Live @ The Sugar Club Dec 12th
Dawn Landes Sugar Club date has been rescheduled to December 12th. All tickets for the new date are still valid and are €13.50 on sale now through Ticketmaster and other usual outlets nationwide. Booking Line: 0818 719 300.
Kentucky-born and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Dawn Landes has announced she will be releasing her third album in Ireland, Sweet Heart Rodeo, on Friday 4th September. The album will be preceded by the release of a digital download single, Romeo (released Monday 24th August), which berates a certain someone who once ruined one of Landes birthdays by standing her up, and borrows a hook from Tennessee Ernie Ford’s fifties nugget of resignation ’16 Tons’.
Listen to dawn’s music and you hear something quite rare. Whether it’s in her wordplay, her kaleidoscopic live shows, her soundtrack work for motion pictures, or the studio-wizardry she’s picked-up as a recording engineer, it’s clear that she’s an artist with a unique vision.
Landes first came to attention with the release of her acclaimed second album (and her UK & Ireland debut), Fireproof (2008). Q declared it to be ‘Understated and beautiful’ (Q **** Recommended Album), whilst The Guardian called it ‘vivid girl-next-door indie pop in the spirit of Frente and Cat Powers.’ Uncut said ‘Landes propels the whole project skywards with a voice that encapsulates the best qualities of Laura Veirs and Cat Powers. It’s pretty much essential stuff.’
Sweet Heart Rodeo looks set to garner even more critical acclaim.The title was inspired by Landes great-grandmother’s beau, who ran away to join the rodeo during the Great Depression. A rodeo theme runs throughout the record as she compares the ups and downs of romance to the rigours of bull riding. ‘Each song is like its own bull,’ the twenty-eight-year-old deadpans. ‘Each ride its own love-story ‘¦ you know, trying to hang on to a wild thing isn’t always graceful.’
Recorded in Landes own studio (Saltlands in Brooklyn) with regular collaborator, drummer and all-rounder Ray Rizzo, guitarist Josh Kaufman and bassist Annie Nero, the album kicks off with ‘Young Girl’, which ponders gender stereotyping – competitive boys, jealous girls – over a reductive and distorted keyboard riff. The haunting -Money In The Bank’ marries down-home hippie wisdom (-the night before you die, what are you gonna buy?’) to a glorious chorus bolstered by a wistful French horn. Landes even drums on an unlikely cover of Margo Guryan’s already unlikely -Love’, a 1968 collision of cool jazz and nascent psychedelia. Rizzo’s idiosyncratic harmonica style (‘kinda cloudy- the opposite of ethereal’) boosts the quirky -Wandering Eye’, a rare song that combines sex and travel without causing offence, while -Little Miss Holiday’ imagines a conversation between Jodie Foster and the teenage hooker that inspired her character in Scorsese’s unhinged ‘Taxi Driver.’ It’s tender rather than bleak. -Brighton’ is a tribute to a magical day in that great Southern (English) town, yet it could hardly sound more American, Appalachian even. ‘I hope I captured it in the song,’ she says. Her Brighton though is more romantic than the resort us Britons know, already a fond memory. By the album’s conclusion, the wobbly wedding march of -All Dressed In White’, you’ll probably be thinking of giving love a try. Even if it does hurt when you fall off.
The press has likened Dawn 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.
Dawn Landes will perform live @ The Sugar Club this December 12th. Tickets are €13.50 on sale now through Ticketmaster and other usual outlets nationwide. Booking Line: 0818 719 300.