Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes
Brittany Howard – lead vocalist/guitarist for the chart-topping, GRAMMY®-winning band Alabama Shakes – will release her debut solo album, Jaime, on September 20 via ATO Records.
While Howard admits it was daunting, stepping out alone from her work with Alabama Shakes and revealing so much of herself, it was a necessary step. “I turned 30 and I was like, ‘What do I want the rest of my life to look like?’” she recalls. “Do I want to play the same songs until I’m 50 and then retire, or do I do something that’s scarier for me? Do I want people to understand me and know me, do I want to tell them my story? I’m very private, but my favorite work is when people are being honest and really doing themselves.”
She brought a handful of finished songs into engineer Shawn Everett’s L.A. studio. Once she started working with the band she had assembled – a core group of Alabama Shakes bassist Zac Cockrell, innovative jazz-based keyboard player Robert Glasper and drummer Nate Smith – the music started to take shape. Different sounds and approaches began to emerge. Howard examines spiritual ritual on “He Loves Me” and celebrates love with “Georgia.” “Goat Head” is informed by the experience of growing up as a mixed-race child in the South while “13th Century Metal” grew out of Glasper and Smith jamming in the studio. See below for track listing.
As the frontwoman and guitarist for Alabama Shakes, Howard has become one of music’s most celebrated figures. The band has won four GRAMMY Awards and topped the Billboard 200 with the Gold-certified Sound & Color, the follow-up to its Platinum debut album, Boys & Girls. Howard has performed everywhere from the Obama White House to the main stage at Lollapalooza, where she sang with Paul McCartney at his invitation. In between albums and tours with Alabama Shakes, Howard grows restless. “To me, there is no time off – I’m a creative person and I need to create, or I just feel weird, not fully human,” she says. She’s channeled that relentless creativity into Jaime, her most revelatory work yet.