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I found myself sitting at the kitchen table as my lovely partner was putting together a meal. With my freshly poured glass of wine in hand, I pressed play.

Truthfully, I’m not exactly an enthusiast of Alabama Shakes. In full transparency, I found my way to the group’s latest release after being profoundly touched by the new iPad Pro commercial that contains “Sound and Color”. While my allegiances like with Google (I’m currently an employee) have decidedly been drawn, I am not ashamed of the moment I shared with this ad..

That song was enough to move me to further explore a band I had previously dismissed. With my curiosity piqued, I dove headfirst into the Alabama Shakes album. Upon first listen, I mentally dubbed it my favorite album of the year. It’s mid December so I am fairly confident this won’t change before the ball drops on New Year’s Day. That being said, as it relates to music, I’ve been known to be a fickle lover.

The moment I took my first sip of wine, there was something “This Feeling” did to me. As the drum abruptly signaled the beginning of the song and the plucking of the guitar invited me in, it struck a chord deep in my soul. The voices of each instrument and singer came together colliding until, like waves softly breaking, they reached a pinnacle. I was enraptured.

The Alabama Shakes’ single holds an airy and ethereal feel that lifted me into my thoughts and delivered a certain lightness of being to my body. It washed over me like a warm summer rain, calming me as it transported me to another place. It is no small feat that this track simultaneously manages to possess a complexity of sound while maintaining a powerful simplicity. A rare combination in today’s landscape of over-produced and unfeeling (see what I did there?) music, this song captures the essence of what feelings are–complex and simple, freeing and frightening, confusing, yet clear.  The track’s vagueness opens it up for your own interpretation; allowing each listener to engage with its message in a limitless number of ways.

The smells of dinner filled the air,my girlfriend focused on finishing a meal for us to enjoy together, and I sat back and smiled as I watched her and the song came to a close. Sensing my eyes on her, she turned around and flashed a quick smile. There was a sparkle in her eye. I knew in that moment, “This Feeling” was special.

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Dontae is a tech professional living in Oakland. He's originally from LA, is sad about Kobe's retirement and gets emotional when listening to music.

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