On their 2012 debut Boys & Girls, Alabama Shakes never hid that they were creatures of the New South – a band with old-fashioned blues, soul, gospel, and country in their blood but raised on modern rock. On their 2015 follow-up, Sound & Color, they free themselves from the vestiges of the past, let loose, and push themselves further in either direction. This could've resulted in a disjointed record pulling itself in two opposing directions, but the mess of Sound & Color is invigorating, likely because the album uses its title as a creed. Where Boys & Girls sometimes seemed a shade austere – the band took pains to color within the lines, almost as if to convey their good taste – Sound & Color bursts with oversaturated hues so vivid they seem almost tangible.
Radio 1 shows its female side on 4 March. Isolde Lasoen and band stroll with the fine fleur of Belgian female singers by more than half a century of female songs. Angèle, Marie Daulne (Zap Mama), Slongs Dievanongs, Lady Linn, Stefanie Callebaut (SX), Charlotte Adigéry (WWWater), Few Bits and Isolde themselves get their best with Aretha Franklin, Blondie, Nina Simone, Cindy Lauper, Billie Holiday, Feist , Sade, Dolly Parton, Janis Joplin, Suzanne Vega and Beyoncé above.