It has been 11 years since Holly Golightly’s last solo album. The artist has been busy performing as part of the Blues/Americana duo Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs but a new album Slowtown Now! see’s the artist return to more familiar surroundings. As a solo artist Golightly draws from the 1960s and earlier, transporting listeners back to the blues of the Deep South with elements of surf rock added for good measure. Uninfluenced by fads or fashions, Golightly’s music remains true to the original style of her earliest albums.
Slowtown Now! alludes to many familiar situations in its lyrics, some happy, some irritating and some sad. Yet a sense of humour is maintained throughout, giving the listener and easy, relaxing ride. The album opener ‘Seven Wonders’ is delightfully striking with its deep swinging bass, coated with appealing electric guitar riffs. It has the most distinctive sound of the album, yet has a feeling of familiarity. The sound effortlessly reflects the tone of the lyrics, creating an air of suspicion as Golightly questions her subject. Meanwhile the artists relaxed, vintage vocals seamlessly cut through the heavily textured music allowing the listener to embrace every lyric.
Like her other solo album’s, Slowtown Now! maintains an underlying Americana sound throughout, reminiscent of the bourbon soaked honky-tonk bars of early 20th century Texas. However overlying each song is a contemporary twist escorted by various genres. ‘Frozen in time’ is a charming number about a carefree relationship, in which two lovers “laugh till [they] cry”, “gazing at the stars”. Drenched with jazzy chords and supplemented by a solo saxophonist, this song is a warm and fuzzy addition to the album.
‘As You Go Down’ and ‘What You See’ take their influences from the aforementioned surf rock of the sixties. They pack enough punch to get you up and moving, but still preserve the free-spirited and carefree character of the album. Golightly sings about her streams of thought regarding people she has met throughout her life. She tells her stories plain and simply, without any unnecessary flamboyance, making them relatable. Her words speak to all generations because they are purely a commentary of her contemplations and her psychological analysis of different personalities; something we all do and maybe some more than others. In ‘Fool, fool, fool’ she gently mocks women who stay in relationships which only make them ‘blue’, in an attempt to highlight the absurdity of the problem. The whole album is potentially a quiet and unassuming feminist fable, empowering women through their subconscious.
Slowtown Now! is a charming entanglement of musical genres and contemplative lyrics with an air of jovial sarcasm. Her music has a scrappy D.I.Y spirit, as she has continued to venture into new stylistic territory, whilst maintaining her originality. Golightly’s punky vocal style, coupled with a perfectly executed, contemporary take on rock ‘n’ roll will please fans old and new alike. Slowtown Now! offers an alternative to the mainstream, making it a truly refreshing and energising listen.