Amanda Shires


To the Sun­set

If the strik­ing image of a shim­mer­ing, ghostly Amanda Shires on the cover of To the Sun­set hints at the fact that fans of the ex­cel­lent My Piece of Land

should ex­pect some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent this time around, the swirling back­wards elec­tronic sounds and feed­back that in­tro­duce opener “Park­ing Lot Pirou­ette” make this abun­dantly clear. Work­ing again with pro­ducer Dave Cobb, the Texas-born singer-song­writer and ace vi­o­lin­ist has lost none of her knack for haunt­ing, in­sight­ful lyrics and vivid, taut sto­ry­telling. Whereas pre­vi­ous al­bums rarely strayed far from coun­try and folk, here Shires dresses up her words in rich, var­ied ar­range­ments. She also ex­per­i­ments with ef­fects ped­als on To the Sun­set to play a sear­ing fid­dle solo on the hardrock­ing “Eve’s Daugh­ter” or add a layer of at­mo­spher­ics to the catchy “Leave It Alone.” It marks a sub­stan­tial shift for Shires and this may be her finest al­bum yet. (Sil­ver Knife/Thirty Tigers)

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