Pistol Annies began their life with a flurry of activity, releasing two albums in 20 months, which made their announcement of a hiatus months after the release of Annie Up seem all the more sudden. Just when the trio of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley appeared to hit cruising altitude, they came to a crashing halt, but such quick shifts in speed are not only the thing of life, they're what fuel their 2018 reunion album, Interstate Gospel. Between Annie Up and Interstate Gospel, all three Annies encountered some kind of change -- as the group's biggest star, Lambert saw her personal life splattered across the tabloids, but her bandmates saw their share of upheaval, too -- and those experiences fuel their third album.
The Pistol Annies — Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley — who have previously recorded two of the smartest and most sophisticated albums on gender and sex, have outdone themselves with Interstate Gospel. The new album is more ambivalent, deeper and more bittersweet, casting a more melancholy hue. It is an album that tackles what they call "generations of shame," trying to tell the truth in a genre that often encourages lies, especially lies about the comforts of home.
It is an album about how terrible men are ….
Whenever I think about Pistol Annies, I think, invariably, of something Ashley Monroe told an interviewer shortly after the trio formed in 2011. Talking about her nickname within the group--"Hippie Annie"--Monroe explained, "I always said I was a hillbilly hippie. I want everybody to be fine; I want everybody to be calm and love each other, and the world to be bright and pretty.
'W e sing a lot about unhappiness and that makes us very happy!" Miranda Lambert said at Pistol Annies' surprise comeback show. The country supergroup she formed with Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley in 2011 were apparently high on life writing their third album, a luscious and intelligent examination of female dejection. Their lyrics may appear cartoonish: cold-hearted Cheyenne "lives for the nightlife and trashy tattoos", and the spurned ex of When I Was His Wife recalls how she was "blinded by diamonds and driven by lust".
Not that long ago, a Pistol Annies performance felt like a diversion. The country supergroup trio of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley brought together three of the field's top songwriters for a bit of performance art. None of the three shy away from any topic in their own writing, but the Annies centered on a Friday night out, a bit of id neatly package in twangy humor and recklessness.