I first heard about Alabama Shakes through Foster The People. Their lead vocalist, Mark Foster, tweeted about a new band called Alabama Shakes who’s debut album had been attracting plenty of attention. With nothing to lose, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
The album has since become one of my favourites and has been on a constant loop throughout my summer travels.
As the name suggests, the four-peice are from a small town in Alabama and were only signed to a record label in November 2011. Having never been a fan of country style music and knowing that the band were from Southern Alabama, I didn’t know what to expect.
Boys & Girls begins with ‘Hold On’, a track which perfectly combines soft rock and blues seamlessly together. Lead vocalist Brittany Howard has an infectious sound throughout the whole album. In fact, her throaty, Southern sound reminds me a lot of Caleb Followill’s from Kings of Leon. I actually mistook Howard for male the first time I listened to the album. Perhaps this is a testament to how unique her sound is.
Tracks such as ‘I Found You’ and ‘Hang Loose’ are the perfect breezy anecdotes to more deeper tracks like ‘Be Mine’ and ‘You Ain’t Alone’.
What follows are more songs which would be impossible to categorise. Alabama Shakes seem to slip into every genre going: soul, alternative, rock and a helping of jazz. The whole album equals such unique and enjoyable listening.
The once unknown aspiring musicians from Alabama have since enjoyed huge success since the release of Boys and Girls. Next up for the group is Bestival at the Isle of Wight in September. 9/10