Five long years have passed since the Pistol Annies’ second album Annie Up and in that time Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley have all released critically acclaimed solo albums and been through some serious living. Thankfully Holler, Hippie and Lone Star Annie have finally found time in their busy and dramatic lives to reunite and record a new album.
Over the last few days fans have been getting postcards in the mail from the band, which might seem retro but these slices of American life are signs which tell a story. Hidden on these postcards are clues to the new album, which fans have been encouraged to share on social media using the hashtag #PistolAnniesAreBack.
Here’s everything we know about the album so far (also keep checking the hashtag for real time updates).
1.The Album Was Recorded in July
Our first clue to the band getting back together was in January this year when Miranda posted a picture of her guitar and notebook with the hashtag ‘maybepistolannies’. In March the band joined Miranda on stage to sing a couple of songs and in April Ashley told an interviewer, ‘We’ve been writing, and we’ve written some of my favorite songs I’ve ever written in my life.’ In July a picture of all three Annies in the studio was posted to Instagram with the hashtag ‘staytuned’. Later that month Angaleena confirmed that the album was complete.
No word on the producers yet either but both previous Annies albums have involved Miranda’s producer Frank Liddell so I expect him to be involved. Ashley has just released her album with Dave Cobb and considering his prolific work this year I wouldn’t be hugely surprised if the girls have worked with him too.*
*UPDATE: producers confirmed as Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf and Eric Masse who all worked on ‘The Weight of These Wings’. Sadly no Dave Cobb but maybe next time!
2.The Album Release Date is November 2nd
On the postcards the band ask fans to look for a ‘sign’ that new music is coming. On the little stamp in the corner of the postcard is a road sign with the numbers 112, which could be interpreted as a release date of November 2nd. We know for certain the album is ready to go and should be released before the end of the year.
*Update: release date confirmed as Friday November 2nd!
3.The Tracklisting is Fire
Through the clues on the postcards fans have pieced together a tracklist and lyrics which suggest the band have a lot of fire to burn. Here’s the list and all the lyrics we know so far:
1. Interstate Prelude
If you can’t stand the heat / Turn the prayer conditioner up
2. Stop, Drop & Roll One
Sometimes the drifters are daises / Sometimes the sane ones are crazies
3. Best Years of My Life
I’ve got the hankering for intellectual emptiness
4. Five Acres of Turnips
Don’t take it for granted / Reap what you’ve planted
5. When I Was His Wife
He’s strong when I’m weak and sweet when I cry / I’ll always be the apple of his eye
She’s fast like a train / Nobody can slow her
7. Got My Name Changed Back
Hard to win when you play the fool / That’s something they don’t teach you in school
8. Sugar Daddy
Got a boat on the dock / Calls it ‘Why Knot’
9. Leaver’s Lullaby
It ain’t worth the time / That it’s gonna take to change me
10. Milk Man
If I could be more like Mama / Maybe she wouldn’t judge me
I baked a cake for Tanya Lee / But didn’t tell her why you had to leave
Once You’ve Been Framed / You Can’t Get Out
13. Interstate Gospel
If You Can’t Stand The Heat / Turn the Prayer Conditioner Up
14. This Too Shall Pass
If You Always Feel Like You’re Doing Something Wrong / You Must Be Doing Something Right
All tracks are written by Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, except “This Too Shall Pass,” which is written by Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley.
With lyrics like these we know the Annies will be giving us their usual dose of heartbreak and humour (prayer conditioner, anyone?!). In an email sent out to fans the band have described this record as sounding like ‘three women came unleashed and told a bunch of truth. We didn’t hold back and we’re proud of it.’ We can’t wait.
*UPDATE: Three songs are available to stream RIGHT NOW!
4. The Album Title is ‘Interstate Gospel’
The band have confirmed that the album title is already out in the world. They uploaded a playlist to Spotify called ‘Pistol Annies: Interstate Gospel’ which contains songs from their previous albums, plus solo material from all three Annies. The album tracklisting has Interstate Gospel appearing twice, first as the opening prelude and then towards the end of the album. Both these clues suggest this is a likely album title. And in my opinion it is perfect title for an album by three women from different states who’ve come together to spread the word about life, love and country music.
*UPDATE: this is now confirmed as the title!
5. Live Dates Are Happening
The band’s record label are currently running a promotion to give away free flight and tickets to an ‘upcoming show’ (you have to follow them on Spotify or Apple Music in order to enter). The girls have performed live together in the past but recently appearances have been restricted to a couple of songs as part of Miranda’s live shows. With Angaleena’s baby being due in January it’s doubtful that the band intend to tour heavily but this at least confirms there will be Pistol Annies’ shows in some form.
UPDATE:The band will play Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on October 25, NYC’s intimate venue The Town Hall on November 2 and LA’s breakout downtown concert hall The Novo on November 7. Tickets go on sale on Friday, October 5.
One thing is sure: we need these ladies now more than ever. Women’s voices in music, specifically country music, need to be heard. These three women working and singing together is a powerful way to make that happen.