THE PIERCES – American band
The Pierces are two sisters from Birmingham, Alabama named Alison Margaret and Catherine Eleanor Pierce. Their father was a musician and mother a painter so obviously some kind of artistic future was in prospect.
In 1995 they enrolled at Auburn University to play music, although both were accomplished ballerinas, they quickly learned the basics of guitars and harmonising. Sony got interested and the girls moved to Nashville to record their debut album. Unfortunately the label didn’t give it a lot of support and Alison and Catherine were taking day jobs and performing small Acoustic sets wherever they could. In 2005, they got noticed by Universal Music Group and were signed up to record their second album. Both sing vocals while Alison plays guitar and Catherine plays percussion.
I first heard this band recently on England’s tea-time chat show Paul O’Grady and they performed the brilliant “Kings” from the new album “Creation”. It took only a couple of bars to love this song, it sounded to me like classic 80s Euro rock. Not too heavy but just enough to rock with the lovely harmonies the girl sing. It intrigued me to find out more about the band.
The debut album “The Pierces” was released in 2000 and due to Sony allegedly not backing the girls enough it didn’t fair well. It understandably has overtones of Country and is a very Folk-orientated set. It is strange that Nashville recording weirdly puts that feel on a bands songs. Anyway, there are some stand out tracks. “I Don’t Need You” is a gorgeous ballad with great harmonies which reminded me of The Corrs a little. “Waiting” is almost a song that would fit on a Sheryl Crow record and “Blood” is an eerie, hazy Psychedelic song of Tori Amos angst. My favourite is the lovely Acoustic end song “Let You Go”.
In 2005 saw the second album “Light of the Moon” appear. Again, although not a massive hit for the girls it saw them maturing as singer-songwriters of major talent. Losing the hint of Country, this set saw a more Folk-Rock vibe enter the fore. “A Way To Us” epitomises this with guitars and vocals similar in vein to Sheryl Crow or Alanis Morissette. Showing their versatility of vocals, “Louisa” is almost Fleetwood Mac (with Stevie Nicks) and “You’re Right” could be a Carpenters song.
“Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge” was releases as the girls third album in 2007. “Boring” is my favourite track here purely for it’s variation of styles. One second Shakespears Sister, then a Jazz chanteuse voice, its almost 80s Electronica brought up to date, a big surprise to their previous albums. “Secret” is a dramatic Hazel O’Connor style up and down quirky tune while “Kill!Kill!Kill!” is almost Monroe-esque in delivery. “Boy In A Rock And Roll Band” is similar in style but is a playful teasing number. An album with twists and turns so it’s hard to distinguish if the girls are Rock, Folk, Jazz, Electronic or Pop. It’s a good thing to be!
The fourth album ” You & I”, released in 2011 entered the UK Album Chart at No.4 thus catapulting the girls into the public eye as a major artist. “Kissing You Goodbye” is definitely a Bangles sound-alike with gorgeous light harmonising vocals, almost 60s-ish. “I Put Your Records On” is a beautiful Acoustic vocal song not unlike Norah Jones while “We Are Stars” could be either late 60s or 70s Pop. The Psychedelic element returns in the atmospheric and aptly named “Space and Time”.
The Pierces are releasing their fifth album “Creation” in June and are currently promoting the single “Kings”.
Here are some tracks that will give you a taste of The Pierces music –
“I Don’t Need You”, “Waiting”, “Blood”, “Jeffrey”, “Let You Go”.
(From the album “The Pierces”).
“Save Me”, “Beautiful Thing”, “A Way To You”, “Louisa”, “You’re Right”.
(From the album “Light of the Moon”).
“Boring”, “Secret”, “Kill!Kill!Kill!”, “Boy In A Rock And Roll Band”, “Ruin”.
(From the album “Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge).
“We Are Stars”, “Kissing You Goodbye”, “Space and Time”, “I Put Your Records On”, “Glorious”.
(From the album “You & I”).
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