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Brittany Howard Opens Up About New Album 'What Now,' Red Flags And More

Photo: @rachel_kaplan

Brittany Howard recently released her brand new album, What Now, and in celebration, the Grammy-winner kept the celebration going during a special and intimate show for fans on Friday, February 23rd at New York City's Webster Hall.

What Now is Howard's second full-length solo album following 2019's Jaime. The new album showcases 12 new songs, including previously-released tracks like "Red Flag," "Prove It To You," "Power To Undo" and the title track "What Now."

During iHeartRadio LIVE with Brittany Howard, the singer/songwriter performed songs including "Red Flags," "Prove It To You," "I Don't," "Stay High" and "What Now." The star also opened up about her new album and more during a special Q&A hosted by iHeartRadio's Jonathan Clark.

Many of the songs on What Now were recorded a few years ago during the pandemic, and Brittany wasn't so sure they'd ever see the light of day — but she ultimately changed her mind and decided to make them into an album. She explained, "The idea kind of hit me like a truck. I was just like, 'Oh, I'm making an album.' I was just doing little demos just because that's what I do, what I've always done since I was 11. So, I was just doing my thing. I was just making little demos and they were like my journals. It's just how I was feeling that day, or something that's been on my mind. Then one day I was like, 'Oh, I have so much here. I should make an album.' So I reached out to Sean Everett, who I've worked with for the past three albums, and I was like, 'Hey, man, you want to make another album?' He said, 'Absolutely.' And it just kind of took off from there."

Photo: @rachel_kaplan

As for the subject matter of What Now, Howard said that it's "taking an honest look at wanting to leave a relationship, not really knowing how or if it's the best idea. But it's more just like, this is how I really feel and these are the things that I won't say." She added, "I won't let myself say them because I'm afraid of what they might do. And so yeah, I took those feelings and I said them anyway, and I encased them in something that's kind of hypnotic and contagious, like a pop song, and that juxtaposition of this darkness and this popness put together."

Speaking of leaving a relationship, one of the songs on the album is called "Red Flags," and Brittany shared some of her own personal red flags in a relationship. She shared, "I mean, first and foremost, lying. If you catch somebody lying straight off the bat, that's just not a good sign." And she admits that she's ignored red flags before, explaining, "The answer is yes. It happens to us all. And it was like a 2020 hindsight vision thing. Of course, that didn't make sense, they were lying."

Elsewhere in the interview, Brittany opened up about staying in a haunted house while in Nashville. She recalled, "I think it was haunted. It was a rental house. I was in there only maybe, I don't know, maybe a year, and there's an upstairs room, and if you ever went in that upstairs room, you would always feel like someone was in there with you, very eerie. And then when you would lay down in the bed and get relaxed, something would knock on the dresser every time. So I stopped sleeping up there, and I stopped having a creepy feeling. It was at a later time that there was actually a psychic medium that lived there after me, and my friend was delivering her groceries for Instacart or something, and the lady was talking about how the house was haunted and how she said she cleared the spirit or whatever."

Check out more from Brittany Howard below.