Reviews

The 50 Best Protest Songs of 2016 Village Voice, December 21, 2016 Dawn Oberg, “It’s 12:01”
Oberg’s country-tinged rock is an unlikely genre for condemning police brutality, but her tribute to Alex Nieto, Mario Woods, and other victims of San Francisco’s police force is both searing and affecting. Its arrival this year hit even harder since, in March, a jury cleared Nieto’s killers of wrongdoing in a civil suit brought by Nieto’s parents. — Z.B

SPIN’s 7 Favorite Songs of the Week, SPIN July 29, 2016  “Dawn Oberg, “It’s 12:01″ (Self-Released)  It’s entirely possible that San Franciscan singer-songwriter Dawn Oberg already had written half of “It’s 12:01” before Luis Gongora was killed; the inevitability of racist police killing is indeed, as the Randy Newman-esque piano-pounder dubs, “a local and a national shame.” Oberg remembers more slain victims’ names in three minutes than a whole week of the RNC (or — quite frankly — the DNC either) and nails her white ally duty in one couplet: “It’s 12:01 motherf**ckers / Past time to change the guard at the gate.” It’s the chorus because it bears repeating. — DAN WEISS”

The Dean takes a deep dive into the works of San Francisco singer-songwriter Dawn Oberg and Detroit rapper DeJ Loaf.  Rye: A, Bring: A- Noisey.Vice “Oberg sings in an alto that doesn’t actually go flat when it modulates way down as is its wont. Delivering nine expertly wrought songs in 27 minutes, she plays acoustic piano over G-B-D with jazz gestalt, zero-plus solos, and a beat more martial than swinging.” -ROBERT CHRISTGAU

DAWN OBERG: BRING July 10, 2015 LA RECORD “…Wry, gently bitter yet faintly humming with the kind of optimism that must see rainbows flashing out of dumpsters or go mad, these nine songs are like a chapbook from west coast rock’s own Gertrude Stein.” -RON GARMON

Dawn Oberg Brings Her Devastating Wit and Catchy Piano Songs to NYC  June 12, 2015, New York Music Daily. The San Francisco-based chamber pop songwriter never met a pun she could resist, sings them in a cool jazz-informed alto and plays a mean piano, drawing equally on gospel and classic soul music. You could call her the missing link between Aimee Mann and Randy Newman, but her songs are warmer than Mann’s, and where Mann’s muse is opiates, Oberg’s is booze. And Oberg doesn’t fall back on music biz insider snark like Newman does.” -DELARUE

The RUMPUS Interview with Dawn Oberg May 29, 2013 TheRumpus.net “The songs on her newest album, Rye, are jazzy and accessible, hitting classic rock and country targets with ease. Her lyrics can be witty but sincere, honest but sarcastic. They are also frequently hilarious, drawing on unique images and turns of phrase that recall John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats…” -ROB RUBSAM

New Music for Summer: Dawn Oberg, Miguel, The Bird and The Bee. KQED, July 25, 2015 “…The San Franciscan brings to mind a line of tuneful cultural anthropologists, from Van Dyke Parks to New York jazz wit Blossom Dearie (and Oberg’s voice, while very different from Dearie’s coo, is equally distinct for its conversational naturalism). And through Dearie, we may as well draw a line right back to the heart of the Algonquin, Dorothy Parker herself…” -STEVE HOCHMAN

Aged to Maturity: Singer Dawn Oberg Makes a Wry Return to Music City Nashville Scene, April 22, 2013.  “…Piano-based, whiskey-soaked dive-bar balladry style through songs that cast a sardonic eye on love and loss.” -RANDY FOX

Q&A: High-Maintenance Singer Dawn Oberg. April 2, 2013, Portland Monthly. Bay Area musician Dawn Oberg is a true revelation. She has two excellent albums under her belt and a popular regular gig at San Francisco’s Rite Spot Cafe. Her latest record, Rye, is a triumphant collection of razor-sharp piano pop that’s brilliant and bracing. Her substantial wit, musical sophistication, and jazzy phrasing remind me of a more sardonic Carole King—a painfully honest, verbally dexterous, and fearless songwriter with a whopping gift for pop song construction. – JOHN CHANDLER

Dawn Oberg’s new album: Through the Bottom of a Glass Darkly New York Music Daily, April 17, 2013. “Oberg keeps the humor deadpan and lets her images speak for themselves…The only other lyrical rock albums from this year that compare with this are Ward White’s surreal, sinister Bob, and LJ Murphy’s new one…” – ALAN YOUNG

Rye Bred: an interview with singer-songwriter Dawn Oberg. Chicago Pride, 2013 “Her lived-in voice is that of experience and she maintains a singular sense of humor. Smart and refreshing songs such as “Gentleman And A Scholar,” “Girl Who Sleeps With Books,” “Contortions” and “Civic High” grab your attention and before you know it you’re singing along with Oberg…” -GREGG SHAPIRO

Dawn Oberg is just getting started at 46 San Francisco Chronicle, October 3, 2012 “Oberg’s music shines, as she is a spectacular crooner able to embrace the dark cloud of heartache and celebrate it through song.” -TONY DUSHANE