an X Factor winner the golden road to fame tends to be a slow one these days.

Just ask Jamie Lawson who is finally an ‘over-night success’ thanks partly to the help of Ed Sheeran and partly to Wasn’t Expecting That, a song he first recorded a good five years ago or so.

Hopefully on the same career path are Leeds acoustic rock band The Dunwells, they of the gorgeous harmonies and uplifting choruses who used to get compared to Mumford & Sons.

It turns out this hardworking bunch know Jamie, The Dunwells’ lead singer Joe Dunwell tells me.

“Jamie’s a great friend of our’s. A couple of years ago he was supporting us at a gig in Ripon. It’s great to see his success. He’s remained true to himself the whole time.”

The last time I talked to Joe was last year when this combination of two brothers and two friends had just released their excellent EP Show Me Emotion.

It turned out to be a musical turning point for this young band, laying the groundwork for Light Up The Sky, their debut album on Decca in the UK and Concord in the USA which will come out in February.

Joe said: “It’s an exciting time for us. We still have the acoustic elements and the harmonies but there’s a little more oomph, more gusto.

“It feels like the last two and a half, three years have all been leading up to the album. People think you’re ”

As part of the preparation for the new album which was produced by Stephen Harris of U2 and Kaiser Chiefs fame, the band hooked up with hit songwriters including Manny Marroquin and Blair MacKichan.

The Dunwells aren’t the only young musicians ‘paired’ with more experienced hands.

Jake Bugg and Ed Sheeran are among thosewho’ve been doing exactly the same thing.

Joe said: “You can sometimes get a little lost in what you’re doing. The danger is you come out of your cupboard and show it to the world for the first time. It’s good to have that third party element.

“Of the ten to 12 songs we came up with in those songwriting sessions, six have ended up on the album.

“The lead single, Hey Now was already 70% written but the sessions pulled out the element that made the chorus.”

Fans will get a chance to hear the new tracks on The Dunwells’ latest UK tour which arrives at Fibbers in York on Tuesday, November 10.

Having impressed in America at the likes of Lollapalooza and on TV shows such as Late Night with Jay Leno, the talented Joe, his brother David, Rob Clayton and Adam Taylor have lost none of their love for performing.

“It’s exciting for us to play songs off the new album. It’s been a long, long process. Our ethos is just to play shows anywhere – big stages, small stages, coffee shops. We love it.”

And they don’t mind those Mumford & Sons jibes, Joe adds, especially since those boys have also got rockier of late, too.

“Their new album is incredible. We don’t mind the comparison.”