Two years ago, Alabama Shakes performed at the White House as the Obamas sat in the front row, just a few feet away. The Athens, Ala. Barack and Michelle nodded their heads in respectful rhythm. Malia seemed mildly amused. Sasha, meanwhile, was bored. Alabama Shakes is a band that is genuinely incomparable, and the synthesis that this album creates from the funk-influenced use of keyboards, blues guitar and downtempo bass is reminiscent of gospel.
The album namesake, which is the opening track, starts with a series of isolated keyboard notes for a minute, before the drums kick in along with the vocals. Her vocals are searing and reminiscent of Janis Joplin. Retrieved March 11, Music Times. Retrieved November 18, Rolling Stone ISSN X. Retrieved June 30, Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 9, Retrieved April 29, Retrieved December 4, Retrieved May 5, Chicago Tribune. The Daily Telegraph. Entertainment Weekly. The Guardian. The Independent.
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Sell on Amazon Start a Selling Account. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. DPReview Digital Photography. East Dane Designer Men's Fashion. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Deals and Shenanigans. Ring Smart Home Security Systems. Blink Smart Security for Every Home. PillPack Pharmacy Simplified. So last year we went to Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville for some toe—in—the—water sessions, and as things went really well it gradually turned into us more or less taking over the studio.
We treated it like home and were being very experimental, just like with my first solo record. I want them to be strong, lyrically, melodically and harmonically, and so each song was combed over for that. Some songs were perfect, and for others I offered suggestions as to how to improve them. Of course, you want to capture things the right way, so the performance is exciting.
But the production was based on a laissez faire approach of trying to only capture the performances and otherwise just stay out of the way. It was like taking a photograph, and while this worked well enough, I felt that the end result did not match the energy that the band had.
I wanted a record that really hit me sonically with its energy, not just with the performances but also the way that the performances were captured and presented. For me recording is much more like painting then taking a photograph. It requires technique in painting just to get it to feel real and emotive, as opposed to just set the microphone up in the room and get out of the way.
It requires a bit more finesse to get something to connect. Blake and I both like recordings that are very hi—fi, but that also have small lo—fi moments. He and I talked a lot about frequency range, and wanting a wide sonic range, with the lowest lows and the highest highs, making sure that all aspects of the rainbow were filled in.
There definitely was a lot of crafting after the recordings of each instrument to get it to fill a particular aspect of the sonic range. But to be honest, there was no real methodology behind it, other than that we wanted things to sound good, and cool. The band had only in a couple of cases rehearsed the songs before they came into the studio.
Usually the procedure was that at the beginning of each session Brittany played us a couple of demos, and the band talked about what song they wanted to work on. The reason the final album is so colourful is in part because her demos were very colourful to begin with. She works in Logic at home in her basement, and often had already mapped out a lot of the instrumentation, using a drum machine and some synths.
Her demos had a lot of emotional intensity and a wide, cinematic scope, on which we tried to expand. Generally there was about an hour and a half of trying things out before we were really getting into takes. Everyone, including me, was just figuring out what they were going to do.