Piney Gir - The Yearling
Do we need another cute ‘n’ kooky female singer-songwriter? If you’ve never heard Kansas City’s Piney Gir before, it’s a question you may ask yourself as 'Hello Halo', the sonic equivalent of one of those people who’s annoyingly cheery first thing in the morning, bursts through your speakers. Thankfully, this is just a forty second introduction and any irritation built up is instantly dealt a blow by 'Say I’m Sorry'. A superbly crafted song, its charm is in no small part due to the gentle country twang in both guitar and voice.
Still, one should note the occasionally grating quirkiness has not been put back in the box and pushed under the bed. The Yearling is roughly one dose of this (add 'Blixa Bargeld’s Bicycle' to the expanding genre of songs-about-bikes-that-make-you-want-to-kill-people) to three doses something much easier to love. Piney Gir's weirdness is best enjoyed when kept to her pretty arrangements and melded to more sincere subject matter. Within the country wrapping of 'Not Your Anything', for example, is Tilly and the Wall-style tap dancing and defiant words sealing the end of a relationship. In 'Early Days', a disarmingly sweet lyric (does the word darling ever sound more at home than in country music?) is underpinned by a demo-mode Casio keyboard rhythm. Piney Gir has the odd decent line up her sleeve too; 'There Was A Drunk' begins with a wonderful put down. Elsewhere, Lion (I Am One) has the sort of jazz bass familiar to anyone who has listened to the Twin Peaks’ soundtracks and is typical of the album’s playful, gently experimental nature.
For better or worse, Piney Gir stamps her individuality all over The Yearling. Even when it rubs you up the wrong way, it does so with imagination. Here’s the sort of gal who could make country cool.