On the cover of her debut solo gear, Dawn Smithson is shown in artful, obscured anonymity walking down a street, in the rain, huddled, holding a guitar. The flip side shows her going through her front door, into a home where a dog stands waiting, the safety and warmth of the indoors being wholly metaphoric. The Safer Here title of Dawn's debutante own-name turn is a reference to home, it being the place where Smithson, on late and lonesome nights, would bunker down, roll tape, and play her whisper-quiet songs. Whilst its doleful frailty could, to some, speak of bleak isolationism, Safer Here is a testament to reassuring insularity, of how the interiors of domiciles can lead one to exploring one's own interior. After spending the latter half of the '90s post-rockin' it in Portland's fabulous beatnik-pop outift Jessamine, Smithson ditched music, heading up I-5 to Seattle to study fashion. After years in the musical wilderness, she returned to sound by crafting her own songs in her own space, picking up the guitar, and bashfully, nervously staking out her first attempts at songform. The songs are formed in familiar post-rock fashion, Smithson picking repeated patterns on acoustic and electric guitars, and overlaying their laid-down rhythms with daubs of organ, sung vocals, and synth sounds whose added-on textures serve to change the tenor through added volume/friction/harmony. Despite the fact that, halfway through the recordings that've ended up on this record, Smithson did a stint playing bass in crawl-metal minimalists Sunn o))), there's little abrasiveness or austerity. The disc is not a particularly dynamic set; its songs, instead hope to evoke the atmosphere of an empty house on a rainy night, and all the beauty that such solitude can bring.