Amanda Shires has promised a “bold” new album with To the Sunset, due out August 3rd, and “Leave It Alone” – the first song to be premiered from the LP – offers up a fresh sound for the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
As with Shires’ previous album, 2016’s My Piece of Land, To the Sunset is produced by Grammy winner and serial Nashville hit-maker Dave Cobb, and “Leave It Alone” marks a change of direction for both of them. A dreamy, layered three-and-a-half minutes of indie pop, the song sheds Shires’ more familiar folk roots for a spritely hook colored in by elliptical guitars and the impressionistic bleating of a synthesizer. Shires’ voice is, as usual, the music’s emotional anchor, but the disembodied harmonies and distorted vocal effects add a quivering uncertainty to the obsessive self-doubt of the lyrics, which explore the in-between space with a romantic partner.
Shires is set to have a busy summer, touring on her own as well as with husband Jason Isbell and John Prine, whose recent album The Tree of Forgiveness featured both Shires and Isbell on the song “God Only Knows.” She plays this Friday, May 25th, at a special Nashville concert supporting the new Outlaw country exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.