Don’t be fooled by her flowery voice, which has been compared to Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton, Amanda Shires is plotting an Americana revolution.
On her seventh album, Into the Sunset, the Texas-born singer-songwriter grasps the American folk and country roots that she’s nurtured as a solo artist and member of the Texas Playboys, Thrift Store Cowboys and Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, and straps them to a jetpack!
Reuniting with Dave Cobb (who also produced her 2016 breakout, My Piece of Land), the album sheds stereotypes that roots music is sad, introspective and folksy, and injects it with a potent shot of indie rock. Some songs, like “Leave It Alone” and “Take on the Dark” sound more akin to The National or Joy Division than anything associated with Americana. Others channel foot-stomping southern rock like Shooter Jennings (“Eve’s Daughter”), ass-kicking honky tonk a lá Margo Price (“Break out the Champagne”) or cosmic country in the vein of Sturgill Simpson (“Parking Lot Pirouette”).
Held together by her intricate, noir poetry, Amanda Shires has crafted a radical new album that goes down like cold beer on a hot day.
Ryan is a writer, editor and vinyl collector currently based in Los Angeles. He started Mini Music Critic in 2017.