With Alabama Shakes getting full-on psychedelic with the title track from their second LP, Sound & Color, it’s only fitting they set the music video in outer space. The James Frost-directed clip – based on a concept by the band’s singer-songwriter Brittany Howard – finds a man waking up on a space station, haunted by memories of his life on Earth as he hurtles toward a mysterious planet. It’s a bit 2001, a bit Solaris, a bit Interstellar – and 100 percent unnerving.
Sound & Color – the long-awaited follow-up to the band’s 2012 break-out debut, the Grammy-nominated Boys & Girls – was released this month and debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200. In March, the quartet previewed the album by performing two tracks, lead single “Don’t Wanna Fight” and “Gimme All Your Love,” on Saturday Night Live.
Alabama Shakes aimed to experiment on their latest songs, working with producer-collaborator Blake Mills in Nashville. In a March feature for Rolling Stone, Howard said she was inspired by everything from Roberta Flack to the E.T. soundtrack as the band expanded beyond the soulful roots-rock of their debut.
“It’s a bit far-out,” Howard said of the LP. “When it came time to gather all the songs, we thought, ‘What kind of record is this?’ And we said, ‘Very strange.’ But I love it.”
“We just wanted to be free and explore and not worry what this record would be in the public’s eye,” added guitarist Heath Fogg.
The band has tour dates scheduled for the next several months, including a run of European gigs and several festival stops (including Bonnaroo, Glastonbury and the Mountain Jam Festival). The group’s full 2015 rundown is available at their website.