Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs, Medicine County
Golightly goes south for an inspired take on country and blues
Holly Golightly has built a career bashing out bristling '60s rock numbers, but on Medicine County, she moves from the garage to the front porch for a protracted study of the low-down sound of the American South. To be fair, Golightly's music has always borne a hint of the blues, but on County that influence is more explicit. The album opens with "Forget It," a lithe and eerie organ-flecked number that could pass for a distant cousin to Bob Dylan's equally ominous "Love Sick." "Hold me closer/ so I can't breathe," Golightly coos, gamely setting up a notion of Complicated Sexuality to which she repeatedly returns. On the grimy "Two Left Feet," alongside a gutbucket blues riff and a partner who sounds eerily similar to Mick Jagger, Golightly tells her lover, "I don't mind if you can't keep time with me." On the spry square dance "I Can't Lose," it's Golightly who's playing the devil, warning, "For all you know, I might just go and break you," as a fiddle darts and twitches in the background. Like Billy Childish, with whom she has frequently collaborated, Golightly works best when dedicating herself to a very particular milieu. Medicine County is a bracing and welcome change — a strange spin on Americana as only a Brit could deliver.