There is a lot of history behind Amanda Shires’ marvelous voice, Shires’ has been honing her art to perfection; starting her career with The Texas Playboys before going out on her own and occasionally performing with the likes of Rod Picott, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Billy Joe Shraver, Thrift Store Cowboys, and Justin Townes Earle. From excellent fiddle playing to masterful lyrics birthed from experience and an MFA in creative writing, Shires’ songwriting has unparalleled over her six previous solo albums. With her latest album To The Sunset, Shires has taken all the skills she has amassed and evolved them into an incredibly impressive package.
While Americana roots are still nestled in the back bone of To The Sunset, Shires’ has definitely amped up the sound. Implementing electric instruments and a huge dose of palpable attitude, Shires and her band have crafted a southern rock album that is unbelievably infectious. Shires sounds so determined and electrifying on each track, pushing her voice and instrumentation to new levels.
Shires’ lyricism has always had a poetic charge behind it, especially on her To The Sunset. Her songwriting focuses on powerful stories of everyday people dealing issues of self-esteem, mental illness and addiction. Each song is so rife with emotion, feeling like an elegantly written short stories set to song. “Eves Daughter” tells the tale of a young girl continually escaping her life, “Break Out The Champagne” celebrates in the face of bad times, and album closer “Wasn’t I Paying Attention?” details a suicide with a stark realism. Every passing line is more evocative than the last, creating an incredible collection of songs.
To The Sunset is out now! You can see Amanda Shires on September 20th at Thalia Hall. She will be joined by the wonderful Leah Blevins. Don’t miss this fantastic lineup of exemplary musicians! Tickets start at $30.