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Year of the Rabbit
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Allison Pierce is launching the second chapter of her distinguished career with her new album Year of the Rabbit, an eloquent straight-from-the-heart solo debut. The new album finds Pierce transformed following two decades of recording and performing with her sister Catherine as The Pierces. The duo's five albums and constant tours brought them critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. But as the years passed, each longed to express herself unfettered by the other and in 2015, The Pierces called it quits, whereupon the sisters launched solo careers.
For Year of the Rabbit, Pierce enlisted producer and multi-instrumentalist Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Kings of Leon). The two of them made the album essentially by themselves at Hollywood recording mecca Sunset Sound, in much the same way Johns acted as producer and one-man studio band on LaMontagne's 2004 debut LP, Trouble. As always, Johns recorded in computer-free analogue mode and the luminous results of this methodology serves to underscore the timelessness of the songs and performances.
The first single "Evidence" is presented in classic folk-rock style with a jangling 12-string electric guitar, cantering groove and sultry overdubbed harmonies that frame Pierce's contemporary retelling of the myth of the Original Sin. The lilting, piquant "Fool Him" explores the travails of would-be lovers who can't seem to get in sync, while "I Can See for Miles" ponders losing someone, longing for them and looking for them everywhere. Year of the Rabbit unfurls in distinct, insinuating increments, a product not just of the songs themselves but also Pierce's ability to fully inhabit them, subtly adapting her vocal inflections from song to song to accommodate the musical atmospheres.
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Just don't expect this album to sound like another Pierces album, and bear in mind that The Pierces' truly excellent Creation album is a mighty tough act to follow! Bottom line: I would not hesitate to recommend buying Year of the Rabbit. [But make sure you check out Creation too!]