BRITTANY HOWARD: HISTORY REPEATS | REVIEW

– THE CHARM OFFENSIVE –

Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard strikes out on her own with History Repeats – a bluesy, hooky hot mess of a first single from her debut solo album Jaime.

Named after a sister who died of cancer when they were both teenagers, the full-length promises to be a memoriam on all the ways in which her sibling’s life (and death) helped shape her.

However, Howard is keen to emphasise that the record is 100% autobiographical.

“I’m pretty candid about myself and who I am and what I believe” she says. “Which is why I needed to do it on my own.”

And, actually, History Repeats – which will be not only the first single but also the lead-off track – would appear to be the Athens native’s early attempt to shake (pardon the pun) off the shackles of the past.

And it does so in really emphatic style.

The whole track is a restless, rambunctious affair with loud, splashy cymbals, vigorously strummed guitars and a vocal that rambles along with the unsatisfied urgency of one made mad by the wicked ways of the world.

First she begs, “Don’t push me / push me / push me / push me.”

Then she asserts (over and over again) how, “history repeats and we defeat ourselves.”

It’s a track that draws confidence from its chaos, that finds a certain freedom in its frustration, that smiles sweetly even as it spits fire.

Jaime is scheduled for release on 20 September via ATO Records.

MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX

YOUNG PILGRIMS: CANAL TRIPPING
TENESHA THE WORDSMITH: WHY WHITE FOLKS CAN’T CALL ME NIGGA
NEUE GRAFIK ENSEMBLE: HEDGEHOG’S DILEMMA
ZOE’S SHANGHAI: NO CURE

P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.

If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.

– SV –