Most people know songwriter Angaleena Presley as one third of Pistol Annies, the outlaw country girl group comprised of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Presley who put their writing chops together to create their debut album Hell on Heels in 2011. What most don't know is that Presley has released two critically acclaimed studio albums on her own, the most recent being Wrangled, which dropped in April of this year via Thirty Tigers Records.
The album is a solo effort from Presley as she serves as a co-writer on all twelve tracks and as co-producer. However, there's a ton of notable songwriting collaborations throughout the album as well. The first track, “Dreams Don't Come True" was a reunion of sorts for the Pistol Annies as both Monroe and Lambert joined Presley to write the song.
Track number three, “Only Blood," was co-written with the acclaimed Chris Stapleton and features his wife Morgane on vocals. Later, the album features “Good Girl Down" which Presley co-wrote with the famed Wanda Jackson who has had a storied career as the “Queen of Rockabilly." Last but not least is “Cheer Up Little Darling," that Presley wrote with Guy Clark. It was the last song Clark completed before his death in May of 2016, which makes it a truly special track on the album.
Angaleena Presley's Album Wrangled
The album features a sound that is distinctly Presley's own throughout and each song allows Presley's stellar vocals to shine. “Only Blood" is a standout track that is a throwback to the country music sounds of yesteryear and features an almost gospel-like theme about being saved:
“Only blood is strong enough to wash away your sins
Only blood is strong enough to change the way you've been
Between Jesus and the Devil there's a path for you and me
Only blood can set you free
Only blood can set you free.."
“Country" is a song that features a sonic arrangement that is almost exactly the opposite. Featuring a hammering beat, the song is tongue-in-cheek take on country music, as Presley told Vice: "I had a very disheartening meeting where my publisher told me that my songs were amazing, just not right for the current climate. The climate was partly shady with 100% chance of dudes…. So, I went home from that meeting, thought about “the formula", all the trends that were happening on country radio, including rap, and wrote “Country" as a parody."
The entire album, parodies included, is an excellent offering to those who prefer a more traditional take on country music and is not to be missed!