New on your playlist: Alabama Shakes
Blues-rock band Alabama Shakes sound as if they were born a few decades too late
Full of energy and richness, Alabama Shakes have shaken my world with their debut album, Boys & Girls.
Frontwoman Brittany Howard is a powerhouse and the album is filled with passion. A kind of reincarnated Janis Joplin, she is all soul, in more ways than one. The electric jolt of blues-based rock is nothing short of fantastic.
Led by Howard's explosive gospel voice and oomph, the magic opens with Hold On, which gives you just a hint of what this band is about. Its simple guitar riff spins around a delightful nonchalant confession and it is so, so sweet.
The style is untainted - you won't hear a single modern beat - and it drips with electric rock blues in all its glory. The riff on Hang Loose draws you into a world of heartbreak, as Heartbreaker does in a staggering way. You Ain't Alone and the strong Be Mine show just how much of a romantic Howard is, but with a voice like that, she isn't a pushover.
The band itself sounds as if its members were born a few decades too late; as if they were meant to be among the Rolling Stones, Joplin and Otis Redding.
Old school guitar licks, precise drums and boogie-rich bass make for a honey-drenched journey into the deep South of the US.
Songs like Rise to the Sun and title track Boys & Girls leave me wanting more.
Though The Black Keys have been doing this for years, Alabama Shakes' genius has gripped me with its astoundingly resonant beauty.
I am left dumbstruck, wondering how the world has hidden this band until now.