Dawn Landes Fireproof

This 12-song collection of sorrowful, moody laments rarely comes blinking into the light. Perhaps it’s all the time Landes has spent in darkened rooms as a sound engineer recording the likes of Ryan Adams and Philip Glass. Along with making the New York-based Kentuckian the happy acquaintance of folk rockers Hem (members of which are featured on this second album), it’s an experience that has taught her that the significant, and sometimes subversive, little details of a record really count: a well-placed 30-second toy piano interlude, a playful hidden track ending, a captivating new take on a traditional song. Mostly, however, this is the kind of powerful blues-folk collection that haunts and soothes in equal measure. But it’s Landes’ robust vocals — part Gillian Welch, part Fiona Apple, part Chan Marshall — that are Fireproof’s throbbing lifeblood and the compass by which this night owl sees in the dark. (Cooking Vinyl)