Pis­tol An­nies tackle di­vorce, com­pli­cated women with hu­mor

The Day - - DAYBREAK - By KRISTIN M. HALL

The Pis­tol An­nies’ sassy new song about re­claim­ing sin­gle­hood called “Got My Name Changed Back” has raised some eye­brows for its lyrics about a hus­band who cheats while on the road and prompted spec­u­la­tion about who might have in­spired it.The trio of Mi­randa Lam­bert,

An­galeena Pres­ley and Ash­ley Mon­roe won’t say, but Pres­ley notes that there are two di­vorces and two ex-hus­bands be­tween them.

“It was a feel-good di­vorce song that was needed,” Pres­ley said. “You’re welcome.”

“We can say what­ever we want to­gether a lit­tle more bravely than we ever would alone,” Lam­bert added. “Our whole cat­a­log has been about cel­e­brat­ing things that weren’t so pos­i­tive and put­ting them in a hu­mor­ous light.”

The women tackle failed mar­riages, des­per­ate wives, fe­male friend­ships and com­pli­cated women with a lot of wry hu­mor and just the right amount of sadness on their first al­bum in five years called “In­ter­state Gospel,” out now.

They wrote the record to­gether with­out any out­side writ­ers, which has mostly been their pat­tern. “We haven’t writ­ten any songs with other writ­ers,” Lam­bert said, but then the other two cor­rect her, not­ing there was one song on their first al­bum that her ex-hus­band Blake Shel­ton co-wrote with them.

“Oh, well, he’s gone,” Lam­bert said with a laugh.

It was an­other di­vorce song that prompted them to start writ­ing again af­ter years of each work­ing in­di­vid­u­ally on their solo al­bums.

Lam­bert came up with a verse and cho­rus for the re­gret­ful tune, “When I Was His Wife,” and sent it to Pres­ley and Mon­roe in a voice note. Soon af­ter they were hang­ing out at Lam­bert’s house churn­ing out songs.

“We don’t do per se writ­ing ses­sions,” Pres­ley said.

“We do slum­ber par­ties with gui­tars,” Lam­bert said.

The break be­tween records has been pro­duc­tive for all three singers. Lam­bert re­leased a crit­i­cally-ac­claimed dou­ble al­bum, “The Weight of These Wings,” while Mon­roe and Pres­ley each re­leased two solo al­bums over the past five years.

“It’s like we have so much life to talk about, we have enough for solo projects and as a band,” Lam­bert said.

The song they will ad­mit is about them­selves is “Stop Drop and Roll

One,” a coun­try rocker in which they cel­e­brate their dif­fer­ences and sim­i­lar­i­ties. As the song goes, “One’s got the matches, one’s got the lashes, one’s run­ning her mouth again.”

“If we all dumped our purses out on the ta­ble, it would be ‘Stop Drop and Roll One,’” Pres­ley said.

A song like “Best Years of My Life” show­cases their abil­ity to craft emo­tion­ally com­plex fe­male char­ac­ters long­ing for es­cape from their mo­not­o­nous lives through a recre­ational drug or a trashy TV show. “Mas­ter­piece” ac­knowl­edges the pub­lic fas­ci­na­tion with the glossy im­age of a per­fect re­la­tion­ship, even if it’s not real.

“There’s a lot of stuff that you have to go through (as a woman),” said Mon­roe. “This al­bum touches on a lot of that and there’s some hu­mor and twists in there that make it a lit­tle less hard.”

The trio isn’t do­ing a tour to pro­mote the al­bum, just three shows in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles, mostly be­cause Pres­ley is preg­nant, al­though they will be per­form­ing at the Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion Awards on Wed­nes­day.

“This record feels very spe­cial, and I feel like when we do an in­ti­mate cou­ple of shows, it gives peo­ple to chance to live with it on tape and live with it in per­son and go from there,” Lam­bert said.

DONN JONES/IN­VI­SION/AP

The Pis­tol An­nies, fea­tur­ing, from left, Ash­ley Mon­roe, An­galeena Pres­ley and Mi­randa Lam­bert, have re­leased a new al­bum, “In­ter­state Gospel.”

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