Last updated on October 19, 2020
Welcome back to our four-week premiere series of songs from Alfred Howard‘s truly ambitious project Alfred Howard Writes. Alfred Howard Writes is an herculean effort by Alfred Howard and a humongous cast of contributors to independently release 100 songs in 50 weeks. For more info on the project, see the first week’s premiere.
This week we’re premiering “Something to Believe,” which a funky, soulful track that relies on powerful vocals from Anais Lund, a lovely Wurlitzer-esque keys/organ double effort from Daniel Schraer, and Jason Littlefield’s impeccable funky basslines. The song has Motown vibe in its veins, displayed in a bright, tight contemporary recording style. Howard’s lyrics marry protest and love, asking a lover to be “a relief from this reality” that is “watching all the battles / when the fight is at your doorstep.” The song is smooth, easy, and warm, a perfectly written and recorded piece that doesn’t downplay the difficulties of our time while seeking solace in love.
Alfred has given us some comments about the song and his lyrics, which I’m honored to reproduce here:
I love this song. This is actually an older song that we just revisited recently and finished. I vaguely remember writing it, but I had this call and response thing in my head. The earliest version of me singing it isn’t altogether different from what it became, aside from it being terrible because I can’t sing. I remember getting excited and driving over to Ian’s guitar shop and humming this idea, and him coming up with the music really quickly. Anais killed this song. Her performance has so much vibe in it. It reminded me of Amy Winehouse, but with this genuine innocence in it. She just really nailed what the song needed. It was fun to record with the crew. Jason Littlefield, Jake Najor, Daniel Schraer, Ian Owen, and Shelbi Bennett doing backing vocals. These are the folks I’ve made most of my records with over the years. It’s good to hear them all together again. We haven’t been able to do as much since the pandemic.