Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard on growing up in her family’s junkyard

We lived down a long gravel driveway, and you’re driving through these woods and then you cross a bridge over a creek. And then you keep going up this hill, and on either side of you it just starts filling in with junk cars, newer cars, boats, motorcycles, a shop. It’s all around you. And then you get to the top of the hill and that’s where, um… we grew up in a little trailer, but it was really nice.

My mom was really good at making our home — no matter what our situation was — always felt like a home, always felt really nice. And I played with our animals. We had a lot of different kinds of animals. I grew up on a farm in a sense, but it was always a junkyard. So it was a really interesting way to grow up, because I would be playing on all of these stacked-up cars, which is super-dangerous, but then I’d also go run around the woods with my dog, and go play in the creek. … The way I think of it is, you’re surrounded by the junkyard. Think of it like a hurricane, and you’re in the eye of it. The little patch of grass that has the animals and the little trailer and then the rest was, to me, was like a labyrinth. It was an amusement park.