Praised by publications such as SPIN magazine, NPR, and Entertainment Weekly, Americana singer-songwriter, Dawn Landes, embraces her angelic voice and passionate lyrics into her fourth full-length album titled, Bluebird.
Raised in Louisville, Landes’ parents knew from an early age that Americana was her style of music. “They have a footage of me singing Christmas songs when I was in fifth grade and I really had this country twang and no one knew where it came from,” said Landes.
By the time she was ready to go to college, Landes moved to New York to study psychology and literature at New York University, NYU. While in New York, she started to play shows and worked as an audio engineer for a company called Stratosphere Sound and Philip Glass’ own personal recording studio.
By the time she was 22, she played Les Femmes s’en Mêlent festival in Paris and was discovered by Ocean Music who released her first album, Dawns Music, in 2005. In 2006, she and the members of HEM released Two Three Four. Two years later, she released Fireproof with her then husband, Josh Ritter. In 2012 she released Mal Habillee.
Bluebird was recorded live and was co-produced by Thomas Bartlett (who has worked with The National, Rufus Wainwright, Sharon Van Etten, and many others) and featuring Norah Jones, Tony Scherr and Rob Moose. Landes met Jones during the start of Jones’ success in New York. “It’s just through mutual friends like we just kept running into each other and I didn’t even know that she heard my music, but then she came to one of my shows and she was really complimentary,” said Landes.
Little did she know that she was going to be working with Jones on her recent album. “My friend Thomas he and I were doing the song, “Love Song” and we were talking about what we wanted it to sound like and I said something like, ‘I can hear like a Norah Jones for the piano thing in the instrumental’ and he was like ‘Why don’t we just get Norah to play it?’ and then she stuck around for another song. I’m really happy with it, she’s so talented and gifted,” said Landes.
The album is very much inspired by much more than just her ex-husband, Landes illustrates stories about people she does not even know such as the track, “Diamond Rivers,” which is about her friend’s fiancé who died of cancer. “She actually asked me to write her something because I wanted to help and I didn’t know what to do, said Landes.
Her musical inspirations don’t just come from life occurrences, but also come from artists such as Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, and Biork. “I think Bob Dylan said something once like, ‘Good people borrow great people’s feels’ which I think it’s funny because a lot of people use from traditional songs and stuff and I also think he’s an incredible writer,” said Landes.
Landes has worked with other artists such as the Aurora Orchestra in London, Will Oldham and Justin Townes Earle. She has toured with artists such as Feist, Andrew Bird, Beth Orton, Jose Gonzalez, Midlake and Ray Lamontagne. Landes also performed with the Boston Pops and the New York City Ballet.
Landes has been on tour for months and has played MOTR before, except this time is performing solo with a possible guest. “I’ve been touring a lot for this album and I just feel like I’ve gotten into a groove with the songs. I feel really comfortable with them. I feel strong.” Said Landes.