Raised in the "live music capital of the world," eighteen-year-old Ariel Abshire has always been surrounded by great music and the people who make it. She started singing classic hardcore country at honky tonks and dance halls with Texas Music Hall of...
Raised in the "live music capital of the world," eighteen-year-old Ariel Abshire has always been surrounded by great music and the people who make it. She started singing classic hardcore country at honky tonks and dance halls with Texas Music Hall of Famer Alvin Crow at age eleven. For years, Austin's legendary Broken Spoke was Ariel's second home where her talents were nurtured by the likes of Pinetop Perkins, Clifford Antone, Dale Watson, and countless other Austin greats.
But Ariel's musical influences are not limited to the country realm. Stepfather, Lance Fever (lead singer for the notable 90s punk/ska band Gals Panic), introduced her to Austin’s alternative scene at an early age and steered his friend Andy Sharp toward producing her debut CD, “Exclamation Love.” This self-penned album of original material was immediately snatched up by San Diego label, Darla Records (My Morning Jacket, Robin Guthrie) and released just after Ariel’s seventeenth birthday. The record made several top ten lists and received critical acclaim from such A-list sources as The Boston Globe, The Austin Chronicle, Exclaim! and Some Velvet Blog. And the live act that followed earned her a spot on The Austin Chronicle’s ‘Top Ten Female Vocalists’ list of 2009.
Abshire is currently performing with her band in venues across Texas, and has recently shared the bill with Jerry Jeff Walker, Kellie Pickler, Roger Creager, Robert Earl Keen, Graham Reynold's Golden Arm Trio, etc. Her voice can also be heard on the soundtracks of feature films by Robert Rodriguez and Trevor Romain, numerous video game projects, and an animated cartoon for Adult Swim’s William Street Studios. A second record is in the works.
Boston Globe: Sound off by James Reed No offense to Miley Cyrus and Jordin Sparks, but the United States hasn't quite kept up with the British conveyor belt of young female pop stars. This year alone the United Kingdom has exported...
Austin Chronicle: Texas Platters by margaret Moser Ariel Abshire's debut disc, Exclamation Love (Darla), is an utterly exquisite and remarkable recording. At 17, Abshire has a voice that booms full-blown, and the lean instrumentation courtesy of...
Boston Globe: Sound off by James Reed No offense to Miley Cyrus and Jordin Sparks, but the United States hasn't quite kept up with the British conveyor belt of young female pop stars. This year alone the United Kingdom has exported Duffy (age 24), Amy Macdonald (21), Adele (20), and Laura Marling (who, at 18, is by far the oldest soul of all). We doubt they think the Cheetah Girls are a fair trade.
But now we've got our own ingenue to rally behind in Ariel Abshire (above), a 17-year-old singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. "Exclamation Love" is Abshire's debut, and the title track is so good it's worrisome. What if the first song is the prize on an otherwise dud album?
Yet the recording, which is officially being released on Tuesday but is already available through Darla Records (www.darla.com) and iTunes, just gets better with each listen.
Befitting Abshire's hometown, her brand of pop-rock is flush with rootsy guitars, mandolins, organ, strings, and a gripping piano closer, "Everybody Does." As expected, she still sounds like some of her likely influences. On "Subscriptions and Lies," you could easily mistake Abshire for Jenny Lewis, right down to the imagery: "It's the time of month magazines arrive/Subscriptions, prescriptions, addictions, and lies.
Just like Janis Ian, Abshire sounds like she's already learned the truth at 17. JAMES REED
Austin Chronicle: Texas Platters by margaret Moser Ariel Abshire's debut disc, Exclamation Love (Darla), is an utterly exquisite and remarkable recording. At 17, Abshire has a voice that booms full-blown, and the lean instrumentation courtesy of producer Andy Sharp frames those vocals gracefully. Once you get past being knocked out by her voice – Abshire studied at Natural Ear Music School and often performs with Alvin Crow's Hardcore Country – her songwriting takes center stage. "Goddamn geography and the tectonic plates, making America shaped this way; it would never work out, I know," she sings in "Goddamn New Mexico" with enough passion and heartfelt soul to make her the premier singer-songwriter of Austin's under-18 set. There's a sweetness to Abshire's writing that can be written off as youth, but it's universal youth, the one that lives inside anyone who ever survived heartbreak at 16.
Some Velvet Blog: Ariel Abshire is Hot by Bruce Warren Some Velvet Blog
Ariel Abshire is hot. 17 years young, the young la...
Ariel Abshire is hot. 17 years young, the young lady released her debut album
Exclamation Love last year on Darla Records.
From Austin, Ariel was one of this year's SXSW secrets. Like Jenny
Lewis, Neko Case & Nicole Atkins, Ariel's got a thang; mostly it's
that voice and with her wide-eyed (just look at those eyes!)
confidence. There's no pretention in these songs; just emotionally
felt, straight forward songs from the heart not a research chart!
She's bound for some glory.
Indiepop SpinZone by Every once in a great
while a thing comes along that is so beyond our mortal expectations
that it leaves us speechless, completely numbed and dumbstruck. This is
just such a thing. The marvel here is that this album is a tour of
delight and misery, of love and rejection, hate, suffering and joy and
redemption. These complex emotions are wrapped in songs so catchy with
lyrics so insightful you are instantly their prisoner and singing the
entire album by the second listen. Then you realize this revelation,
this near masterpiece, is the work of a 17 year old girl. That is when
the thunder claps, and the brimstone is smelled. It also doesn't take
long to strike upon listening, as the opening and title track is the
most white hot and impassioned ode to unrequited love I have ever
heard. Musically the song is brilliantly sublime with a martial beat
which makes her incredibly empassioned lryics hit home like a
juggernaut of emotion. Kicks ass doesn't even begin to describe this,
and ohh... Lord, what a voice. I have long been repulsed by the
talentless worms who grovel for their moment of "fame" by debasing
themselves to get on the hideous program called "American Idol". You
want someone to worship and idolize? There is a girl from Austin Texas
named Ariel who didn't wait for the tour to come to her town. She went
out and made her album and it is wise beyond her years and heady beyond
her experiences, or perhaps not and that is the really amazing thing
about it. In any event, it deserves your idolatry far more than that
tripe does. I'll rate this one Holy crap with a bullet.