Single Of The Week: Alabama Shakes : Hold On

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Single Of The Week: Alabama Shakes : Hold On


There’s a southern blues breeze astir in the USA – a growing crop of much-hyped bands playing soulful, classic rock music that is unconcerned with contemporary music trends; a blessed absence of synth. At the head of the pack are Alabama Shakes, a four-piece from Athens, Alabama fronted by the matronly-looking Brittany Howard. The 22-year-old former post woman has a voice that makes people talk – people like Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Adele and Jack White, who have all declared their love for Alabama Shakes recently, and with good reason. Brittany’s voice is a magnificently strained, shuddering, gut-wrenching thing, beautifully showcased on Hold On, the debut single from the band’s forthcoming debut album Boys & Girls (out April 6). The song has a slow-burning rhythm and a Lynard Skynard-style rolling lead guitar line, but Brittany does the real heavy lifting, crooning and rasping her way through this superb Joplin-esque tune.