In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “For someone who could easily rely on the pure prettiness of her voice, Amanda Shires doesn’t seem interested in taking that easy way out.”
I first became aware of Amanda Shires a few years ago when Jason Isbell released his breakthrough solo record, Southeastern. While I found her perfectly up to the job of filling out his music with her voice and violin, I never thought of her as all that essential. Then, I saw Isbell live without Shires joining him on the Australian leg of his tour. That night, I was nothing short of blown away by Isbell and his band. But as fantastic as they were, I couldn’t help but notice a bit of a hole left by Shires’ absent voice and violin. It was a big enough hole to make me immediately more appreciative of what she does, and make me want to hear what she can do when front and centre, instead backing things is up. Which is why I listened to Amada Shires solo record, Down Fell the Doves.
I was expecting fiddle, I was expecting ukulele. What I wasn’t expecting was the spiritual like chant and sparse instrumentation of Look Like a Bird. Even if I was expecting that, I wouldn’t have been expecting Shires to deliver it so well. There’s an ominous tone to this song that makes it hauntingly attention grabbing, while never sounding like it’s trying to grab your attention. And when her violin comes in, it only compounds that haunting non challans. (more…)