Jayson here with another Nashville-based artist as my DJ pick of the week. Alanna Royale recently blew us away at our Thunderground showcase, and now we’ve been bestowed the gift that is new music from the vocal powerhouse.
Alanna Royale makes classic-minded R&B and soul music for the modern age. It’s a sound rooted in big melodies, blasts of brass, percussive punch, and old-school grooves, with songs that shine a light not only on frontwoman Alanna Quinn-Broadus’ larger-than-life voice, but her songwriting chops, too.
The band formed in Nashville, where Alanna and guitarist Jared Colby relocated after cutting their teeth as working-class musicians in Boston. Once in Tennessee, they teamed up with drummer Matt Snow, and bassist Gabriel Golden, forming a core lineup that often swells to as many as ten members — including backup vocalists and a two-piece horn section — in concert. Together, the band looked beyond Nashville’s country-filled past and, instead, took inspiration from Motown’s soul, Stax’s funky strut, and rock & roll’s rebellion. Tattooed, brash, and unapologetically unique, they stood out in a town dominated by Americana music, charting a unique course whose highlights have since included an appearance at Bonnaroo, a string of cross-country shows supporting acts like Lee Fields and St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and an audience that celebrates the band’s diversity.
On their fourth release, 2018’s So Bad You Can Taste It, Alanna matches the brassy spirit of the band’s previous records with rare vulnerability. “There are mountains and valleys to any journey, and this record is about being in the valley,” explains Alanna Quinn-Broadus. “It’s about the low moments. It’s basically the opposite of someone’s Instagram feed, because it’s not a highlights reel. It’s just real.”
Listen to her song “It’s Not Yours” below and let us know what you think!