Soothing, graceful, and heartfelt — these are the words which come to mind when thinking of Brooklyn-based songstress and musician Dawn Landes. With the recent release of her new folk-pop album Bluebird, we spoke with Dawn to discuss album influences, Kanye West, and fistfights at folk shows. Here is what she had to say:
AMBY: Hello Dawn Landes, welcome to AMBY. Please introduce yourself to our readers!
Dawn Landes: HELLO READERS! I’m Dawn, nice to meet you.
AMBY: How would you describe your sound to those unfamiliar with your music?
Dawn Landes: I end up trying to describe my music a lot in taxi cabs, the drivers are always curious. I usually tell them I play folk music… with a little rock-n-roll thrown in there sometimes.
AMBY: You released your new album Bluebird in February. What was the experience like recording the album?
Dawn Landes: This was the first album of mine that I didn’t produce by myself, so that was unique. Thomas Bartlett was in charge of production and he really insisted on keeping the songs very minimal, he had a NO DRUM rule and it really forced us to get creative with the playing on all the other instruments. We tracked it all live in just two days.
AMBY: What’s the significance behind the title Bluebird?
Dawn Landes: It was the first song that I wrote for the record and it really set the tone for the whole album I think.
AMBY: As far as songwriting goes on the record, what or who were your biggest influences?
Dawn Landes: I was listening to a lot of John Martyn’s beautiful record “Solid Air” from the 70’s. I think the sounds on that album inspired a lot of the decisions we made for this one. Lyrically I had been reading a lot of Jung at the time, some of that mythology probably made its way into the songs as well.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to Dawn Landes at a show?
Dawn Landes: Ha! Funniest thing, hmm.. one time a fan of mine got in a fight with someone who was talking during my set. An actual fist fight at a folk show, that was pretty amazing!
AMBY: If you could trade places with another artist in the music industry for one day, who would it be?
Dawn Landes: I’d love to be Kanye West for one day, why not?
AMBY: Which lyric of yours is your favourite?
Dawn Landes: Don’t really pick favorites but a lot of people have gravitated to certain lines from “Love Song” that’s pretty sweet.
AMBY: What has you most excited for the rest of 2014?
Dawn Landes: I’m really looking forward to supporting Bryan Ferry on the West Coast in April and going back to Europe in May.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Dawn Landes that nobody knows you?
Dawn Landes: That sounds like a trick question!! Let’s keep them guessing.
Thank you Dawn Landes, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout