River Record

Elena Dakota

Cudighi Records, 2023


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


An Australia native who has plenty of musical experience, Elena Dakota cut her teeth in bands like Hummingbird, Introduction!, Rex Wonderful and the Silk Sheets and Maraby Band. She also records by herself under the electro-pop alias Allume. Under her own name, Dakota pens lo-fi, folk friendly songs, and this second album of these ideas includes eight selections that are dedicated to her father.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Lavender” starts the listen with Dakota’s warm acoustic guitar and very poetic singing that flows with a bare folk appeal. “Plasticine, As I Do The Sky” follows, and with help from Sam Newman on trombone and vocals for the uniquely soulful and emotive delivery.

Landing at the halfway point, “Woman In The Air” recruits Luke Kenny’s vocals, bass and percussion skills for the rhythmic and hushed beauty, while “Fire Bird” is a raw, sparse but impactful moment of dreamy guitar and Dakota’s gorgeous pipes that shows much range. “Slow As Hell,” the best of the best, then features Lyndon Blue’s stirring violin that blends well with the mesmerizing guitar and hazy singing.

“Rice Noodles” arrives near the end, and is a very gentle, minimal display of an absorbing atmosphere, and “Lady Godiva (There Is No Gun)” exits with one of the fuller selections that showcases Bill Christensen’s sax and flute amid the hypnotic keys and light percussion.

It’s not hard to think of names like Norah Jones, Blaze Foley or Laura Marling when listening to River Record, as Dakota's rich, harmonic vocals and strong attention to timbre creates a highly memorable version of chamber folk, indie-folk and even slo-core moments. Her imagery is quite animated, and the sonic mood is sincere, relatable and possesses the ability to quite possibly make her your new favorite singer-songwriter.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2023 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Cudighi Records, and is used for informational purposes only.