There’s something to be said for having a distinct sound. And after just two albums, you’d be hard pressed to mistake an Alabama Shakes song for anything else. At first listen, their music conjures up images of campfires, singalongs, and swaying back and forth in a crowd at [insert name of ‘of-the-moment’ summer rock concert here] just like in all those beer commercials that start playing as soon as the snow thaws.
But discounting Alabama Shakes as another southern rock group with a bluesy influence is a discredit to this band that is at once soulful and sarcastic, melodic and tangent-filled; succinct and meandering.
Their new album, “Sound & Colour” is weird. It’s dance-y and catchy and filled with random tongue-in-cheek lyrics and sweeping vocal acrobats from our very own Janis Joplin, Brittany Howard.
Lead singer, Brittany Howard, is my spirit animal. Her voice is so malleable. She’s part gospel queen, part riot girl, part David Bowie disciple and totally free. I feel like her after 3 Mike’s Hard Lemonades. Undefinable, unfeathered and open. She shares her heart, her humour and her proclivities through her voice in a way I haven’t heard in a very long time.
Right now my favourite song on Sound & Colour is Shoegaze. It reminds me of drunken fights at the beach and long road trips in the summer. It makes me think of those late-night conversations that start in a haze of smoke and alcohol but irrevocably end up changing your view on life and relationships.
This song makes me think about everyone is so over dramatic about things these days. Not every night out is a music video montage. Not every meal is instagram-worthy. Not everything is literally #epic.
Whether you subscribe to the “140-character culture” or “Insta-life with filters” there’s no denying that there’s a overwrought preciousness to the zeitgeist. (If I see another #MotivationalMonday quote, I fear I will #PullthePlug).
“Let’s all make memories
Precious and temporary”
Shoegaze is a song for those nights that are fun and crazy but you’ve around long enough to know it’s not necessarily life-changing. The title takes its name from the 1990s sub-genre that stood for long, meandering songs with little attention to lyrics but still evoked a distinctive sense of mood and character.
This song makes me smile. It’s a sarcastic reality check, reminding me that no matter how self-indulgent I can become with the power of a keyboard and the ability to share whatever asinine thoughts I have at the moment with the world, everything is not everything. Every wardrobe choice does not need to be an #OOTD. Every melancholy moment isn’t the #worstdayever. Every drunken night isn’t #epic. But I do believe, there is a song for every person in every moment and that is #TrueRomance.
“It ain’t no fun to be lonely
But I was not truly lonely”