- 31 Jan 20
The North Carolina artist brought the stunning Dawnbreaker to Dublin last night.
Alexandra Sauser-Monnig’s debut album as Daughter of Swords was easy to miss amid the stampede of louder, gaucher records last year. But for those who did connect with Dawnbreaker this was the beginning of a long-term infatuation. The record was mournful but never maudlin and though it was forged in the darkest days of a romantic break-up, Sauser-Monnig’s sweet, soothing voice and tender guitar also made room for optimism.
That same irresistible deftness held sway as the North Carolina artist brought Dawnbreaker to Dublin. With a croon as pure and primed with mystery as rain at dusk, she lulled the room as she tiptoed though ‘Long Leaf Pine’.
Sauser-Monnig wore an over-sized old timey shirt which she had picked up second-hand. Who had owned it previously, she wondered? And how was it that their arms were so long, their neck so tiny? She chuckled softly as she thought out loud, a sprinkling of humour that contrasted with the gorgeous earnestness of the singing.
If the banter was brisk, the material was frequently heavy and sometimes dark. Often it was ripped straight from her own life, such as on the track that had come from her struggles with a bout of (potentially fatal) Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
She closed with a wistful number by her band, Mountain Man. ‘This Autumn Morning’ was a lullaby that swept you away from dank Dublin in the dog days off January and off to somewhere with stars overhead, and a whiff of the unknown rising with the breeze. The spell it cast lingered long after Sauser-Monnig had said her farewells and tiptoed into the night.