I first discovered Monroe through her involvement in the Annies, a trio that also includes Angaleena Presley and my beloved Miranda Lambert. I picked up Monroe’s second and third albums, both excellent, before looping back around to this one.
Liz Phair’s 2010 album Funstyle was self-released by the artist after she left Capitol Records. The album followed a couple of poorly-received stabs at a more commercial sound and signaled her increasing dissatisfaction with the direction of her career.
Funstyle fared a bit better, critically, but just a bit. It also seemed for awhile like the last thing Phair would release, until she returned 11 years later with the well-reviewed Soberish.
Monroe hit my radar as one of the three Pistol Annies, then won me over as a solo artist with her 2013 album Like a Rose. Its follow-up, 2015’s The Blade, was an even stronger record, making my expectations sky high for the upcoming Sparrow.