There is something about places named Athens that garner the best music. Whether it’s Athens, Georgia or Athens, Alabama, they have it. Alabama Shakes hail from the Alabama version, and hit the music scene out of nowhere. The band signed with ATO records back in November, joining a slew of great artists, including Drive-By Truckers, My Morning Jacket, and Dawes. The first single to drop from the bands up coming album Boys & Girls, out April 3rd; “Hold On” is a dose of promise wrapped in southern fried soul.
As the song begins, it’s clear that simplicity is the game here, coupled with simple guitar, and a nice crisp slow drumming. The guitar sound is vaguely reminiscent of the guitar work on the Kings of Leon’s last album Come Around Sundown. What truly sets this song apart is the vocals provided by front woman Brittany Howard. Her unique blend of soul, coupled with this southern tinge is the bands on ramp. It wasn’t until I did some research that I realized it was a female on vocals; Howard’s voice borders on being masculine, causing double takes. As the song progresses, the band turn up the reverb, ending roughly how it started. This song doesn’t exactly push boundaries, but the mixture makes for a great band recipe that delivers full flavor.
Song Rating (Modified Rating): Stream It or Digitally Download It (Legally of Course)
Listening Co-efficient: Active Listen
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