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Video of the Moment #1674: The Pierces

 
By on Tuesday, 11th November 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

The Pierces‘ latest promo video is for ‘The Devil is a a Lonely Night’, appearing on the sisters’ latest album ‘Creation’ (review by Carrie here). You might expect a video for a song titled this to be all black and white, but you’d be wrong in this case: there are colours, larger than life images of the sisters superimposed on palm trees, racing street visuals to make it seem like you’re in a speeding car, and even bewildering psychedelic patterns are thrown at you. Hmm. Contemplate the meaning of this video with respect to the song when you watch it all come together below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bxvg-mQ0RM[/youtube]

 

Album Review: The Pierces – Creation

 
By on Thursday, 4th September 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

The Pierces Creation coverThis week, American sister band The Pierces released their 5th studio LP ‘Creation’, a shimmering desert mirage of ethereal vocal harmonies and transcendental lyrics that reflects the pair’s recent relocation to Southern California. We here at TGTF have already featured the eponymous track ‘Creation’ and its accompanying video, which characterize the outstanding features of the album as a whole.

The title track to ‘Creation’ is a strong hook for the rest of the LP, showcasing Allison and Catherine Pierce’s seamless vocal blend in the context of pounding tribal rhythms, resonant backing vocals, and iridescent percussion. Its luminous keyboard line glistens behind the perpetual motion of the chorus, “you’re the creation / you’re the reason / you’re the rising sun and the colors in my mind / you’re the changing of the seasons / you’re the growing old and the passing of the time.”

The album’s first single and second track ‘Kings’ has a more pop-oriented rhythm and edgy, cool vocals that immediately made me wonder if this is what the Bangles might have sounded like with synths instead of guitars. The dramatic chorus, “if we want to / we could do what kings do / I can feel the earth move when you speak”, has an especially ’80s feel to it, particularly in the contrast between the vocal melody and the sultry lower-voice harmony.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/TySVbwKixD8[/youtube]

The anxious heartbeat rhythm and contrasting back-and-forth vocals of ‘Believe in Me’ and the cagey moving harmonies in ‘Come Alive’ are promising hints of variety that unfortunately don’t quite play out on the later part of the album. From this point forward, ‘Creation’ begins to lose momentum, becoming wrapped up in the increasingly contrived lyrics and the monotony of the same rhythms and minor key vocal arrangements being recycled on every track.

The 13 tracks on the album could probably have been culled down to 9 or 10 in order to maintain the thematic focus and mitigate the cloying effect of the rich vocals. Upbeat foot-stomping track ‘Honest Man’ is buried between two vaguely-titled and rather more bland tracks, ‘I Can Feel’ and ‘Must Be Something’. Toward the end of the album, folk ballad ‘Confidence in Love’ feels almost more clinical than emotional, while ‘The One I Want’ is an exquisitely slow-burning exploration of the “masculine mystique”. Final track ‘Flesh and Bone’ is a delicate ending that highlights the dynamic beauty of the sisters’ voices as the album’s main strength.

The Pierces have clearly attempted to expand their musical horizons on ‘Creation’, even going so far as to procure a shaman and ingest ayahuasca to inspire their experimentation with new sonic effects. And while ‘Creation’ is somewhat of a departure from their past, the contrast isn’t as dramatic as it might have been. The sisters’ deep spiritual journey doesn’t extend musically beyond the visceral rhythms and echoing vocals into, for example, more fluid song structures or harmonic variety. In the end, ‘Creation’ is a bit stifled by its own lofty lyrics and airtight vocal harmonies. But the almost tangible energy at the beginning of the album and the graceful precision of the lighter tracks near the end are worth the wandering journey through the middle.

7/10

‘Creation’ is out now on Polydor Records. The Pierces will begin a tour of the UK in support of the album later this month; you can find the details here.

 

Video of the Moment #1598: The Pierces

 
By on Tuesday, 12th August 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

If you’ve been reading TGTF regularly, you’ll have seen already that we recently reviewed The Pierces‘ upcoming single ‘Creation’, which is due for release on the 1st of September along with their full length album of the same name. (If you missed it, you can read the review here.) Late last week, the American sister duo premiered the song’s accompanying video, directed by Nick Frew of L.A. studio Dirty Robber. The dramatic choreography has a voodoo doll ballet sort of effect, described by Cat Pierce as reflective of “how we sometimes suffer from our own invented misery and forget to enjoy the experience of being human”.

The Pierces will play a series of live shows in the UK next month; find all the dates here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X_OWTDdlIw[/youtube]

 

The Pierces / September 2014 English Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 30th July 2014 at 8:00 am
 

American sister duo The Pierces are set to follow the early September release of their album ‘Creation’ with a string of tour dates in England, including a show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. We recently featured the ethereally graceful title track from the album here. Tickets for the following dates will go on sale this Friday, the 1st of August, at 9 AM.

Wednesday 17th September 2014 – Gateshead Sage 2
Friday 19th September 2014 – Bristol Trinity
Saturday 20th September 2014 – Sheffield Leadmill
Sunday 21st September 2014 – Manchester Academy 2
Tuesday 23rd September 2014 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Thursday 25th September 2014 – Cambridge Junction
Saturday 27th September 2014 – Liverpool Academy 2
Sunday 28th September 2014 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms

 

Single Review: The Pierces – Creation

 
By on Friday, 25th July 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Andrew Zaeh

Allison and Catherine Pierce, known collectively as The Pierces, are one of the more established acts in a recent series of sister bands on the alternative rock scene. (You can find previous TGTF coverage here.) Following the same path as bands like Haim, Heathers, and First Aid Kit, The Pierces have refined their songwriting skills and natural propensity for seamless vocal harmony into a hybrid blend of folk structure and rock instrumentation. After touring their 2011 breakthrough album ‘You & I’, the Alabama natives relocated to Los Angeles, where they sampled the hallucinogenic tea ayahuasca and soaked in the local Laurel Canyon sound.

The title track to The Pierces’ latest album ‘Creation’ reveals that the California experience has added some striking new elements to the pair’s musical style. The shimmering percussion and echoing yodel of the backing vocals conjure up imagery of spirit journeys through the desert, while bright, mellow instrumental melodies evoke warm West Coast sunshine.

The structure and lyrics of the admittedly singable chorus, “You live, you learn, you laugh, you cry”, will inevitably bring to mind Alanis Morissette’s 1995 single ‘You Learn’, at least for those of us who came of age with ‘Jagged Little Pill’. But while the overall message of the two songs might be the similar, the mood and musical language are entirely different. The Pierces’ lilting vocals and placidly atmospheric instrumental effects are certainly easier on the ears than anything Morissette ever released.

8/10

‘Creation’, The Pierces’ fifth studio album, is due for release on the 1st of September via Polydor Records, along with its title-track single.

 

New to Q Sessions / January 2011

 
By on Thursday, 11th November 2010 at 9:00 am
 

The line-ups for the second annual New to Q Sessions, to take place at London’s Bush Hall in early 2011, have been announced. Five special shows have been scheduled for the week of the 24th to the 28th of January 2011. Though the presale already started on Tuesday, general tickets go on sale at 9 AM tomorrow (12th November). The bands playing are listed below; you’ll definitely recognise some TGTF favourites in there.

Monday 24th January 2011 – Funeral Party, Kid Adrift, Liz Lawrence
Tuesday 25th January 2011 – Clare Maguire, Primary 1, Liam Bailey
Wednesday 26th January 2011 – Noah and the Whale, Ben Howard, Alice Gold
Thursday 27th January 2011 – Egyptian Hip Hop, Dutch Uncles
Friday 28th January 2011 – The Pierces, Murray James, David Lyre

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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