Singer-songwriter and violinist Amanda Shires will release her fifth album To The Sunset next month.
The album is due for release on 3rd August via Silver Knife/Thirty Tigers and was produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb, who worked with Shires on her 2016 record My Piece Of Land. It’s a departure from her previous style, using effects pedals to create an otherworldly sound, and draws on themes including everyday sexism, climate change, capitalism and self-doubt.
“I had never tried pedals before,” says Shires, “and I wanted to change my fiddle sound. I explained to Dave that I wanted the songs to have atmosphere. That the album was going to be sort of poppy, cause the world’s pretty dark right now.”
She adds that the album “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.”.
Shires wrote the album at the rural home she shares with husband and fellow musician Jason Isbell, working from 10 AM to midnight whilst Isbell watched their young daughter. She says of her writing process: “I just started writing and tearing apart my journals and taping the parts I liked to the wall, and shredding the rest and putting it into my compost, which I then fed to my garden.”
To The Sunset also features a stellar cast of guest musicians, including Cobb on bass, Isbell on guitar, Peter Levin on keys and Jerry Pentecost on drums, as well as Shires’ own violin playing. The album was recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A.
Originally from Lubbock, Texas, Shires has been playing fiddle since she was a teenager and has performed alongside artists including the Texas Playboys, Billy Joe Shaver, John Prine and Todd Snider. She released her first solo album, Being Brave, in 2005 and her vocals have been compared to artists including Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton. Additionally, she won the Americana Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year Award in 2017 and has performed on headline tours with both her own band and as part of Isbell’s The 400 Unit.