Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dawn Landes

Have to admit, I really do have a bit of a weakness for female alt-country/folk singer-songwriter types (Gemma Hayes, Feist, Jenny Lewis). Which is just as well, considering the amount of distortion, feedback and noise I subject myself to on a regular basis. Always nice to have a bit of a balance.

Dawn Landes hails from Kentucky via NYC, where she interned at various recording studios, in the process picking up the skills which led her to start recording and producing her own songs. It also led to her recording with such artists as Ryan Adams, Josh Ritter and Philip Glass.

Her music is a beguiling mix of alt-country, lo-fi and folk influences, all held together by her understated yet richly melodic vocals. She's been compared to artists like Cat Power, Beth Orton and Suzanne Vega: impressive reference points, but she's worthy of them. Particular highlights are the lilting country swing of 'Straight Lines' and the aching melancholy of 'Kissing Song', while her bluegrass version of Peter, Bjorn and John's 'Young Folks' has to be heard to be believed. Landes' set at the Electric Picnic was a treat, one of the many great performances I witnessed that weekend; Josh Ritter even joined her onstage for a tune at one point. All the above-mentioned tracks are on her Myspace, so if you've got 10 minutes to spare check them out. You'll thank me. Or her.

The video for 'Straight Lines':

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