WITH five studio albums behind her, her music having featured on TV shows such as Skins, Gossip Girl and House and now on “probably her 40th or 50th” tour of the UK”, Dawn Landes sounds like a singer comfortable with her voice and a songwriter assured of what she has to say.

For her latest album, Meet Me At The River, Dawn said she wanted to make a country record that “had the sound of Nashville in the 50s and 60s when artists like Dolly Parton first started making records there”.

“I was aiming for the Nashville sound on this record because I’m a big Skeeter Davis fan,” says Dawn. “Her writing is always really beautiful and poetic.”

To achieve this, she teamed up with prolific producer and Country Music Hall of Fame Fred Foster.

“It was amazing to work with him. He’s a legend,” she says.

“He’s been responsible for so many amazing recordings, so it was a real honour when he agreed to work with me.”

It seems Dawn had to work to get Foster to agree to produce the album. She cold-called the producer from New Zealand, where she was touring with Sufjan Stevens. “If there’s something I can contribute,” he said, “I’ll let you know.”

Foster liked what he heard and invited Dawn to his Nashville home, where a four-hour visit was plenty to convince both that it was worthwhile them working together.

“It wasn’t about finding the right studio or finding the right musicians,” she says. “It was about finding somebody who got me and got the music and who I trusted.”

The result is a more traditional country music sound than Dawn’s four previous albums, which vary from the “freak-folk” associated with harpist touring mate Sufjan and Joanna Newsom, to the indie rock songs that made up her third album, dawn’s music.

This can in part be attributed to the album’s producer, partly to the presence of features from veteran country musicians like 500 Miles Away from Home singer Bobby Bare, and also partly to Dawn’s own relocation from New York to Nashville, Tennessee, where that Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is located.

But did Fred think Dawn had succeeded in making a country record?

“It’s funny, I asked Fred, who is in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and has worked with all these legends, the question, ‘is it country?’ and he would always just say ‘what country?’.”

Fred Foster died in February shortly after working with Dawn.

“It was a real honour to work with him,” she says. “He passed away last year, about six months after the album came out. Meet Me At The River was actually the last album that he ever worked on.”

Her previous album was 2014’s Bluebird, which featured guest appearances from Norah Jones and members of Bon Iver and went on to win folk/singer-songwriter album of the year at the Independent Music Awards.

Bluebird, written in the wake of divorce from fellow singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, has been called Dawn’s break-up album. Ritter’s own followed two years later. Now married to fellow musician Creighton Irons, with who she has a daughter, Dawn sounds comfortable with herself.

At just 38, singer-songwriter Dawn has toured the UK “probably 40 or 50 times” so it is no surprise that the upcoming performance at Komedia won’t be her first in the city.

“I’ve played in Brighton about ten times” she told me. “I love it there. I actually wrote a song about it. There’s a song called Brighton on my Sweetheart Rodeo album.”

The song in question is a touching ballad in which Dawn sings of a place “where seagulls soar” and “with a carousel and mirror lights, a music box that plays all night”.

“I’ve had great experiences in Brighton, UK. It’s just a magical place.”

Dawn seems genuinely excited to come back and play in Brighton. Is there a noticeable difference between audiences in the US and audiences here?

“It really depends, I think that people appreciate the fact that I’ve come a long distance to be there,” she says. “It’s like when you go visit relatives and you’ve made the eight-hour drive to be there and they’re all always so much nicer to you because you’ve made the effort.”

“Even if people don’t consciously know it, I think there’s some element of them being more appreciative because of it.”

And what can we expect from Dawn’s latest Brighton performance?

“Well this is mostly a solo set so it’s mostly just me playing my guitar, although Jonah Tolchin is going to be on tour with me and he might join in for a few songs.

“He’s a great guitar player.

“Mostly I’ll be playing songs from the new Meet Me At The River album, but I like to mix it up. There are a lot of songs.”

In addition to the five studio albums that she has released periodically since 2005, there is a handful of EPs of songs to choose from, including 2012’s Mal Habillée, a collection of Dawn’s French songs.

“I was always very interested in French culture,” she says. “I toured over there a lot when I was first starting out and I didn’t speak the language and that made it really mysterious. I wanted to crack the code so I took some lessons. The first song I wrote for that album was an assignment for my French class, to use a bunch of old expressions in a poem. I turned that into a song and I was like, ‘Well I wrote one, why don’t I write some more?’”

This fondness for ambitious projects has seen Dawn working on a musical based on the life Tori Murden, an American university administrator and athlete whose wide array achievements includes being the first woman and first American to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

“She is an incredible woman from Louisville, which is where I grew up in Kentucky. I read her memoir and then I got asked if I would ever consider writing a musical. I had just read her book so I said yes.”

“That was about six years ago, and we’re in the process of writing this musical, which takes a very long time.”

It’s understandable that Dawn admires ambitious figures that have challenged expectations and succeeded on both sides of the Channel – she is fast becoming one herself.