When: Sat., Feb. 14, 8 p.m. 2015
Just in case the title alone wasn’t a dead give away, Amanda Shires’ Down Fell the Doves is not a record for the faint of heart, faith or spirit. Not that anyone who heard her last album would have expected such. Carrying Lighting, the critically acclaimed 2011 breakthrough that put Shires on the map as one of Americana music’s most arresting new voices (and Texas Music magazine’s 2011 Artist of the Year), was a kudzu-tangled web of frayed heartstrings and combustible desire that revealed the onetime “little fiddle player from Lubbock” to be a grown woman unafraid to “get wrecked in love” and dish out the same with keen poetic insight and unnervingly mature, femme-fatale conviction. But as striking as Lightning was, Down Fell the Doves (Shires’ debut for Lightning Rod Records) is where the gloves really come off. “There’s a lot of destruction on this record,” says Shires, the observation coming a thoughtful pause after her somewhat casual dismissal of the album’s “Box Cutters” — a disturbingly beautiful suicidal daydream — as just being “a little bit of dark humor.” “I wrote that one in a haze of delirious exhaustion,” she says of the song that imagines, amongst other possible exit strategies, the sweet surrender of “a rose-petaled, eyes-closed collapse” in a warm blood bath. Maybe you just had to be there.