I first gained an appreciation for Alabama Shakes last fall after a recommendation by The Civil Wars, not long after they had released their first EP, and I featured the song "Hold On" back in November. Their debut full-length album, Boys & Girls, was released last week, & it's full of all that stripped-down bluesy goodness led by Brittany Howard's soulful vocals. "Hold On" is also included on this album, released as a stand-alone single in January.
"You Ain't Alone"
"You Ain't Alone" was featured in a Zales commercial last year, & it's the perfect song for a holiday jewelry advert. A ballad full of retro hooks whose theme is summed up in the title, this song evokes memories of snuggling up with that special someone as your hips sway on the dance floor, completely lost in your own little world. However soft she starts out, Howard doesn't pull any punches during the rousing end.
"I Found You"
Another love song, "I Found You" starts off with vocals backed by a lovely guitar & bass arrangement before the percussion starts. They blend together perfectly, another throwback to an earlier era but still somehow fresh. Howard really pours her soul into the vocals, & I get the impression she does anything but stand still when she's singing.
Alabama Shakes have had a whirlwind year, topped by recent appearances on Conan and David Letterman. Boys & Girls is the perfect platform to launch them from fresh new face to superstardom, & I for one will be along for the ride.