Holly Golightly Expresses Her Georgia Juke Joint Side with The Brokeoffs

Holly GolightlyEXPAND
Holly Golightly
Troy Martin

As long as there has been music, there have been dance crazes. There are those stemmed in 60’s R&B, like “The Locomotion,” that were brilliant, and duds like the “Hokey Pokey” and the “Macarena.” You can almost hear Holly Golightly cringe at the mention of the latter two dances. “Those are bloody awful,” she cries. “If you got a really good R&B track to dance to, I don’t hold it against it, like 'The Mashed Potato.'”

Golightly and The Brokeoffs would like to introduce “Karate,” the newest craze that’s putting the other dances down. This raucous track from the album Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda is a perfect example of the fun songwriting style that Golightly has been known for over two decades. Best known to American audiences as the singer on the closing track of The White Stripes’ 2003 album, Elephant, she is having a prolific year. In the spring, she released Slowtown Now, a solo album with backing musicians from her home country of England.

“I haven’t been home for a really long time,” she recalls. “I got to see my new nephew and hang out with my dad. People come to visit, but it isn’t the same.”

Her latest album with The Brokeoffs, her collaboration with Texas native Lawyer Dave, has a uniquely American feel. (Stream a track here.) 

“They’re completely different things,” she describes, “The stuff I did with David was recorded in a shed we’ve got out in the backyard. There’s no parallel between the two.

The divide between her and Lawyer Dave doesn’t end there. She says, “Dave and I have known each other for a really long time. We’ve always talked about having a go-through on a side project just to see what is was like. We have completely different reference points. We don’t even like much of the same music. Collaborators by nature are pretty contentious because two people have to agree on something. It’s difficult when it comes to music, especially when you don’t like the same thing. It’s a challenge to come up with something we can both be happy with. That’s the good part. It gives rise to something I wouldn’t have attempted otherwise.”

This could have something to do with her currently living in Georgia, but she doesn’t think so.

“Aside from the climate, [Georgia] is basically British,” Golightly says. “People are very polite and sweet, much like British people. We got the same food, and topographically it looks a lot like where I grew up.”

In addition to tracks about jigs named after martial arts, there are songs about whiskey, religion, firearms, and love. The result is an album that feels uninhibited and rowdy, with innuendos that fly enough under the radar that the album wouldn’t be out of place at a youth event at a Southern Baptist church.

“I try to keep things about straightforward as possible,” she says.

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