FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2015
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY’S FAST TRACK TO SLOWTOWN
Transatlantic indie icon Holly Golightly returns to her British roots with Slowtown Now!, her first full-band album in over a decade
L ONDON, UK— In a career that spans 25 years and more than 20 albums, Holly Golightly has established a singular niche as one of rock ’n’ roll’s most reliable iconoclasts. Along the way, the English singer-guitarist’s musical output has retained its scrappy D.I.Y. spirit as it’s continued to venture into new stylistic territory. In recent years, the London native has relocated to rural Georgia, where she and partner Lawyer Dave have carved out a new musical identity as Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs, exploring a rootsy, ramshackle array of blues and country influences.
While her work with the Brokeoffs has won her new levels of critical acclaim and fan loyalty, Holly’s longtime admirers maintain an abiding affection for the utterly distinctive, melodically infectious rock ’n’ roll records that originally established her as a musical force. Those fans will welcome the new Holly Golightly release Slowtown Now!, out September 11, 2015 on the legendary English indie imprint Damaged Goods.
Her first full-band effort since 2004’s Slowly But Surely, Slowtown Now! reunites Holly with her longstanding U.K. band of guitarists Ed Deegan and Bradley Burgess, bassist Matt Radford and drummer Bruce Brand. Recorded at London’s Gizzard Studios, the album echoes the free-spirited approach of Golightly’s early albums, drawing upon her deep affinity for vintage musical styles to create deeply personal, utterly distinctive songcraft. The 12-song set encompasses rocking swagger (“As You Go Down”), catchy girl-group pop (“What You See”), jazzy balladry (“Frozen in Time”) and playful exotica (“Seven Wonders”).
“There’s nothing contrived, it’s just a bunch of friends who love playing together,” says Holly, noting that the original impetus for the project was to mark the 25th anniversary of Damaged Goods, which released many of the artist’s landmark musical triumphs in the ’90s and ’00s.
She adds that she’d missed making music with her U.K. combo in recent years. “I’d been touring and recording so much with the Brokeoffs that I hadn’t done anything with my band for a long time, and I really missed playing with them,” she explains, adding, “It was very easy to step back into it. We’ve worked together for so long that it’s telepathic at this point, even with the gap in between. So it was easy to just get back together in a room and pick up where we’d left off.”
Born in the Kensington section of London, in the same hospital where Jimi Hendrix died, Holly made her performing debut via her relationship with then-boyfriend Bruce Brand. An impromptu guest spot singing with Brand and lo-fi D.I.Y. guru Billy Childish’s seminal garage-primitive combo Thee Headcoats led to Holly jointly forming that group’s sister band, Thee Headcoatees, with whom she recorded eight albums.
In 1995, while still a member of Thee Headcoatees, she branched out into a solo career that quickly revealed both a distinctive songwriting talent and a commanding stage presence. Her solo work largely traded Thee Headcoatees’ three-chord girl-group garage rock for a rootsier, more intimate approach drawing inspiration from a broad range of American styles. She’s been intensely prolific in the years since, releasing a steady stream of albums, singles and EPs on a variety of independent labels, including Damaged Goods, Kill Rock Stars, Super Electro and Sympathy for the Record Industry. She’s also collaborated on record with such friends and admirers as the White Stripes, Mudhoney, Rocket from the Crypt and the Greenhornes.
Her impressive history aside, Slowtown Now! makes it clear that Holly Golightly remains a unique and prolific musical force, continuing to create vital new music on a regular basis. She and Lawyer Dave recently completed a new Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs album, Coulda Shoulda Woulda, slated for release in October, with an American tour to follow.
“I really love having these two parallel things going,” Holly notes. “They’re different enough that they don’t step on each other’s toes, but they’re both me.”
LISTEN NOW to a track from Holly Golightly's Slowtown album:
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2013
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY & THE BROKEOFFS’ IT’S HER FAULT
CONTINUES TRADITION OF TWISTED ROOTS MUSIC
FROM THE RURAL SOUTH BY WAY OF THE U.K. AND TEXAS
Album coming March 4 on Transdreamer Records.
Holly and Lawyer Dave to tour America in spring.
SMALLTOWN GEORGIA — Holly Golightly has made over 20 albums and appeared on countless more, but she never had a recording experience like the one she had making the new Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs release All Her Fault, coming March 4, 2014 on Transdreamer Records.
Golightly and her partner Lawyer Dave spent nearly six months on the project. “It has never taken me that long to get through 12 tracks,” she admits. “I don’t have the patience for endlessly going over things. I want things done quickly and this was like pulling a Dave-shaped log along at times.”
A native of England, Golightly currently lives with Lawyer Dave on a rural farm outside of Athens, Georgia. The duo recorded this album in the convenience of their home studio, which they found had drawbacks too. “You have to be disciplined when you are paying for studio time, but even more so when you are recording at home,” she says. What with working on their farm, having day jobs and tending to their rescued horses, the two were challenged to find recording time.
Being a two-person band (Lawyer Dave “is” the Brokeoffs) made recording a slow process, according to Golightly. They built their tracks the DIY way, with Dave layering the instruments. For this recording, they received some great, donated equipment as well as stuff that neighbors dug out of their barns that the couple had to clean up. Then, on top of everything else, raging summer thunderstorms deluged them. “We got flooded out a few times and had the power go out.” she explains. “The studio had to be shut down for days at times, so we couldn’t do anything for fear of losing everything if we suddenly lost electricity, which we did, on and off, all summer.”
Despite all the troubles and trials getting it done, Golightly feels justifiably proud of All Her Fault, which she describes as their “most rounded and complete album.” She says that the benefit of the extra time let the pair “exhaust every avenue of potential” in their songs. “There’s nothing where Dave and I said that we could have made it better.”
Don’t expect All Her Fault, however, to sound radically different from their earlier releases. It’s still a raw, rough-hewn stew of twisted roots music forged by the duo’s distinct musical interests — she listens to late ’50s/early ’60s R&B and he loves rock ’n’ roll. “I’m not looking to achieve something that hasn’t been achieved before,” she confesses. “We just what we do. The songs are really all that changes.”
Full of colorful characters and frank commentary, the songs on All Her Fault rank among her strongest. Prime examples are the tunes that bookend the album: “SLC” and “King Lee.” “SLC” opens the disc with a satiric look at a certain Utah city “where you ain’t gonna have a good time” due to its restrictive environment. By contrast, the closing “King Lee” celebrates personal freedom as it salutes the uninhabited lifestyle of an old man who lives near Golightly, who describes him an “entrepreneur” although she isn’t quite sure what he does.
Golightly and Lawyer Dave stock the rest of the record with a rambunctious set of home-brewed backwoods music — from the eerie swamp rocker “For All That Ails You” to “Can’t Pretend” (which resembles T. Rex on a rockabilly bender), while “The Best” suggests a lullaby that just might inspire nightmares.
“The Best” also utilizes one of their recent studio additions: a piano. Piano actually figures prominently in several numbers including the disc’s central track, “Bless Your Heart.” This marvelous rant aimed at people who pretend to be who they aren’t was inspired by a Nashville star who sings about dirt roads and tractors but really is just a cowboy hat-wearing suburban kid. “It’s a glorification of living in a trailer and the locals don’t glorify it,” she states. “I have a problem with people presenting themselves as something they are not. I do enjoy straightforward honesty above all else really.”
A tune that stirs different emotions in her is “Pistol Pete,” which is based on one of their rescue horses. “I really love that song,” she says, “It makes me cry.” Horses have been an important part of Golightly’s life for even longer than music. Growing up with her grandparents on a smallholding in East Sussex, England, Golightly was an apprentice jockey and later a riding instructor throughout her involvement with U.K. garage rocker Billy Childish’s musical world. She also took in rescue horses, as and when funds allowed. She and Lawyer Dave, in fact, bought their rural Georgia farm so that hey could have enough land to continue and expand that work.
Making music and working with animals are equally important to Golightly, who has found that they aren’t as different as they might seem. “You learn skills from one that you can transfer to the other,” she explains. Balancing the two interests creates touring dilemmas that most bands don’t face. To support All Her Fault, Golightly and Lawyer Dave will only able to do a full cross-country tour — their first in a long time — due to the generosity of their local friends and neighbors, who will take care of their farm and the animals for the weeks they’ll be on the road.
Golightly acknowledges that she is privileged to be able to do what she loves to do, but she says, “I work really hard to do all of the things I want to do.” The definition of a working musician, Golightly has always had a day job and, in fact, now holds down two. “I have to make a living and feed these hungry horses.” Her music career supports itself, but it hasn’t made her rich. “I’ve never relied on making money from doing it,” she confides. “I’d have starved to death by now if I had done, but I have stuck to my guns and I do it exactly the way I want to do it.” It’s this straight-shooting attitude that she also expresses in the honesty of her music.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2012
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY & THE BROKEOFFS SEQUESTER
IN RURAL GEORGIA TO RECORD SUNDAY RUN ME OVER
Fifth duo album due out October 9 on Transdreamer Records
MADISON COUNTY, Ga. — “I guess I’m kind of a traditionalist, and I stick to what works for me, which is keeping things as simple as possible,” says Holly Golightly. “But I certainly don’t want every record to sound the same, and I think I’ve managed to pull that off, within the strict parameters that I’ve set for myself. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no limit.”
Sunday Run Me Over, due out October 9, 2012 on Transdreamer Records through Megaforce, is Holly’s fifth album with the Brokeoffs, who are actually a duo consisting of the London-born, Georgia-based singer/songwriter/guitarist and Texas-bred multi-instrumentalist and longtime collaborator Lawyer Dave, who contributes guitar, drums and vocals.
But it’s one of nearly 30 albums on which the pioneering D.I.Y. iconoclast is featured, either as a solo artist or band member, and that figure that doesn’t include her various singles, guest appearances and collaborations with the likes of the White Stripes, Mudhoney, the Greenhornes and Rocket from the Crypt. Throughout a career that’s spanned more than 20 years, she’s maintained a fierce fidelity to the unpretentious attitude and stripped-down sonic sensibility that’s made her a seminal influence upon multiple generations of garage, punk and lo-fi artists.
Although she prides herself on sticking to the basics, the Sunday Run Me Over nonetheless finds Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs mining an assortment of rootsy musical sources to create such deeply expressive, unmistakably personal tunes as the chugging opener “Goddamn Holy Roll” (a line from which gives the album its title), the ghostly, loping duet “They Say” and an off-kilter waltz “One For the Road.” This set also features a trio of retooled cover tunes: a lilting take on the Davis Sisters’ 1953 country hit “I Forgot More,” a spirited reading of Wayne Raney’s 1960 gospel chestnut “A Whole Lot More . . . ” — a.k.a. “We Need a Whole Lot More of Jesus (and a Lot Less Rock and Roll)” — and a hearty run through Mac Davis’ 1980 “Hard to Be Humble,” which boasts an appropriately swaggering lead vocal by Lawyer Dave.
Holly and Dave recorded Sunday Run Me Over at home, in their modest studio built by Dave on the rural parcel of land that the pair shares near Athens, Ga., where they rescue horses, dogs, chickens, geese and goats alongside making music.
“We rented in some pretty fancy equipment this time around, so that we could make it sound a bit different,” Holly explains, adding, “The benefit of doing it at home is that you can take your time doing it, which is a luxury you don’t get when you’re up against the clock in the studio. You can record in your pajamas, or you can trip out there at four in the morning if you have a mind to change something. Having the freedom to do it at your own pace allows you to make music that sounds unhurried, and it makes for a lot of space in the music.
“We really did give this one our undivided attention, and I think that really does show,” she says of the new album. “We worked really hard on it — not that we haven’t worked hard on the others, but on this one, we wouldn’t stop working on something until we were a hundred per cent happy with it before moving on. We also recorded it in the dead of winter, which we don’t normally do, so it wasn’t too hot. We had lots of energy in the studio, ’cos it was cold, and I think that’s reflected in the music.”
Born in London, in the same hospital that Jimi Hendrix died in, Holly Golightly grew up in a bohemian household and pursued her own musical path early in life, embracing punk rock and vintage soul. “I stopped listening to pop music when I was quite young . . . The music that was popular at the time simply didn’t do anything for me,” she recalls. “I was absorbed in the sub-culture of soul clubs and dancing to ’50s and ’60s R&B, and that was more my thing. I had a punk rock sensibility, but I loved soul music. So when I started to make music myself, I drew from what I loved, and that’s all I’ve done ever since. It is a bottomless pool of inspiration.”
Although she’d never sung in public previously, Holly’s performing debut came via Bruce Brand, drummer of Billy Childish’s seminal garage-primitive combo Thee Headcoats. An impromptu guest spot singing with the band led to a lengthy run as a member of Thee Headcoats’ sister band, Thee Headcoatees, who were “invented” on the spot and with whom she recorded eight albums during their 12 years together.
In 1995, while still a member of Thee Headcoatees, Holly branched out into a solo career that quickly revealed a both a distinctive songwriting talent and a commanding stage presence. Her solo work also largely traded Thee Headcoatees’ three-chord girl-group garage rock for a rootsier, more intimate approach. She’s been intensely prolific in the years since, releasing 20 solo albums as well as numerous singles and EPs for a variety of independent labels, including Damaged Goods, Kill Rock Stars and Sympathy for the Record Industry.
In 2007, Holly officially teamed with Lawyer Dave, who had been playing stand-up bass in her touring band for several years, to form Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs. Recording and performing as a duo, with Holly singing and playing guitar, and Dave playing guitar with his hands and a drum set with his feet, they developed a raw, immediate sound that’s perfectly suited to their explorations of such themes as love, whiskey, religion and guns.
Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs’ 2007 debut effort You Can’t Buy A Gun When You’re Crying won considerable attention from critics and fans alike. The pair continued to expand their audience with 2008’s acclaimed Dirt Don’t Hurt, their first release on the Transdreamer label. It was followed by the EP Devil Do and the widely acclaimed albums Medicine County and No Help Coming, released in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
The Brokeoffs, Holly notes, “is the first true collaboration I’ve really been involved in, and Dave generally doesn't work well with others, so learning how to do it well has taken us a few years. It slows things down a bit, when two people have to agree on things, and of course neither of us had a surplus of patience for it in the beginning. I’d gotten very used to doing everything my way and so had Dave, but now we've come to value the benefits of collaboration and seem to have honed it to a fine art.”
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