After releasing their self-titled debut, Court Yard Hounds, to much critical acclaim, Emily Robison and Martie Maguire are at it again. Containing 11 new tracks, Robison and Maguire took a different approach with Amelita than their debut album in 2010. This album contains a new perspective, which is due in part to time passed since Robison's divorce. "I've been freed of all of those time-heals-everything kind of things," says Emily Robison. "Now, I've opened up to other ideas and ways of looking at life and the world."
"I think it's not only a more hopeful album, but it's more … well fun," adds Robinson.
The new direction is apparent on title track "Amelita," which has a breezy south-of-the-border sound, or "Phoebe," which calls in a frenetic, anxious melody, and chillingly close harmonies. Lead single, "Sunshine," co-written by acclaimed singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke along with Martin Strayer and Alex Dezen, oozes with irony as the girls flash their carefully manicured claws through silken harmonies.
Robison's vocals captivate listeners as she sings lead on most tracks, while Maguire co-wrote seven of the 11 songs on the album, penned "Road You Take" herself, and sings lead on "Guy Like You," which she wrote with guitarist Martin Strayer.
The girls teamed up with the same producer, Jim Scott, who they've had a true connection with since their first album. Surrounding themselves with Jim and guitarist Martin Strayer, who was also an integral part of the first album, the girls took a comfortable and pro-active approach to creating their music this time around. "I think we've approached it differently because we felt like okay, we are a band. We aren't just two ex-Dixie Chicks anymore, we're a band and we like our sound and we're going to continue to do this and hopefully get better at it, and share something new this time around," said Maguire.
The Court Yard Hounds' new album is a clear statement of who the girls are as artists, defining their sound as a band, with soaring songs that are personal, yet familiar and widely relatable.