12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The familiar becomes something strange and magical on Amanda Shires’ Carrying Lightning. Though this Lubbock, Texas-born singer/songwriter might be termed alt-country in approach, her dreamy, closely observed lyrics and fluent fiddle-playing elevate her above typical artists in this genre. Shires possesses a husky voice tinged with a pronounced vibrato; her singing suggests wistful emotion and childlike wonder. Sweetly poignant tunes like “Ghost Bird” and “Lovesick I Remain” are balanced by more angst-filled expressions like “Shake the Walls” or “When You Need a Train It Never Comes.” There are moments here (particularly “Bees In the Shed”) that bring to mind the scruffy quirkiness of Tom Waits. Carrying Lightning manages to maintain an affectionate tone without becoming precious or cloying — tasty musical touches (like the small string ensemble on “Kudzu”) help keep things both warm and interesting. Call her a Lone Star eccentric or a poet with a mean bow arm, Shires proves herself a compelling talent on this visionary song collection.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The familiar becomes something strange and magical on Amanda Shires’ Carrying Lightning. Though this Lubbock, Texas-born singer/songwriter might be termed alt-country in approach, her dreamy, closely observed lyrics and fluent fiddle-playing elevate her above typical artists in this genre. Shires possesses a husky voice tinged with a pronounced vibrato; her singing suggests wistful emotion and childlike wonder. Sweetly poignant tunes like “Ghost Bird” and “Lovesick I Remain” are balanced by more angst-filled expressions like “Shake the Walls” or “When You Need a Train It Never Comes.” There are moments here (particularly “Bees In the Shed”) that bring to mind the scruffy quirkiness of Tom Waits. Carrying Lightning manages to maintain an affectionate tone without becoming precious or cloying — tasty musical touches (like the small string ensemble on “Kudzu”) help keep things both warm and interesting. Call her a Lone Star eccentric or a poet with a mean bow arm, Shires proves herself a compelling talent on this visionary song collection.

TITLE TIME
3:09
3:47
4:14
3:48
4:10
3:20
4:08
4:25
2:56
4:06
3:15
2:01

About Amanda Shires

Texas-born violinist and singer/songwriter Amanda Shires makes heartfelt country- and folk-influenced music as both a solo artist and as member of her husband Jason Isbell's band the 400 Unit. A native of Lubbock, Texas, Shires began playing violin around age 10, and by her teens was performing with former Bob Wills backing ensemble the Texas Playboys. She released her debut solo album, Being Brave, in 2005. After relocating to Nashville, Shires returned with both West Cross Timbers and Sew Your Heart with Wires. In 2011, she appeared as a musician in the film Country Strong and released another LP, Carrying Lightning. Her fifth full-length album, Down Fell the Doves, arrived in 2013, the same year she and Isbell were married. They welcomed their first child in 2015.

Shires made her Billboard debut with 2016's My Piece of Land, which landed on the rock, Americana, and independent albums charts. ~ Matt Collar

  • ORIGIN
    Lubbock, TX
  • BORN
    Mar 5, 1982

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