The thing about Alabama indie music is that people tend to think Alabama bands are from someplace else. The Brummies are obviously an English band. The Brook and the Bluff and Waxahatchee must be from Austin. The Banditos are Nashville through and through. Then there is Willis, lead singer Murphy Billings is a New Orleans vocalist that fell in with an L.A. band. Maybe it says more about the indie landscape in Alabama that bands feel free to find their own sound. So let's give Alabama some love. These are the five Alabama bands you should be streaming right now.
Throw-back country with a full horn section; YES! Then add in Mary Beth Richardson’s voice and this band is inescapably good. Your entry point into this new addiction should be the single “On My Way.”
Katie Crutchfield has a one-of-a-kind voice and an incredibly unique vocal style. Her 2020 album St. Could was one of the year’s best. Crutchfield also loves side projects. Check out her duo, with Jess Williamson, Plains. To get a feel for her vocal styling check out the song “Lilacs.”
Willis is back on the scene with a new EP, “Locals 4.” This band has such a chill west coast vibe. Most people find the band through the song “I Think I Like When it Rains.” But also check out their new tune “Bad Kids.”
The Brook and the Bluff
TB&TB is just one of those bands that seem to do everything well. The musicianship and production are over-the-top good. The vocals kill. Even the live songs sound like they were layered repeatedly in a studio (sure they probably were, but so good). The slick jazzy “Halfway Up” is how most listeners discover the band. I’m real partial to the live version of “Straws.”
No lie I thought The Brummies were an English band along the lines of The Kooks. What could be more Paul McCartney than their song “Lovers Do”? This band is an indulgence that oozes sweet sounds. I get stuck on happy songs like “Sunshine.” The band has recently released some singles so hopefully, we have a new album coming.