The title-track instrumental of The Dawn’s new Wooly functions as a prelude and an epilogue, bookending its seven proper songs and gently laying the groundwork for the album. Layers of boldly bright keyboards and soulful sax sit prominently up-front beside the guitar, all contributing to a casual and welcoming atmosphere.
The message seems to be that one should expect something a little different from the Quad Cities-based band, a departure from its good-natured, Americana-based jams. And The Dawn delivers that throughout with an impressively broader palette and an emphasis on soul and funk.
But the real kick comes on the record’s second half, and it’s a revelation. When the band not only expands its style but messes around with structure, the results are bracingly good.