Hannah Aldridge grew up on the muddy banks of Muscle Shoals—her birthright is music and Alabama. A reckoning between her coming-of-age in the South and a lifetime of trying to create an identity outside of it, her songs strike a delicate balance between rebellion and self-discovery. These two themes weave through Aldridge’s gifted storytelling, making for records that soothe like a lullaby and crack like a whip.
For those raised in the Bible Belt, Aldridge’s music sounds like the voice of an old friend who understands. For those not in the know, her music is an initiation to the dark side of the South, Christian fundamentalism and the struggle to forge a future in a place haunted by its past.
Daughter of Muscle Shoals legend Walt Aldridge, Hannah started her musical journey as a classically-trained pianist. It wasn’t until her early twenties that she first picked up a guitar and began using music as an outlet to grapple with her demons. With a voice equal parts gritty and melodic, the emerging artist took to the road, entertaining crowds in ten countries and three continents with her acclaimed debut album Razor Wire, superb follow-up Gold Rush and Live in Black and White - a beautifully captured live album recorded in London, England.
Aldridge has expanded her artistic vision with the ambitious, cinematic Dream of America, which is set to be released in 2023 on Swedish alternative indie label, Icons Creating Evil Art. A highly collaborative project, produced in three corners of the world with renowned Melbourne based artist/producer Lachlan Bryan, producer/engineer Damian Cafarella and Swedish mix engineer Frans Hägglund, the record peers through the lens of fading Hollywood starlets, charming psychopaths and weary vagabonds - navigating society’s underbelly through dark, romantic vignettes. Hannah’s haunting vocals, assisted by her father’s expert vocal production, deliver a cathartic message of defiance.
Hannah Aldridge’s fierce Southern energy reaches through every speaker, whether it’s in a dashboard doing 80 down I-65, a rock club in Amsterdam or a Honky Tonk in her adopted hometown of Nashville. The new album treads a fine line between the genial charm of Americana, and the raw, hypnotic and occasionally electronic stylings of what some might like to call ‘noir indie pop’. It is music for those looking to confront their demons without remaining tethered to them.
Deploying a charming blend of power and vulnerability, Aldridge delivers her stories with all the conviction of a church bell ringing out through the streets of a small Alabama town.
The Pleasures are a new band fronted by Australian country music icon Catherine Britt. Formed in 2021, their first three singles to date have received heavy rotation on local and national radio, and their unpredictable live shows - masterclasses in on-stage chemistry - have captured the hearts of audiences in small, dingy rooms up and down the east coast.
No shrinking violets, The Pleasures' sound is raucous, dirty and blues-inspired (occasionally interrupted by delicate moments of sublime country-folk), whilst their subject matter leaps from bold and bawdy to heartfelt and insightful. They call themselves a country band, but there’s as much Jack White influence here as there is George Jones (in fact there’s plenty of both) alongside the plethora of mythologised girl-boy country acts with whom they will inevitably draw comparison. If you get the feeling these guys have drawn upon every debaucherous night out, self-inflicted wound, bleeding heart and broken bone to come up with this noise, you'd be absolutely right.
Debut album The Beginning of the End was released on August 4th of this year, debuting at #2 on the ARIA Australian Country Albums Chart and #1 on the Australian Independent Record Association Albums Chart.