Elle King: Shake the Spirit
Elle King’s 2015 debut album, Love Stuff , shook the music scene, compelling fans instantly with her bluesy single “Ex’s & Oh’s.” The rising singer’s second album, Shake the Spirit , doesn’t disappoint in perpetuating the raucous energy and stomping melodies of its predecessor. On “Baby Outlaw,” a gritty rocker with a Southern steel-guitar twang, King howls, “Pity the man that stands in my way/ I’m a nightmare even in the day,” leading her to proclaim, “I ain’t nobody’s baby—I’m an outlaw.” King’s band The Brethren joined her in writing several of the tracks, including “Ram Jam,” an alt-rock number that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Black Keys album, and “Good Thing Gone,” an acoustic ballad that allows King’s voice to find its sultry croon. Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard penned “Naturally Pretty Girls”—a hooky track with an indie-pop flair and an undeniable guitar line—with the singer. The album ends with “Little Bit of Lovin’,” the second of two songs written by King alone. King, with her smoke-filled gravely voice, wails, “I don’t need nobody/ I don’t need no one/ But I still got a little bit of lovin’ left in me.” It’s all very Jack White, in the best way possible, until she drops the music back to tell the listener: “You can’t know love until you love tourself,” revealing her willingness to be as vulnerable as the music warrants. It’s a great second album with hints of even more to come.