Dawn Landes
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Dawn Landes

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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'In pictures, she plays the part of the unassuming pinup girl for the roots renaissance, but Dawn Landes’ music sits neatly on the fulcrum between Cat Power and Neko Case. On Fireproof, she layers guitars, banjos and pedal steel with winsome touches like optigans and thumb pianos. Moods shift throughout the 12 songs, from starry-eyed to apathetic, but the standout tracks on Fireproof showcase this singer at her most bittersweet. Landes writes her best songs from the seat of the aimless dreamer and paints her surroundings with an inviting haze of solace. She shuffles, mumbles and muses her way through the finer points of Fireproof, like the slow-burning “Twilight,” a future Americana slow-dance standard. “Another starless night / another dim streetlight / you turn your head just right / the street becomes the sky.” Emily Anderson' - Paste Magazine

After this weekend's New York Times profile of Regina Spektor, the smart money is on her to be the next young New York-based female artist to break out into stardom. But I'd like to put in a vote for Dawn Landes (and not just because she, unlike Spektor, isn't associated with the horrid, faux-outsider "antifolk" scene). The 24-year-old Landes performs regularly at small New York clubs and is building a following, but she deserves a much larger audience. Her music should appeal to fans of singer/songwriters like Beth Orton and Suzanne Vega, but there's also something darker and stranger in it, something that recalls the near autistic quality of Cat Power's music. All three tracks posted in the audio section of her Web page are worth downloading, but "Suspicion" is my favorite of them, and the one in which the Cat Power similarity is most pronounced, particularly when Landes double-tracks her voice. - SALON.com


Sweetheart Rodeo (to be released 2010), dawn's Music+ straight lines (re-released 2009), Fireproof (2006), dawn's Music (2005)



The press has likened Dawn Landes to "the grand old dames of country" and in the same breath "The Black Keys and The White Stripes" (Uncut). She's also garnered comparisons to Cat Power and Pavement, an interesting mix that made even NPR's David Dye wonder.

Raised in the fertile musical fields of Branson, Missouri and Louisville, Kentucky, Dawn came to New York City in 1999 and did a cannonball into the music scene. While holding down several jobs to pay the rent, she abandoned university (NYU) and began to intern at some of the best studios in the city. "I had very little experience", she says. "I was just really, really curious. Dangerously curious in the studio... I picked heros like Tchad Blake and Brian Wilson and took a flying leap."

What started as a job getting coffee for engineers has blossomed into a truly enviable resume; among others she has worked with Phillip Glass, Ryan Adams, Hem, Joseph Arthur, The Earlies and Josh Ritter in the studio. Working late into the night, and often sleeping at the same studios she was interning in, Dawn began producing and recording her own songs after hours. "I wanted to get the sounds in my head onto tape exactly as I heard them. And that's not an easy thing, there are a lot of sounds in there!"

After meeting the band Hem in the studio, Dawn joined them on the road as an 8th band member (vocals and glockenspeil) and opening act. Her performing career started to gain speed. Her first full-length, "dawn's music" was released in France in 2005, followed by extensive touring in Europe and two other European releases; "234" a 7-song EP released in the UK and finally "Fireproof", released worldwide in 2007. Since then her music has become the stuff of whispers and internet buzz, and her touring schedule has put her on the road with artists such as Feist, Jose Gonzales, Midlake, Suzanne Vega, Martha Wainright, The Swell Season......(the list goes on) At times solo, at times with a revolving cast of musical guests, her shows have the guileless and vibrant quality of a work of art in constant creation.

Recently, Dawn penned the end-credit song for the movie "Savage Grace" starring Julianne Moore and plucked the WST Bluegrass band from a BBQ in Austin, TX to help her record her version of the Peter, Bjorn and John classic, "Young Folks." Rumor has it, James Blunt liked it so much he covered dawns cover of the song! In 2007 Landes became the co-partner, designer and full-time dry-waller of Saltlands Studio in Brooklyn. "What if we get bored?" Dawn sings in the Fireproof gem, "Kids in a Play." In the coming months, and in-between hefty periods of touring, the one-woman-whirlwind that is dawn Landes will be in the studio that she built to record and produce new songs for her third full- length record. It doesn't seem there's any chance that she'll be bored any time soon.