Oh, hey, Alabama Shakes! I like you quite a lot. Let’s do this thing.
“Sound & Color.” A solid, ambient sort of start, all xylophones and percussion and mm all right. Brittany Howard has a really interesting voice, and it makes everything she sings sound somehow vintage and really hypermodern all at once. I like it.
“Don’t Wanna Fight.” Guitar. I think this is the one they did on SNL recently? It sounds familiar, and I really like it, kind of in a 1970s gritty crime drama way. Or like, Death Proof. That is my standard for a lot of music, after all, and this is definitely in that area.
“Dunes.” It might be how Brittany’s voice sounds or it might be the way they mix their songs, but it really does sound just so old, in a way. Like it’s been around forever, but it also seems so new. The mix, the guitars, her voice, I don’t know. This is getting repetitive but I’m vibing.
“Future People.” This sure does sound like the future, but in an almost atom punk kind of way. Between the thing she’s doing to make her voice sound somewhat like a theremin and the backing and the fact that I’d need to pull up the lyrics to pick up most of what she’s saying, there’s some heavy atmosphere here and I dig on it.
“Gimme All Your Love.” There’s something very very if-Tarantino-made-a-surf-movie about this, and I really like it. Sometimes the cheery enough whatever absolutely segues into shredding voice and guitar, and it’s delicious.
“This Feeling.” Oh, we’re here being a bit more introspective and the words are a bit easier to understand on first listen and we’re really getting time to listen to what’s being, well, felt. It’s not a happy song, I don’t think, but it’s a bit raw in its emotion and I’m happy about it.
“Guess Who.” The lo-fi continues to happen, for sure. And she’s doing these really cute pops on her vowels, I very much like it. This sounds like walking down the street in the 1970s, when the sun is shining and lots of people are wearing the color orange with horribly mismatching patterns and big smiles. And suddenly, suddenly, a riff of a suburban fantasy noise!
“The Greatest.” I am now taking bets: is this going to be a “you are the greatest” song or a “you think you’re the greatest but you’re not” song. “I never meant to be the greatest,” okay, so it’s somewhere in between. Over surfer guitar.
“Shoegaze.” This is a genre, technically, shoegazing, and it doesn’t sound like this, but I think that’s possibly the point. Most of these songs aren’t standing out too much from the other, but they’re creating this really distinct atmosphere that I want to stay in for a while.
“Miss You.” Very sparse instrumentation to begin and building drums and guitar and whoops, there’s Brittany building into a complete vocal shred before segueing out again. That’s a pattern here. Nothing is staying super-hyped up the whole time, but sometimes it spins into that, the tizzied repeated “I’m yours” exclamations.
“Gemini.” The livestream article mentioned this song specifically, devoting an entire paragraph to it and quoting the lyric “on a planet not so far away, we were born together,” so I’m very intrigued. Yes. This sounds like some crazy Ziggy Stardust space opera and I am kind of in love.
“Over My Head.” This is oddly peaceful, I’m not sure why. It feels like slow-dancing at the end of the night at a blues party, and that is something I kind of miss, maybe that’s why.
–your fangirl heroine.