Raised in the "live music capital of the world," Twenty 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, 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 has just finished recording several guest vocal parts on Matt Pond PA's new EP "Spring Fools" and also his forthcoming album. Also, she 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, Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs, 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.
Abshire released her second full-length album,"Still So New," in August of 2011.
Ariel Abshire - Lead Guitar & Vocals
Exclamation Love (LP - Darla Records)
Guest vocals on Matt Pond's new EP "Spring Fools"
Cardboard (Single - Darla Records)
Radio Airplay: 'Exclamation Love' (single) and 'I Didn't Know People Could Do That' (single) have received the following airplay:
KCRW 89.9 (Los Angeles)
KVRX (Austin- top 39)
WXYC (Chapel Hill, NC)
BBC Radio 2 (Steve Lamacq Show)
Americana OK radio show, featured on:
Radio Six International
Kyou Radio San Fran
WGWG 88.3 (N/S Carolina)
Goldrush 1440 (New Zealand)
European CMA Radio
Irish Country Music radio
Country Music 24 (Germany)
Edge Radio (Tasmania, Austr.)
Radio Seagull (Netherlands)
WTUL (New Orleans)
Fevered Brain Radio Mike
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No offense to Miley Cyrus and Jordin Sparks, but the United States hasn't quite kept up with the Bri...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
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Ariel Abshire's debut disc, Exclamation Love (Darla), is an utterly exquisite and remarkable recordi...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.
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Every once in a great while a thing comes along that is so beyond our mortal expectations that it ...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.
Ariel Abshire is Hot
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Ariel Abshire is hot. 17 years young, the young lady released her debut album Exclamation Love last...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.
Ariel Abshire- This Kid's Got True Soul
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Ariel Abshire from Austin, Texas – she’s got pipes, range, and songwriting skills- She reminds me of...Ariel Abshire from Austin, Texas – she’s got pipes, range, and songwriting skills- She reminds me of Hope Sandavol, Janis Ian and Pasty Cline- back in the day- ‘Society’s Child’, ‘Crazy’ talented, and ‘She Shines Brightly.’ You know the score – Pop, soul, country and screen- Triple Threat here- ingenue ala Glen Campbell-esque. Darla Records will be releasing her debut in October. Until then- click on her MySpace and tune in now. You can find a track of her’s on ITunes now. Provided Ariel remains spiritually fit, surrounds herself with honorable people, and records only the best songs – She will make a living doing what she loves. Ariel: Take all the time you need. Stay Strong. And shout at the devil.
Exclamation Love Album Review
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A pretty remarkable, if slightly flawed, debut album from seventeen-year-old Texas singer-songwriter...A pretty remarkable, if slightly flawed, debut album from seventeen-year-old Texas singer-songwriter Ariel Abshire, give her a few years and she'll no doubt be headlining Town Hall. The best songs on here demonstrate a classic timelessness and maturity that totally belie her young age. As to the rest, well, maybe I'm just getting a little too old and cranky to relate, so let's go ahead and not hold my grumpiness against her. Honestly, you could call it a great album due to the title track alone, a near perfect song that brings to mind everything I love about Neko Case and Richard Hawley, sung with the raspy assuredness of Jackie DeShannon's early work. It's easily one of the singles of the year, making the whole album worth a listen, and Abshire's career one to watch.
-Michael Klausman (November 7, 2008)
Review of Little Darla Has a Treat for You Compilation
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Even after 16 years, Darla Records is still releasing its Little Darla Has A Treat For You compilati...Even after 16 years, Darla Records is still releasing its Little Darla Has A Treat For You compilations despite the fact that the independent music scene has changed an awful lot in that time. It used to be that CD samplers like this were a vital way for bands to be discovered by new audiences, whereas now there are hundreds of websites providing the same service free of charge. Still, the 27th volume in the series has a few things going for it. First of all, the impressive roster of artists covers a lot of ground, from the classic indie pop and shoegazing Darla built its reputation on through to electronic and experimental music that sometimes sit uncomfortably sandwiched between other artists, presented in alphabetical order, rather than trying to make the whole thing flow nicely. In a strange way, the music almost takes a backseat to the packaging, which is adorned with more than 200 music-related quotes and has been produced with all-recycled materials and soy-based inks. But just one listen to such glorious and exclusive moments as the Ariel Abshire and Japancakes collaboration on "Cardboard" is enough to remind you of just why the Little Darla series was always so exciting — there's nothing quite like discovering a new favourite song.
She Was Just 17
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She Was Just 17 Smells like teen spirit part 2: 'Just as good as the boys can' BY MARGARET MOSER ...She Was Just 17
Smells like teen spirit part 2: 'Just as good as the boys can'
BY MARGARET MOSER
If Austin's teen music scene exudes a whiff of hype (see "SmellsLike Teen Spirit," Oct. 24, 2008), consider this: Seventeen-year-oldAriel Abshire released her debut album, Exclamation Love, inlate October on Darla Records. Abshire didn't solicit the small butprestigious California-based label, which broke My Morning Jacket,recorded the American Analog Set, and keeps alive Klaus Nomi. It foundher on MySpace.
"[Darla] said they don't usually do that – they get a millionrequests a day," acknowledges Abshire. "It took a long time to getaround my being a minor, [since] it's difficult to sign a contractbecause it's not really set in stone."
More concrete is the fact that Abshire is only one of dozens of young women 21 and under making their mark in Austin.
It didn't hurt that Abshire's stepfather, Lance Myers, was inpopular 1990s ska band Gals Panic and steered his friend Andy Sharptoward producing her. Another major stepping stone was starting atNatural Ear Music School before her teens and that founder MicheleMurphy put her under the tutelage of Austin Music Awards Hall of Famefiddler Alvin Crow. Soon she was singing with Crow's Hardcore Countryat the Broken Spoke.
"Being with him a few times a month since I was 11 has had a hugeimpact on me," enthuses Abshire. "I sang my first show at the Spokewhen I was 12. Hardcore Country Night influenced me on my album. It'swhy the instrumentation is simple."
Exclamation Love is a rare recording and not because ofAbshire's age. Her youth lends it a love-struck poignancy, but it's theauthenticity of her music that makes it so striking, bare emotionexpressed poetically against lean arrangements. Her lyrical bite mightbetray baby teeth in places, but the impression it leaves is permanent.Exclamation Love is nothing if not fully realized.
"Ninth to 10th grade was when I wrote these songs," she reveals."The most recent ones, I was 16 when I wrote them – 'Exclamation Love'and 'Subscriptions and Lies.' But most of them I started when I was 14and 15 and ended up finishing them later. It's good to look back onyour true feelings, not clouded by the feelings of the moment, then youcan write about it."
Classic Track of the Day - Ariel Abshire
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Let’s face it God is Good. But Texas is better. No, not really. But Austin seems to be a breeding gr...Let’s face it God is Good. But Texas is better. No, not really. But Austin seems to be a breeding ground for dangerous talent – 13 Floor Elevators, Golden Dawn, Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson, and more. It’s my pleasure to share with you a new talent – Ariel Abshire. You may have read another post about her- but her debut came in the mail the other day (out on Darla in October) and I was much obliged to listen. It’s my feeling that her talent is much greater than her debut material. I am thinking of this record as her nebula – It is the first stage of a star’s cycle – that which will shine brighter with each tracking session.
My old boss, Ken Sarachan of Rasputin Music would let me watch him sort through used LP’s late at night- It was amazin’ – so many great records. That’s where he turned my on to a young Janis Ian and other “ingenues” who had that undefined thing- that innocence that Alex Chilton described when composing “13? with Big Star. HappyParts really wants Ariel to sing Jefferson Parker’s tune- “Don’t You Ever Fall” from Dilettantes’ “101 Tambourines.” She would knock that tune out of the park. Next Record Ariel? Until then- dig the sounds of a wanderlust composition written at the age of 15. Delicately produced by Andy Sharp- there are indeed some timeless recordings on this record. Now get out there and kill it, Ariel.
ARIEL ABSHIRE - STILL SO NEW August 30, 2011
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Ariel is 19, the same age Adele was when she released her successful debut album two years ago. Like...Ariel is 19, the same age Adele was when she released her successful debut album two years ago. Like Adele, Ariel has a voice that is much bigger than her age would suggest. But where Adele scores by sheer force, Ariel builds anticipation by holding back.
Gentle restraint sets the tone on her album ‘Still So New’ and only occasionally does Ariel let her voice soar like a pretty but deadly kitty hawk. Listen to the chorus of ‘No Great Pretender’ and tell me the hairs on your neck aren’t standing up.It’s an accomplished tightrope walk between urban cool and the occasional glimpse of honky tonk fire that Ariel performs on her new songs. Raised in Austin, Texas, Ariel has been singing hardcore country since the age of 11. She’s also well steeped in the Blues, having hung out with the late great piano player Pinetop Perkins and the late music mogul Clifford Antone, who is widely credited with discovering Stevie Ray Vaughan back in the day.
Such solid musical education pays off and Ariel now possesses a voice and a writer’s touch that transcends genre boundaries. With THAT voice, Ariel could sing anything. That she chooses to drape her new album in what can be loosely described as contemporary Country is kind of secondary. With it’s timeless songwriting and restrained arrangements ‘Still So New’ has a universally laid back vibe that doesn’t sound out of place if you blast it on your car stereo during an urban ride.
‘Still So New’ is Ariel’s second album, following her debut ‘Exclamation Love’ from 2008. It’s a showcase for a singer and songwriter who has found her voice but has not been pigeonholed yet. From here, Ariel can go anywhere she chooses.
Free and legal MP3: Ariel Abshire (swift & sweet, w/ a knowing hook) Thursday June 9, 2011
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The swift and simple “No Great Pretender” is an object lesson in the power of a good hook, while als...The swift and simple “No Great Pretender” is an object lesson in the power of a good hook, while also an object lesson in the mysteries of what comprises a hook in the first place. The hook in question is found in the interval leaping, first up then down, that launches the chorus, with the lyric “But you caught me red-handed.”
The first leap is made between the words “you” and “caught,” and it’s a sixth interval—a relatively large space between two notes in a melody, so you notice it, but by itself not really a hook. See what happens next, however: Abshire plunges back down, this time making it a two-part interval, splitting the word “red-handed” into two different notes. There’s music theory stuff going on here that I can’t quite get my arms around but the notable thing (pun intended) is that she lands, on “handed,” a whole note below where she started; from end to end here we’ve got a major seventh interval, which melodically has deep, intrinsic appeal. Not a lot of songs sketch this interval out. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” does, but gets there with a transition at the top of the interval. Here, Abshire gets us there at the bottom. The hook is at once subtle and powerful.
So here’s a young singer/songwriter with some serious songwriting chops. Check out when she returns to the chorus after the bridge, at 2:07, and what does she do but eliminate the hook this time entirely: first skipping the “red-handed” part and then altering the melody on the “never surrender” part. It’s a tease, and of course sets up one last return before the song wraps up, not even three minutes old.
All of this talk is to take nothing away from her voice, which is strong and sweet and true. I discussed this last time she was here, in April 2009. She was 17 at that point, with one record under her belt, but a number of years of experience already singing around Austin. “No Great Pretender” is a track from her second album, the appropriately titled Still So New, due out in August. Thanks to Largehearted Boy for the lead.
ARIEL ABSHIRE - STILL SO NEW
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Ariel Abshire is weeks away from making ripples again with her latest release. Published: 12-07-11 ...Ariel Abshire is weeks away from making ripples again with her latest release.
Words: Emily Saxton
16 Aug 2011
Following the hushed success of her debut album, Exclamation Love back in 2008, Ariel Abshire is weeks away from making ripples again with her latest release. Still So New is filled with the echoes of yesteryear pop, fused with the various sounds of country music, and Abshire’s sweet, light hearted vocals rooting the album in its genre.
Good Life and No Great Pretender share similar song structures to Jessica Andrews, both demonstrating the poppier sounding country that is currently filling the American airwaves. The waltzing Can’t Remember You, with its simple lyrics, prominent piano keys, and a haunting guitar bridge through the middle of the arrangement is a gem, while the shuffling honky-tonk feel of Cheat carries lyrics of infatuated love, partnered with a harmonic pedal steel guitar.
If This Is All I Get is another that gives a nod to the more traditional side of country music. With its gentle violins and progressive acoustics, it tells a poignant story somewhere between lost and disappointed love; something that Abshire does well.
“If this is all I get, if this is all it is, then I don’t know if I wanna love anymore. You can’t give to me your entire heart; then I don’t know if I wanna love anymore.”
Many of the new tracks are centred on similar themes, country heartbreakers Nothing New and She’s on Your Mind in particular telling lovelorn tales that reach a tingling climax. Such stories are accompanied by soaring melodies, and enhanced by Abshire’s gifted vocals, reach out to the listener with their Country edge.
This isn’t just an album of country music however, as Abshire so creatively and seamlessly demonstrates. The acoustically arranged Essex is perhaps the most alternative sounding song on the whole album. With interesting arpeggio bell and vocal arrangements, as well as varying instrumental sections throughout, the song shares structure styles with solo material from Andrea and Sharon Corr, as well as sharing musicality with singer/songwriters Katie Melua and Leddra Chapman.
The lyrically rich Cardboard meanwhile, has an interesting concept of treasuring an unrequited love, curiously by creating replicas of the lover from cardboard, plastic, and wood.
“I’d like to cut you out of cardboard, and prop you up beside my bed, to see when I wake up, before I go to sleep and I kiss you on your cardboard cheek.”
Every Man on the other hand seems to cause the tempo and flow of the album to decrease, its slow chorus arrangement failing to do the song justice. With favourable visual lyrics and dream-like atmospherics however, the track is not without its charm. Finally, the quietly effective album finisher, Fourth of July requires little from the listener, but perhaps runs the risk of being overlooked.
Still So New is an album with musical freshness; a record with vividly satisfying lyrics and diverse musicality that is a credit to its creator. There’s a wave of singer-songwriting geniuses newly emerging; from Leddra Chapman to Delta Maid, and Ariel Abshire is right up there with them. She’s definitely one to watch, and we wait to see if this record will match the quiet success of her debut.
Ariel Abshire: The Girl from Port Austin
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Ariel Abshire, a fresh-faced Zooey Deschanel look-a-like from Austin, is making a stop at the Logon ...Ariel Abshire, a fresh-faced Zooey Deschanel look-a-like from Austin, is making a stop at the Logon Cafe while she is touring through different parts of Texas.
Before giving her a call, I searched for her on YouTube. With her sweet looks, I was honestly expecting something cutesy and catchy.
Let’s just say I was wrong. Her songs are powerful, yet tender. And after watching a live version of her covering Lady Gaga’s “Speechless,” I was pretty blown away.
The 19-year-old folksy singer/songwriter actually hails from Nederland and said she is looking forward to performing at one of the live music venues in her hometown.
Abshire began singing professionally at age 11 at “one of the last true Honky Tonks” called The Broken Spoke in Austin with country music veteran and Hall of Famer Alvin Crow.
With help from her step-dad, Lance Myers (known in the music business as “Lance Fever” from Gals Panic, an Austin-based ska-punk band from the ’90s), Abshire has gone from performing mostly country covers to developing her own sense of musical storytelling.
Abshire’s first album, “Exclamation Love,” was released when she was 17. She is now finishing up the last minute workings for her second release, “Still So New,” due out in August.
“I feel pretty proud of that one (‘Exclamation Love’) because I wrote most of it when I was about 14 or 15,” she said. “This new one, coming out on Aug. 17, I have worked on for three years and I’m very excited for everyone to hear it.”
Singing for years with Crow led Abshire far away from the words and sound of country-pop divas like Taylor Swift or Miranda Lambert.
“I played with a Texas legend and working with him shaped the way I write, play, sing, everything,” Abshire said. “I just write what I’m feeling and what comes out has a mind of its own.”
When writing the songs for “Still So New,” Abshire drew from personal experience.
“I have gone through a few boyfriends and weird almost-boyfriends and relationships,” she said. “I started writing when I was home-schooled, so there is some isolation, but also love and happiness.”
The biggest theme for her album is growing up — more importantly, getting “there,” wherever there might be.
“I’m turning 20 on Aug. 3,” she said, but quickly added that she still lives with her parents. “I can’t imagine not living with them yet.”
Though she’s lived in Austin since she was a kid, Abshire still refers to Southeast Texas as home and wishes she could return more often. This will be her first time performing in Beaumont.
Abshire and her two bandmates, Jeremy and Jason, are all from Southeast Texas. The two, who play bass and backup guitar, attended high school with Abshire’s parents in Nederland and they all moved to Austin around the same time.
“We’re a band of Cajuns,” she said, laughing.
“My friends call it ‘Port Austin’,” said Abshire about how many Southeast Texas locals transplant themselves to Austin. “Everyone we meet is from back home, too.
Being from this area myself, I had to test Abshire to make sure she was still a Mid-County girl. So, I asked, what’s your favorite Southeast Texas spot?
“Tugboat Island is the best,” she said about the playground in Port Neches. “The tire swing is the best tire swing in the world. And the weird spider thing that you climb — that’s the best.”
Passed with flying colors.
Ariel Abshire in a nutshell
Music: Folksy, sweet, sincere with a twinge of country
Look: She can usually be found onstage in a sun dress, pair of earrings and giant wedges (she’s 5’1”).
What she would do besides music: Hair and makeup
What to expect at her show: Weird jokes, connection with people in the audience and some well-known covers. (My fingers are crossed for “Speechless.”)
The typical Ariel Abshire set lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours and consists of the following original songs and much more:
'No Great Pretender'
'She's On Your Mind'
'Goddamn New Mexico'
'Can't Remember You'
There are no upcoming dates at this time.