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It’s pretty rare that I really like a song the first time I hear it. Usually I need a few listens to make a connection and really get into it. For me, not loving a song at first listen could be for any of the following reasons:

1. I enjoy singing along, and if I don’t know the lyrics, then I can’t sing along very well.

2. Sometimes a song just needs time to grow on me. At first, I’m unsure, but after I hear it a few times it starts to click.

3. I actually don’t like the song at all. The only reason why I start “liking” it is because I hear it everywhere I go and it’s too damn catchy to ignore. When the same song is played over and over in the car, at work, at stores and in commercials, eventually it will wear you down. First you won’t be able to stop singing it and before you know it you’re filming your own version of “Call Me Maybe” (which I will neither confirm nor deny that I myself have done).

But with “Hold On” by newcomers the Alabama Shakes, I was immediately drawn to it. There’s something familiar, almost nostalgic feeling about this song, yet it also feels different than anything I’ve heard before. Could it be the soulful, folk-sounding voice of lead singer Brittany Howard? Or the heavy slapping of the bass by Zac Cockrell? I’m not exactly sure, but I know I’m into it.

What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments.