Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., Oct. 27, 2006
Dana Falconberry is a relatively recent transplant to Austin, and we're lucky to have such an intuitive songwriter in our midst. Every song on her self-released Paper Sailboat EP is a triumph of composition, giving listeners a taste of what's missing on the coffeehouse circuit: thoughtful, beautifully written songcraft that aspires to Patty Griffin's throne. "Leave in the Middle of the Night" is a cute, slightly sinister bit of songwriting with a hint of vaudeville. Imagine the Asylum Street Spankers on Valium, and you're close. As with "Old Red Hat," Falconberry's voice sometimes sounds forced, strangled somewhere in her esophagus, which is unsettling and unnecessary in a young woman whose natural singing voice is so powerful in its simple fragility. Falconberry saves the best for last in "Sadie," a gorgeous tune that takes a page straight out of Griffin's book of pathos. In fact, the song's lovely layer of spooky-sadness comes courtesy of Griffin's piano contribution. Like said Austin institution, Falconberry adopts the character of a grieving husband after his wife passes away. Griffin need not fear usurpation just yet, but Falconberry is definitely nipping at her heels.