ARTIST DAWN SMITHSON
ALBUM SAFER HERE
The Presidents of the U.S.A. sing on their self titled album, "We're not going to make it, 'cause there's a million better bands with singers who can sing..." They were onto something. Perhaps I'm a traditionalist but I like a singer who can sing and a song with a bit of a melody. This 'rural space folk' album has neither. Dawn Smithson on her first solo album in six years meanders over acoustic guitar looking for the right note to hit. Her vocals are distinctive but difficult to listen to.
Musically, the accompaniment is mostly simple finger-picked acoustic or electric guitar. There are no drums and little variation. The non-conventional song structure abandons the need for hooks or choruses, focusing on a continuing drone. The accompanying press release describes the album as experimental, rhythmic non ornate songs. Some experiments succeed, some fail. This one could do with going back to the drawing board.