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Songs We Love: Allison Pierce, 'Fool Him'

Allison Pierce's new album, <em>Year Of The Rabbit</em>, comes out Friday.
LeAnn Mueller
Courtesy of the artist
Allison Pierce's new album, Year Of The Rabbit, comes out Friday.

Recording as the folk-pop duo The Pierces, Allison and Catherine Pierce have enjoyed a fruitful run of albums dating back to the turn of the century — never quite breaking all the way, but still landing festival spots, touring the world, attracting strong reviews, and even providing the theme song for the TV series Pretty Little Liars. The Pierces project is now on hiatus, but the Alabama-born sisters both have fresh solo projects, each with its own distinct identity.

Catherine Pierce, recording under the name CAT, released her first solo single earlier this year, and it showcases a moody and mysterious electro-pop approach. But Allison Pierce leans in an altogether different direction — from both her sister's solo work and the five albums they've made together — as she polishes up a soft Americana sound that situates her comfortably alongside modern, folk-leaning country stalwarts like Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe. (Which is to say: She's great.)

Pierce's full-length solo debut, Year Of The Rabbit, comes out Friday, and it's a gem — a big, consistently ingratiating batch of brightly rendered, sweetly hooky songs about growing up, getting smart and refashioning yourself into the person you need to be. "Fool Him" kicks it off on an auspicious note, as Pierce spins a wry story about broken trust, complete with a soaring chorus that doubles as a fine mission statement: "Sing a love song / And sing it louder."

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)