Spotlight On: Dawn Landes

Dawn Landes
Image Courtesy of Dawn Landes

More so than any other genre folk music seems to really lend itself to strong, passionate female singers. Maybe it’s the melodies, maybe it’s the themes, but folk music really is the domain of women. Think Joni Mitchell, Joan Biaz, Maddy Prior, Sandy Denny and of course most recently Laura Marling. Well we have one more name to add to that list: Dawn Landes.

When I first started listening to Dawn Lande’s new record Sweet Rodeo I almost dismissed it after the first two tracks. Sure, it was good (really good actually) but it was also indie rock – a genre we try and cover sparingly on Timber and Steel. But then the third track on the album, “Money in the Bank” caught me by surprise with its sweet, folk sensibilities. I was intrigued enough to listen further and found an artist who manages to span all of my favourite musical styles in the space of 11 songs – folk, indie, alt-country, bluegrass and back again.

What makes Landes stand out from her contemporary female singer songwriters is the strength of her voice. In a world of Lisa Mitchell, Julia Stone and Sarah Blasko Dawn Landes has chosen to make the most of her strong, confident voice that reminds the listener of Laura Marling or Florence Welch.

Hailing from America’s deep south and based out of New York, Landes has a melting pot of influences that very obviously inform her music. She has toured with the likes of Feist, Jose Gonzales, Midlake, Suzanne Vega, Martha Wainright and The Swell Season which enviably places her firmly amongst some of the hottest nu-folk and indie acts in the world. She has toured downunder before but is currently spruiking her new album across the US and UK. For now you’ll just have to listen to Dawn Landes’ voice via your stereo, iPod or computer.

Country of Origin: USA
Sounds Like: Laura Marling singing Dolly Parton songs in a NY indie club
File Under: Alt-Country, Nu-Folk, Indie
Official Site:

1 Comment

  1. May 10, 2011 at 08:42

    […] singer songwriter Dawn Landes (who we spotlighted way back in June last year) has released this intriguing video as a preview for her upcoming album. Landes told her fans: […]

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