Brittany Howard is setting out on her own with her upcoming solo album, Jaime. She has so far shared “History Repeats” and “He Loves Me” from the album, and now, days before the record’s release, she has offered one more track, “13th Century Metal.” The song features a frenetically paced and psychedelic instrumental, over which Howard delivers a positive spoken-word message. All in all, the track comes across like Alabama Shakes put through a kaleidoscope, and it’s fascinating.
The New York Times‘ Jon Pareles recently noted that the song was edited from a “spontaneous studio jam,” which started with Howard testing a new keyboard. Howard wrote of the song on Twitter today, “[Keyboardist Robert Glasper and drummer Nate Smith] masterminded this groove and as soon as I heard it I knew just the lyrics to put over it. So proud of this one!!” Howard also shared an “Official Live Session” video of the track.
Howard previously explained the meaning behind the album and its name (which comes from her sister, who passed away as a teenager), writing, “I wrote this record as a process of healing. Every song, I confront something within me or beyond me. Things that are hard or impossible to change, words and music to describe what I’m not good at conveying to those I love, or a name that hurts to be said: Jaime. […] I did this so her name would no longer bring me memories of sadness and as a way to thank her for passing on to me everything she loved: music, art, creativity.”
Listen to “13th Century Metal” and watch the official live session video above.
Jaime is out 9/20 via ATO. Pre-order it here.