As the frontwoman and guitarist for Alabama Shakes, Howard has become one of music’s most celebrated figures—the band has won four Grammys (out of its nine nominations), and she has performed everywhere from the Obama White House to the main stage at Lollapalooza, where she sang with Paul McCartney at his invitation. But for her solo debut, Jaime, Howard boldly decided to explore new directions, with diverse instrumentation and arrangements and intimate, revelatory lyrics.
“It’s scary to mess with success, because the Shakes are doing so good,” she says. “But I needed to shake it up—and if you’re going to do that, you better go all out and make it worth it.”
Howard is best known for the soulful and bellowing persona she embodies on the band’s tracks, but her solo style is more experimental and expressive. “It’s about me. I’m pretty candid about myself and who I am and what I believe. Which is why I needed to do it on my own,” she tells NPR. There’s funk influence, an undeniable sense of joy and the consistent pattering of feverish drums—and, as expected, lots to love.
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