If you are a fan of rock music, you might be familiar with the band Altamont Speedway. The group rose to fame after appearing on the third season of the popular US series, The Voice. Since then, their popularity has only increased, with fans from all over the world flocking to social media to show their support.
The group has released a compilation album, which includes their greatest hits. In this article, we’ll tell you more about the band and their music. So, if you’re curious about what band Altamont Speedway is, read on.
The group was originally formed by musicians Jesse Gabrielle, Charlie Paulson, and Brian Young in 2009. They released their eponymous debut album in 2012, which peaked at number 17 on the iTunes albums chart. A few months later, they were featured on another series, This Is Us, before releasing their second album, Love Is Love, in 2013.
That same year, the group won the Best Alternative Pop Vocal Group award at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. They released their third album, Songs For Everyone, in 2014, which reached number 27 on the Billboard Top 100. The band’s fourth album, From The Ashes, came out in early 2016 and reached number two on the Top 100. Their latest album, The Greatest Hits, was released in 2018 and features some of the group’s biggest and most memorable hits. The band has always been very active, with Charlie Paulson and Brian Young both touring with The Rolling Stones and Mumford & Sons. In November 2018, the pair were joined by Jesse Gabrielle for a sell-out show at London’s famous Apollo Theater. The concert film of the show, which was later released as a DVD, is available to buy online now.
Altamont Speedway‘s sound has evolved over the years, with their earlier work focusing more on upbeat pop and rock songs, and later albums incorporating a wider variety of sounds. Their 2013 album Love Is Love features a mix of bluesy rock, soulful pop, and classical music influences. This is most prominent on their single, “Everyday Is A Holiday,” which opens with a lively string and horn section before settling into a more traditional rock sound.
Their 2014 album, Songs For Everyone, showcased their softer side more, with tracks like “Nobody Loves Me” and “Somebody New” featuring string quartets and piano. The pair’s frequent songwriting collaborator, Ryan Tedder, produced several tracks on the album, including the singles, “Let It Go” and “Million Miles.”
The 2015 album Ode to Joy was a radical departure from the band’s previous work, incorporating hip-hop and R&B influences into their sound. The pair collaborated with Beyoncé on a couple of tracks on the album, most notably “Run The World (Girls),” which won the band a Grammy in 2016 for Best Pop Duo Performance. “Ice Cream Sundae,” the album’s closing track, was inspired by the dance craze that was sweeping across social media at the time, with its uplifting music and colorful artwork, it could have been an ice cream commercial.
The group’s original founders, Charlie Paulson and Brian Young, still perform with the band. The other two members, Jesse Gabrielle and drummer Julian Prichard, have since left the band, although both remain active in the music industry. They are credited as the band’s songwriters, with Charlie and Brian also performing as lead guitarists and keyboards, respectively. The band also has a horn section, which is led by Tim Lauer, that often features on their songs.
Other musicians who have played with the group include former member, Jonny Buckland, who played lead guitar for the 2014 and 2018 albums, From The Ashes and The Greatest Hits, respectively. They were also joined by Justin Guarini on bass guitar for a 2019 tour to support their latest album, The Greatest Hits. As well as the US tour, Altamont Speedway have also played alongside Royalty Inductions and toured the UK several times. They will be returning to the UK this year for a string of festivals, including a show at London’s O2 Arena on June 15th.
Most people are familiar with the band from their work on The Voice, with the show’s creator, Michael Schur, even crediting them as the breakout act of the season. The Voice is known for its fantastic choreography and powerful performances, and the band certainly delivered on both fronts. Their first appearance on the show was in 2011, when they released their debut single, “Just Like Heaven.” That track, along with “Kiwi,” one of the other singles from that album, were big hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2012, spending a combined total of 22 weeks on the chart. Another of their songs, “A Better Love Song,” was featured in the show’s fifth episode in the spring of 2012. That same year, they released their self-titled debut album, which reached number 17 on the Billboard Top 100. “Kiwi” was once again a top 20 single, peaking at number 14, and both tracks were nominated for Best Pop Duo Performance at the 2014 Grammy Awards. Their follow-up, Love Is Love, which was released in September 2013 and peaked at number 44, didn’t enjoy the same level of commercial success but still featured a pair of top 40 hits, “I’ll Say Goodbye,” which reached number 33, and “Somebody New,” which reached number 40. The album also earned the band another Grammy nomination in 2015 for Best Pop Duo Performance.
The Voice judge, Simon Cowell, even said in 2017 that he considered Altamont Speedway one of the greatest live acts in the world, and that is certainly a compliment. The group has always enjoyed phenomenal support from their fans, with many of their songs being covered on TikTok. There have even been instances of people impersonating the band on social media, with one user getting so close to perfect that they fooled even the band’s biggest fans. The world is waiting for the band’s next big move, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.