Last week I reviewed the extra ordinary album of New Orleans band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Today’s turn is Phantom Limb from British Bristol. ‘The Pines’ is their third album (being thankful to a reader of my blog for giving me this tip). You can hear the same influences as in Hurray For The Riff Raff but it assembles to something completely different. The sound is closer to that of Alabama Shakes.
Phantom Limb makes a mix of southern soul, folk, country, gospel, and blues rock. And has like the band from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, a front lady with a throat. Maybe singer Yolanda Quartey makes an even bigger impression than Alynda Lee Segarra (Hurray For The Riff Raff) or Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes). She has more soul in her pinky toe than most soul singers have in their whole body! Quartey was in near past mainly active in acid jazz, triphop and hiphop and worked with Jazzanova, Massive Attack and Dizzee Rascal. And now with Phantom Limb she really grabs me by the throath.
I would say more say more class and less raw energy if you compare Phantom Limb with Alabama Shakes. Musically and vocally Phantom Limb make a bigger impression than the critically acclaimed Alabama Shakes album ‘Boys And Girls’. Yolanda Quartey’s voice is more versatile.
Highlight of the band is the man behind the keys. Keyboard, piano and organ create a sparkling sound with the guitar and the rhythm section. Greg Leisz tops it of with its wunderful pedal steele. Combine this together with great meaningful lyrics, reaching from Aretha Franklin until The Flying Burritos. Songs that stick to your ears.
‘The Pines’ works really well on those lovely late summer days and will give warmth in the cooler and wetter winter months. Although Alabama Shakes will probably get the most attention this year and Hurray For The Riff Raff will reap the most praise for its origins and distinctive country tap. Both American bands have a big chance of being on my year list but it is way more likely that Phantom Limb’s ‘The Pines’ will be up there. It’s a stunner. Don’t miss it.
For those who want to read the original post in Dutch click here on dekrentenuitdepop.