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Fireproof ‘ Dawn Landes

BY CHRIS PEKEN

It has taken a while for Dawn Landes second album to get a local release but Fireproof is worth the wait and then some. While Cat Power seems stuck in a pleasant but uninspiring covers rut, this little lady from Kentucky and now residing in New York may well steel away her glory. Compared to everyone from Suzanne Vega to Alsion Krauss, Dawn Landes’ voice has a lilt more akin to folk, while her arrangements and instrumentation lean towards indie pop of her sometime collaborators The Earlies and Hem. The gentle voice and guitar approach of Twilight harks to her time in the Fast Folk community of Greenwich Village (early home to the likes of Vega, Dylan and Townes Van Zandt) while Privare Little Hell and Kids in Play show she knows how to up the tempo and inspire the toes to tap. The introduction of more technology and tinkering on Picture Show doesn’t work as effectively. Landes really needs nothing more than the simplest of platforms, for she has a voice that continues to engage you more and more with each listen. As she notes of the unlisted cover of I Won’t Back Down that concludes the album: ‘It breaks my heart every time I sing it. It has a profound sadness running through it which isn’t all that obvious the first time you hear it’. Amen.

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