Austin’s Ariel Abshire shows maturity beyond her years on ‘No Great Pretender,’ the free song from sophomore album

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We’re often skeptical of the ol’ RIYL (that is, “recommended if you like”) PR trip: our favorite is one that compared some half-assed singer to Bruce Springsteen and Elliott Smith. Needless to say, the guy sounded like neither.

Yet, we’re susceptible, especially when the RIYL lures are singers like Neko Case and Jenny Lewis. Ariel Abshire doesn’t sound particularly like either, which is largely because she simply sounds like herself — and it’s a good sound on “No Great Pretender,” the free song from her forthcoming sophomore album.

The fact that she has already recorded a sophomore album is impressive by itself: Abshire is just 19, though her songs have a maturity beyond her years. “No Great Pretender” features lyrics both rueful and earnest, which Abshire delivers in a full, rich voice over a lilting blend of piano and guitar with the faintest rootsy tinge hinting at her Austin, Texas, origins.

The new album, “Still So New,” is due Aug. 16.

Photo by Beth Myers

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No Great Pretender mp3