Hannah Williams & The Affirmations
Late Nights & Heartbreak
America might have given rise to soul music back in the day with Motown and Stax, but the UK took it as their own, from the “Northern Soul” movement to the present day, and the sultry Hannah Williams & The Affirmations shows that the vibe is strong indeed. Late Nights & Heartbreak is the groups second album, and it’s a stunner.
Opening with “Tame in the Water” Williams and her nine piece band hit the ground running, with a boisterous horn pattern and Williams’ strong vocals. They call this “trippy soul” and you’ll get no complaint from me, the entire album is a strong step forward in a genre that all too often sounds complacent, but no fear of that here. Take the second song, a mind-warping take on Zep’s “Dazed and Confused” that sounds even tighter – and sleazier, if you can imagine, than the original.
Williams was a favorite of the late, great Sharon Jones (2016, you really suck), and you can hear it, as the Affirmations kick it out ala the Dap Kings, such as on the relentlessly funky “Woman Got Soul” and the wah-wah fueled “Ain’t Enough”. Hannah has attitude to spare, and if your tastes run to all things Memphis soul, you’re gonna eat this up. Bring it, Hannah Williams & The Attractions!