Piney Gir hails from the American Midwest, home of wide-open plains with sunflowers that go on as far as the Earth curves. The “you’re not in Kansas anymore” jokes never wear thin, because Piney embraces her heritage bringing it with her to the UK, where she’s lived in London for over a decade now (yes she does have a sparkly red shoe collection & yes she wears a lot of gingham).
Piney was raised to fear God, like a lot of kids in the Bible-belt she wasn’t taught about Darwin in schools, she memorised Bible verses and chapters every week... It was this religious upbringing that spurred her into rock ‘n’ roll. “All we like sheep have gone astray...” Isaiah 53:6.
All teenagers rebel, but Piney had a lot to rebel against and so she went through a series of extremes on an epic journey to figure out what’s what and who the heck she actually is. She was a bit of a Laura Palmer, with a mysterious double life burbling underneath her wholesome persona. After lots of phases, from pop to goth, hippy, rocker, hip-hopper, metaller, psychedelic traveller, straight-edger, grunger, raver, country rocker, folky lady, funkadelic, electro-girl, jazz lover, mod, rockabilly quiff-wearer... she finally settled on ‘everything’ as a genre for herself. Because the conclusion that Piney came to was that she didn’t need to be categorised and that maybe not being categorised could be her niche. “If you appreciate many types of music, why only limit yourself to one thing all the time? So much inspires me!” she says. But there is a Piney Sound: it’s perfectly-formed indie-pop with tuneful riffs and Piney’s lovely voice unifying it all. With that lyrical rhyme/reason that you can’t quite put your finger on; it’s pleasing, charming and poetic.
Piney Gir thanks the church for her early music education – she went to one of those Pentecostal churches with speaking in tongues and fainting – music was a big part of the Sunday ritual and there was a lot of drama in the sermons. She also thanks her glamorous Aunt Mary for the piano lessons without whom she would have never learned her scales... she then took up the drums and studied them for 10 years going to University to major in music. Her drums were nicked from her ghetto apartment, and so she changed her major to voice (which nobody can steal). Never really having the voice for Verdi, she moved to London after uni to see what she could see. It never occurred to her that she might sing in a band and write songs, but she knew she liked singing and writing songs (she was 9 when she wrote her first song).
When she moved to London she worked in a cocktail bar & took some classes at St. Martins mainly to meet people & find new ways of expressing herself, and it was then she joined a synth pop duo called Vic Twenty... Vic Twenty released a single on a Mute label and toured UK and Europe with synth-pop legendary duo Erasure. Vic Twenty split up and thus Piney Gir the solo artist was born and this is Piney’s discography so far...
“Peakahokahoo” Piney Gir - Truck Records 2004
“Hold Your Horses” The Piney Gir Country Roadshow - Truck Records 2006
“The Yearling” Piney Gir - Hotel Records 2009
“Jesus Wept” The Piney Gir Country Roadshow - Damaged Goods 2010
“Geronimo!” Piney Gir – Damaged Goods 2011
Piney has toured the UK, Europe and America extensively playing big festivals, small stages, toilet venues, night clubs, art galleries, theatres, churches and pop-up shops. Her first tour of America was last autumn and she was lucky enough to play CMJ in New York and do 2 NPR sessions to promote “Geronimo!” which was a real milestone for her. “It’s nice to feel welcomed by your homeland,” says Piney.
She is currently playing a few select UK festivals this summer and she’s in the studio finalising the mixes for her new album, which is due for release in June 2015... And that brings us up to date.
You can take the gal outta Kansas, but ya can't take Kansas outta the gal!