Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama to self-described hippie parents, Allison and two years younger sister Catherine Pierce were home-schooled, with an emphasis on arts that exposed them to folk music and dance at a very early age. While attending Auburn University, a tape of their music wound up at Sony Music in Nashville, which eventually led to the release of their modern alt-folk-flavored self-titled debut album in 2000. Lost in the shuffle, the two relocated to New York City, worked day jobs, concentrated on their music, and were signed to Universal for their second album, Light Of the Moon (2005), with producer Brian Sperber.
The Pierces’ third album, Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge on New York-London indie label Lizard King, could have been their “last chance,” as they told Rolling Stone, who described the pair as “preternaturally gorgeous Southern sisters… who love dancing to the perfectly cheesy Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton hit `Islands in the Stream’.” Instead, their third album won them a strong following in the UK, and several of its songs – “Boring,” “Secret,” “Three Wishes,” and so on – proved perfect choices for tv syncing in the U.S. and abroad.
Things heated up in 2010, when Guy Berryman phoned them out of the blue, to ask if they wanted to join Coldplay on tour in South America. The tour did not happen, but it paved the way for Berryman and Simpson to produce YOU & I. Sessions began at Electric Lady Studios in New York, and moved to Coldplay’s studio in London. The musicians comprised Allison on acoustic guitar, Guy on electric guitar, bass and percussion, and a round of drummers including Coldplay band mate Will Champion, Glenn Moule from Howling Bells, and Matt Romano from Little Joy. The album was recorded over the course of nine months, “in Coldplay’s spare time,” Allison says, “and there’s not a lot of that.” The result is an album as sweepingly, dramatically melodic as it is true to the sisters’ innately cool, singer-songwriter roots, and an exciting new chapter in the Pierces’ story.