I’d Marry That Voice: Part 6 – Caleb Followill

Following on from previous IMTV subject Ray Lamontagne, my choice of voice is that of the former beard monster Caleb Followill of Tennessee-based family band Kings of Leon.

Like many others, the first I heard of one of the most intriguing voices in modern music was on the band's now iconic breakthrough single Molly’s Chambers. Being around sixteen at the time of its release, rude thoughts of what exactly Molly was doing within her chambers to change our minds were never far away.

Now I’m more knowledgeable about the band, I honestly think I’ve never heard a voice so in tune with from where it was sourced, rooted in the deep south of the US. Each drawled lyric and over-pronounced vowel is effortless - on Molly’s Chambers the verses are almost spoken. Not so on the thundering Four Kicks, in which much fun can be had in trying to figure out what the hell Caleb's actually saying, ranging from getting his gun from Sal, and loving someone under his shoe. I've no idea what it’s about, but it’s a great song and Followill’s curious throaty qualities are shown again.

It’s fair to say that Followill has a fairly narrow vocal range, but he uses what he has to good effect. His voice is showcased superbly on most recent single On Call, with the rootsy production on the chorus highlighting an empowering call to arms. “# I’m on call… so be there#”. We're right there, Caleb.

words: Steven Oldham