Hell On Heels
Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley formed Pistol Annies in 2011, and Hell on Heels instantly established them as a supergroup. The trio’s debut album took country's ideals of honest storytelling, rich harmonies, and gritty femininity in decidedly 21st-century directions. Hell on Heels’ bare-bones arrangements offered breathing space from bro country’s radio-dominating brawn, while its lyrics concisely chronicled the ups and downs of womens' real-life experiences. Hell on Heels opens with its steely-eyed title track, a manifesto for the group both musically and lyrically: It smolders as the three declare themselves heartbreakers on a mission, out for the spoils—cars, apartments, guitars—offered them by men who ultimately wound up not being worth the emotional effort. As they do on the rest of the album, Lambert, Monroe, and Presley weave their voices together as they engage in insouciant boasting. But Hell on Heels isn't all revelry. With storytelling acumen and bone-dry humor, they tackle depression, addiction, and the moments where women get fed up. The languorous "Housewife's Prayer" starts with a musing about "setting my house on fire" and plainly lays out a mother's malaise from there, and the sauntering "Trailer for Rent” is a snapshot of a woman who, despite being pushed to the brink, manages to hold onto optimism.