Brooklyn singer-songwriter plays it too safe on her overly nice new record
If there’s anything wrong with Brooklyn-via-Kentucky singer-songwriter Dawn Landes’ seamless fifth album, it’s that it’s just too damn nice. With her sweet and airy candyfloss voice, she comes on like a do-gooding Neko Case, and though bluegrass-inflected love songs like the finger-picking title track and spacious ‘Heel Toe’ are undeniably beautiful, they lack a certain grit. She breaks free from the country music head girl mould on ‘Oh Brother’, letting some Southern gothic creep into the languid, swampy verses and assuming the role of an extended member of The Handsome Family. It’s this nod to the ominous that impresses over the somewhat wet piano-led balladry of ‘Diamond Rivers’ and ‘Home’.