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Dawn Landes, ‘Fireproof’ (Cooking Vinyl USA)

On her second solo album, Dawn Landes scurries out from behind the boards (she’s worked as an engineer for Philip Glass, Ryan Adams, and Joseph Arthur) and uses an arsenal of thrift-store noisemakers (glockenspiel, accordion, cheap guitar) to convey her quirky songs. Landes’ voice is buttery and melodic, but Fireproof never goes for generic sentiment; musically, she exists somewhere between Feist and Townes Van Zandt, and her New York–by-way-of-Kentucky pluck (“When it’s hard to breathe in the city / It’s easier to drink,” she quips in “Dig Me a Hole”) is a refreshing antidote to schmaltzy neo-folk.

Now Hear This: Dawn Landes, “Bodyguard” DOWNLOAD MP3