Album: Dawn Landes

Fireproof, FARGO
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The Independent Culture

It's not an original observation, but female singer-songwriters tend to fit neatly into one of the three slots we have allocated them: earnest, kooky or wishy-washy. Happily, every so often, someone like Dawn Landes will come along and defy such narrow categorisations. Playing folky country music with an assured set of backing musicians, Landes's third album is a beguiling mix of Cat Power, Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega and, perhaps, Natalie Merchant. The songs don't yet quite match the potential, but an intense cover of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" shows what might be achieved.