Now that Miranda Lambert has become country’s leading female artist she has the opportunity to branch outside of her solo career and embark on numerous projects. One of those projects was forming the new trio Pistol Annies, which includes Miranda and singer-songwriter Ashley Monroe and songwriter Angaleena Presley. They made their debut back in April during the taping of the ACM special, Girls Night Out. Now they’ve released their debut single “Hell on Heels” to country radio. Will the single prove to be the group’s breakout hit?
With the Dixie Chicks not expected to release new music any time soon there is a current void in country music which can only be filled by another spectacular “girl group.” Judging by “Hell on Heels,” Pistol Annies just might be the trio to fill that void.
“Hell on Heels” is all kinds of interesting if you ask me. Starting with the interesting format the trio uses by allowing each singer to participate in the telling of stories about what they received during their gold-digging(esque) ways. Presley’s verse finds her singing about how a diamond ring was “the only good thing that came from that man.” The next verse has Miranda delivering lines about receiving a guitar and a car from “ol’ what’s his name [she] met at a bar.” Monroe delivers one of the song’s best lines about still using “poor, ol’ Billy’s” credit card. Each verse is filled with plenty of sass and attitude that a song of this nature requires.
The simple bluegrass/country production is pure brilliance. The introduction is a simple acoustic guitar line that is later joined by a light drum beat and more guitars as the song progresses to the bridge. The use of a simplistic production allows the vocal performance and the lyrics of the song to be the focal point.
On “Hell on Heels,” each member of the trio delivers fantastic individual vocal performances that show off each singer’s unique vocal styling. Miranda has the edgy, attitude laden voice, Ashley delivers the raspy, tender vocal, and Angaleena’s voice exudes soul and raw talent. When blended together, the trio delivers some of the best harmonies that haven’t been heard since the Dixie Chicks were on top of the country music industry.
With their unique sound, edgy look, and brilliant three part harmonies, it’ll be no surprise to see Pistol Annies competing with the current top groups like Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band. They are off to a great start with “Hell on Heels” which I’m dubbing as one of the best singles of 2011.