The Wood Brothers examine a woman breaking out of a harmful relationship and starting over in the new song “Alabaster.” It’s the first release from the trio’s new album Kingdom in My Mind, due out January 24th.
Much of the music on Kingdom in My Mind evolved out of studio jam sessions by the adept group of improvisers that includes siblings Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix. “Alabaster,” named for a small Alabama town just south of Birmingham, rolls by on a slinky bass-drums-keys groove that wouldn’t sound out of place powering a classic hip-hop track. Oliver Wood sets the narrative in two different locations: a man in Alabama wondering when his woman’s going to return and that same woman carving out a new life for herself in Manhattan, refusing to look back while “the last phone booth in New York City” rings off the hook.
“The lyrics came on a road trip I was taking with my family for a wedding in southern Alabama. I love the people and food and culture down there and I’ve met so many great musicians from that area — I always feel inspired when I pass through,” says Oliver Wood. “Driving home I saw a sign for Alabaster, Alabama, and the name really stuck with me. In the news at the time there was a lot of talk of certain states rolling back women’s rights, as well as women uniting to expose and fight sexual abuse. The story and images came to me of a young woman struggling to empower herself in this changing atmosphere. The song pits the old against the new. The last phone booth represents the old way, and the girl in the story is trying to make a new start from the old oppressive ways she grew up with.”
The group’s eighth studio release, Kingdom in My Mind follows 2018’s One Drop of Truth. They currently have tour dates lined up through the end of 2019 and beyond, with their next stop happening Friday at the Hangtown Music Festival in Placerville, California, followed by a November 7th show in Roanoke, Virginia.