Thursday, 20 October 2011

Get Pierced

The Pierces are some Alabama sisters that have nothing to do with the Tea Party or any of the other nasty connotations the American South may hold. But they do embrace the slightly darker Americana side of music. If you think Caro Emerald is too kitsch or just generally positive sounding music, then explore my other favourite album for the car, The Pierces. Their album 'You and I' explores how love pricks you, its betrayals, jealousies and its devotion.

The Pierces are Alison and Catherine Pierce and their harmonies blend magically, sometimes eerily, the way that family members voices collide, understand each other and contrast against each other. They've been compared to The Mamas and the Papas for these harmonies. Occasionally there is something of the 'California Dreamin on such a winter's day' spirit, in the sense that there is disturbance among the lyrics, mood and seemingly innocent melodies. Similarly, there is a bit of Stevie Nicks' seething edge and oblique desire within their songwriting. The lyrics to the opening song begin sweetly enough in a pastoral scene as the woman envisions a picnic with her partner: 'We can bring a blanket for the grass..We could watch the blackbirds cross the skies.' Soon enough she is also declaring 'prick your finger on the spinning wheel/But don't make a sound.' This idea of the need for secrecy in love and the darkness ever present is carried throughout the album.

This is music for twilight (the time of after dusk, not the teenage angst series, though it would probably suit an intense kiss scene between Edward and Bella). 'The Good Samaritan' sounds like a dark lullabye June Carter Cash might have had in her head in her very dark period. The lyrics admit that it was 'A sorry thing...that fell out of your hands.' Although The Pierces like a bit of folk preaching, there's a dark dance feel to their records. I know it sounds wrong or like some awful Florence and the Machine wailing, but it's not. The women can sing and they can control their voices and emotions. You're left wanting to know the story and read into the mystery, rather than run away from it.   

1 comment:

  1. I hope they read this review. I'd buy it! (oh, I did...)