Unless you spent last year living in a cave or deepest darkest Grimsby then you’ll probably have heard of the Alabama Shakes. Fusing neo-soul vocals and rock instrumentation, the band has gone from strength to strength since they broke onto the scene two short years ago. Their debut album Boys and girls appeared in charts and MP3 players around the world and was nominated for Grammys and other shiny things in their home country, the good ole’ US of A. Well, they’ll be pleased to know that they can finally add the much coveted Far Out Track Of The Day to their growing list of honours.
Boys and girls is a subdued number that reflects on the breakup of a childhood friendship. Lead singer Brittany Howard pours her heart out like a depressed Macy Gray, propped up by a slow guitar and subtle drumbeat. Oh why can’t you see/that I’m not trying to be/no kind of bother/I’m just trying to save what was left between you and me she pines. Whoever she’s singing about must cry themself to sleep.
One listen to this track and you can hear why Jack White was desperate to have them as support on his last tour. They’re soulful, sincere and bloody moving. But their overwhelming stage presence and powerful live performances are what really turns peoples’ heads. Howard plants her feet and lets it all out like a thunderstorm of emotion. In fact, critics have claimed that their recorded output isn’t as moving as their live show.
My advice to those critics would be to listen to Boys and girls in a dark room, on your own with a phone. If you’re not moved to call an old friend after you’ve listened to it then you’re a stronger man than me.