For most teenage relationships, the hot months between high school graduation and the first day of college are lethal. The friendships dim, the romances dissolve and the garage bands almost always disintegrate. But Dawkins — a group that took shape in the halls of Bethesda's Walt Whitman High School — found a way to make it work on the digital plane. Guitarist-keyboardist Jack Jobst graduated from there in 2013, with vocalist-producer Will Guerry and guitarist Carson Lystad following in 2014. Since then, the band has continued writing songs in ways that weren't imaginable in a previous era.
It works fast and slow. While attending far-flung universities, the trio sketch out their musical ideas and send them to one another digitally, sometimes in big Dropbox files, sometimes in little voice memos recorded on their iPhones. Then they tinker with the tunes and send them around again. The way they describe it, it sounds a lot like being in a band with your pen pals in the cloud.
Guerry, Jobst and Lystad say that their long-distance song-crafting has made them more perceptive as collaborators — they encounter each other's proposals as listeners first, bandmates second — and the complicated nature of the process certainly might help to explain the softfocus intimacy of Dawkins's new "Ep1," a five-track proposition in which the architecture of the songs feels slippery and psychedelic, but the electronic timbres feel vivid and close.
Now, with everyone back home for the summer — along with bassist Grayson Jobst, who is Jack's brother, and drummer Jordan Wolff stepping on board for Dawkins's live performances — they can finally get these sounds out of the bandwidth and into the air.
Show: Friday at Uptown Art House, 3412 Connecticut Ave. NW. Show starts at 8 p.m. facebook.com/otherfeels. $10 suggested donation.