Annie Galvin writes regularly about music for PopMatters and Slant Magazine and has published on books, theater, and music for publications including the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Washington City Paper. She's also working on her PhD in English at the University of Virginia. She lives in Charlottesville, where she reads and writes for a living, roams free in the great outdoors, plays in a folk-ish band, and imbibes live music to a somewhat concerning extreme. You can find her on Twitter @anniehgalvin and Tumblr @anniegalvs.
What makes the Alabama Shakes sound new is that they’re evidently devoted to their musical forebears -- everyone from Etta James and Aretha to Bowie and Zeppelin -- yet also coquettishly unfaithful to each one of them.
On its second album After It All, the Durham-based sextet successfully raids the storehouse of American musical traditions, incorporating influences ranging from blues to folk, rock to pop, and hip-hop to musical theater.
The eclectic guitar becomes a tool that complements Laura Marling's lyrics on this pivotal album, at times articulating visceral anger and, at others, obliterating psychic barriers and clearing space for something new.