You could call the music on Amanda Shires’ new record Down Fell The Doves, quirky and sultry. And you wouldn’t be wrong, but those seem like too easy. With my female singer/songwriters I generally lean toward the rustic and unpolished offering of Gillian Welch or the boomingly soulful tone of Brittney Howard. But the thing about Down Fell The Doves is that it’s just too damn good to ignore for something as silly as it doesn’t sound like what you normally listen to.
Call me converted.
“Look Like A Bird” set the tone for the record and that tone is one of originality and art over smooth and easily digested song structures. There’s the droning beat, the chant-like chorus and violin on the edge of shrill. But what it signals is the dawning of a singular artist. Neko Case’s songs feel as if they could have only been written and sung by Neko, I can’t pinpoint where that feeling comes from, but too my ears Shires is working toward the same thing.
“Bulletproof” is packed with almost as many words as Todd Snider puts in a song (OK, no one comes close to Todd’s word count, but you get the idea). The song almost has an upbeat rhythm and the chorus almost sounds comforting but the lyrics are on the verge of dread. And there’s also an interesting drum beat and an oddly hypnotic guitar solo, so check it out.
There are also more straightforward verse, chorus, verse, chorus songs on Down Fell The Doves and they are good, just not as interesting to me as the more unique ones. So if you’re anything like me open up your possibilities and you just might discover an artist on the way to creating some truly compelling work.
PS: The photo on her official site of Amanda in a library is awesome