Amanda Shires - My Piece Of Land
In 2013 Amanda Shires released her breakthrough. Down Fell The Doves was a huge leap from her first three albums, inspired in part by her new relationship with Jason Isbell. There was something different about the record, in part due to Shires’ background as a fiddle player, and partly due to her way with lyrics. She felt like an undiscovered diamond. In the three years since, she and Isbell have married and had their first child in September 2015. Now the 34 year old returns, with Isbell lending a hand and Dave Cobb helping make the most of her talents. A few listens are needed to fully appreciate the quality of My Piece Of Land, but when the penny drops this is ridiculously enjoyable.
They key ingredients of her 2013 success are present, the violin adds intangible depth to the likes of the beautiful ‘Pale Fire’ that seeps warmth, while the scratchy strings on ‘My Love (The Storm)’ emphasis the drama. The whimsical Disney-ness of ‘Nursery Rhyme’ (“If you aren’t tiptoeing / Then you’re stomping across my mind”) and the layers of slide guitar on ‘Slippin’ , and Isbell’s riffing on ‘When You’re Gone’ all lead to the heart of the record, ‘You Are My Home’ where Isbell lets rip, and Shires wrenches at your heartstrings (“Anywhere you stand / Is my piece of land / You are my home”). A grippingly gorgeous finale to a quite wonderful record.