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Album Review

After tackling electronica with her mid-2000s debut and the sounds of Nashville with her Country Roadshow project, Kansas-born, London-based singer/songwriter Piney Gir continues to develop her chameleon-like career with her fifth studio album, Geronimo!, a collection of songs seemingly inspired by the jukebox joints of the '60s. With an impressive array of guest musicians on board, including members of Brian Wilson's band and the Beatles' regular brass section, its 13 tracks certainly come equipped with the right credentials, but luckily Gir's obvious fondness for the era ensures that the material does justice to the esteemed behind-the-scenes team. Renowned for her cutesy vocal delivery, Gir was never going to have any trouble pulling off the Spector-esque girl group harmonies of "Friends and Neighbors," the sugary West Coast pop of "Oh Lies," or the jangly Bangles-ish "Here's Looking at You." But she's just as convincing on the more melancholic offerings, such as the slightly grungy yearning of "Stay Sweet," the bluesy Americana of "The Longest Day of Spring," and the mournful "The Gift," which blends steel-laden alt-country, yodeling, and a Mariachi band into one unusual melting pot of Wild West sounds. Indeed, while the presence of Brian Jonestown Massacre's Rob Campanella as producer might suggest a more streamlined alternative direction, the latter proves that Gir's sense of adventure still shows no bounds. Alongside the simpler three-minute songs such as the Byrds-inspired "Would You Be There?" and the galloping indie pop of opener "Outta Sight," there's a honky tonk hoedown ("River Song"), swooning garage rock ("It's Our Time"), and good old-fashioned rockabilly ("La De Da"), not to mention a potential kids TV theme in the appropriately titled "Let's Get Silly." It's perhaps this lack of focus that has prevented Gir from crossing over into the mainstream, but while Geronimo! is sometimes a little too playful for its own good, it's still a refreshingly unpretentious and affectionate display of nostalgic retro-pop. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi


Born: Kansas City, KS

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Born Angela Penhaligon, offbeat indie pop artist Piney Gir adopted the pseudonym from a childhood nickname. While she began piano lessons at the age of four, the Kansas native grew up in a strict Pentecostal household with a father who banned television and secular music, though her mother would sometimes allow indulgences in pop culture. Penhaligon rebelled by majoring in music in college, then immigrating to London, England in 1998, where she took classes at Saint Martins in hopes of finding kindred...
Full bio
Geronimo!, Piney Gir
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