Amanda Shires (from the album To the Sunset available on Silver Knife Records)
Amanda Shires leans into an optimistic curve with To the Sunset, her recent release, making the title less about an ending than a beginning, Amanda feeling that it ‘is meant to be a positive thing. Acknowledging your past, and at sunset, your hope for a new day. To The Sunset sounds like a toast: This day is over, we don’t know what’s in the future, but it’s hopeful, I think’. A kaleidoscopic sound cloud revolves as album opener “Parking Lot Pirouette” spins, To the Sunset using bright Folk to back the tale of “Charms” and providing a steady rhythm of current for “Swimmer” while Amanda Shires twirls in a musical mania for the hurried pleas in “Mirror, Mirror” and puts pressure on the stereo speakers as she backs the story of “Eve’s Daughter” with heavy weather thunderheads of distortion.
Musical lineage for To the Sunset traces back to the 2013 release from Amanda Shires, Down Fell the Doves. Sonically the link is linear though where the previous album took a lo-fi Indie path, To the Sunset pushes further into the same territory adopting the use atmospherics to provide a wall of sound for each song. Amanda Shires and album producer Dave Cobb stayed aware of the sonics sought, Amanda recalling ‘I explained to Dave that I wanted the songs to have atmosphere. That the album was going to be sort of poppy, and that I was doing that to bring some sunshine into the world, cause it’s pretty dark right now’. Pop music has been subjected to judgment with the current slate of Poppers backed with electronic wizardry and studio beats. Amanda Shires comfortable takes steps outside of a career comfort zone, rattling around in a cacophony of sound-snaps “Take on the Dark”, loosening the cork with guitar jangle in “Break Out the Champagne”, and sinking into a noir nightmare of percussion poking at the melodic crunch of “Wasn’t I Paying Attention”.
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