You can almost hear the clank and settle before the record starts: A coin drops into the coffee-shop jukebox, and the machine whizzes as the vinyl disc falls beneath the needle. All of this is clearly audible between the occasional steam puff from the coffee pot and a few pings from the cheap china. It's humid, and the waitress is disillusioned and nosy. An angel's voice emanates from the speaker. The voice is charming and consistent. This is the experience of listening to the 13 songs that span Truly She Is None Other, the latest offering from Holly Golightly.
There are two types of nostalgia in music. There's the kind that sounds like a modern band trying to emulate something from the past (e.g., the Strokes, Interpol, the Hives) and the kind that just sounds like the past. It's evident that Golightly's brand is the latter. A listen to a record like Truly is a multisensual flashback to the early '60s, when the music was minimal and the singer somehow projected emotion without affectation or effort. Right from the start, Golightly is matter-of-fact with her pining. Twangy guitars shuffle and clicky drums rat-a-tat while she sings to or about her lovers. She tells us what they say and what they mean. She tells us where they say it. And, like a professional country diva, she never breaks a sweat.
This is a record packed with blues, rock, country, and pop, but genre doesn't matter here. What matters is the command Golightly's voice has over the supporting instruments. It recalls a simpler time, when a nickel in a jukebox was really all you needed to get excited.
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