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Amanda Shires has shared the splashy first single from her forthcoming album To The Sunset, which is out Aug. 3. The song, titled “Leave It Alone,” is the first new piece of solo Shires music we’ve gotten since her 2016 record, My Piece of Land. Since then, she’s been balancing solo shows with projects for Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, namely their 2017 record The Nashville Sound, which was very warmly received by both critics and listeners (Paste, included). Shires and Isbell are both husband and wife, and a songwriting team—their duet from The Nashville Sound, “If We Were Vampires,” is a strikingly beautiful and stripped-down love song for existentialists. On Shires’ new song, however, the singer combines more highly produced beats and riffs with twangy. Shania Twain-esque vocals, a complete sonic break from anything in the 400 Unit’s catalogue (or, for that matter, Shires’).
Where in the past, Shires nestled into her southern (at times, bluegrass) drawl, evoking sprawling rural landscapes and often maneuvering her instrument of choice, the fiddle, “Leave It Alone” is curiously close to pop. Dave Cobb, who’s known for his work with other country experimenters like Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton and also Isbell, is signed on as producer for To The Sunset. You can listen to the dance-y new track below and revisit Shires’ 2013 Daytrotter Session further down.