It’s very rare in today’s music scene to find an artist who is both a critical darling and commercially successful, much less in the niche Americana genre. Thankfully, we have veteran singer-songwriter Amanda Shires to lead the way, having paved out a sound all her own for the last 25 years. An accomplished fiddle player, founder of the acclaimed supergroup The Highwomen and now a 40-year-old in a genre increasingly filled with younger faces, Shires remains one of the treasures of Americana. And with her newest single, “Hawk For The Dove,” Shires continues her nonstop ascent.

“Hawk For The Dove” is, more than anything, a very mature, haunting song, right down to its eerie folk-rock vibe and Shires’ Dolly Parton-esque vocals. There’s a mix of Shires’ fiddle work amid electric guitar — provided by her husband and musical partner, country legend Jason Isbell — but what really sells the song are the lyrics. The track starts off on a threatening yet confident note with, “I’m well aware of what the night’s made of / And I’m coming for you like a hawk for the dove,” and further transitions to the repeated chorus of, “You can call it serious trouble / ‘Cuz that’s what I want.” Shires doesn’t back away from her age in the song — in fact, she wants listeners to be aware of it:

“I want people to know that it’s okay to be a 40-year-old woman and be more than just a character in somebody else’s life. The song and the visual representation of the song deal with the emotions that turn prey into predator.”

As such, the music video for “Hawk For The Dove” matches the tone of the song perfectly. Shot in pristine black-and-white, the video shows Shires going through a wardrobe of leather jackets and lingerie — full of bustiers, corsets and BDSM handcuffs — as she drinks wine, applies makeup and stares at herself in the mirror. Meanwhile, a series of images show hawks flying through the Los Angeles skyline amid palm trees and tall buildings. Eventually, after giving herself a look over and writhing around on a bed, Shires opts instead for a look based on the winged predator. Her eyes turn bright yellow — the only color in the video — and she makes her eyeliner exaggerated to the point where it mimics that of a hawk. The video ends with Shires perched on a rooftop, overlooking the city like the self-assured bird of prey — and woman — that she knows she is.

With both its powerful music video and atmospheric style, “Hawk For The Dove” is yet another track that proves just how talented Shires is as a musician and how relevant her music is today — especially for listeners who want to embrace their inner predator in a world that makes them out to be only prey. Amanda Shires’ upcoming album, Take It Like a Man, will release July 29 via ATO Records. Tour information in support of the album is forthcoming. Take a listen to “Hawk For The Dove,” and watch its evocative music video, below!

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