The Pierces – You & I
Review by Jack Foley
HAVE you heard of The Pierces? Comprised of Alabama raised sisters Allison and Catherine, the band have been garnering a lot of followers in America, where their brand of folk rock with hippy tendencies has been drawing considerable acclaim.
They’re not set to go ballistic, however, with the release of You & I, their fourth album and one that comes with the substantial backing of Coldplay’s Guy Berryman who, with Grammy Award winning producer Rik Simpson, decided to make The Pierces the first project for their newly started production company.
It’s a discovery that prevented the sisters from breaking up and one that looks set to provide mainstream credibility to their long under-rated brilliance.
Comprised of 11 great tracks, this is the sort of offering that can bear useful comparison with Fleetwood Mac in their prime, as well as the likes of The Bangles and even female fronted Coldplay at times.
Album opener You’ll Be Mine sets the standard in brilliant fashion… an ode to a failing relationship that bears all the hallmarks of Rumours-era Mac and which has prompted suspicions of being reflective of Catherine’s failed relationship to ex-fiancé Albert Hammond Jr (of Strokes fame). It’s certainly packed with strong emotions, which embellish the lush instrumentals.
Love You More, meanwhile, opens with a gritty guitar riff that could serve as a Black Rebel Motorcycle opening, before hitting a more melodic structure and dropping some yearning, lament-ful vocals. It’s a gutsy record that resonates with the plea: “How can I love you more, tell me, how can I love you more?” It’s delivered with heartbroken, confused and hurt meaning.
We Are Stars contains a dusky, folk-rock quality that’s equally appealing, while former single Glorious showcases a breezy side to the sisters’ make-up that enters Bangles territory, complete with retro sunshine vibe. It’s a foot-stomper of immense feel-good quality and another easy pick as an album favourite.
Further evidence of their song-writing diversity is to be found in the bluesy, stripped back The Good Samaritan, which could be taken from the Kill Bill soundtrack for the way it evokes memories of Nancy Sinatra’s desolate Bang Bang.
While the equally brilliant Kissing You Goodbye also possesses a distinct Kill Bill quality in its opening instrumental arrangement (in particular, The RZA’s Ode To Oren Ishi offering). It’s another great song that also carries a distinctly ‘60s vibe.
Strong, too, is the strings-backed Close My Eyes, another sultry offering with a melancholy undertow, and Drag You Down, which begins in stripped back, acoustic fashion before gradually layering in the elements to moody effect.
Unlike the name of that track, however, The Pierces You & I is an album to leave you inspired and thirsting for more. It won’t be long before you’re then excitedly asking people: “Have you heard of The Pierces?” And then imploring them to buy their album!
Watch the video to Glorious:
Download picks: You’ll Be Mine, Love You More, Glorious, Drag You Down, The Good Samaritan