The last time we checked in with Holly Golightly, she spoke of her impatience with the usual rhythms of the music business. Her response to those rhythms? A solo album (Slowtown Now!) in September, an album (Coulda Shoulda Woulda) with Lawyer Dave for their duo Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs earlier this month, and back on the road for a tour that hits NYC’s Mercury Lounge on Tuesday.
Now that’s firing back.
“It wasn’t actually intentional that they both came out so close together,” she laughs. “That was a fluke that that happened. I was expecting the solo album to be out a lot earlier in the year, and it just wasn’t for one reason or another. I recorded it last Christmas, but it took a while to get it together. So we did think about pushing this album back a little bit because they were so close together, but after thinking and talking about it, it was decided that it was probably not a bad thing at all. So here we are.”
And in the van. When this interview was conducted, Holly and Dave were packed up and ready to go for a 10-hour drive from Georgia to West Virginia to kick off their tour, the epitome of the rockstar lifestyle.
“Very much so,” Golightly said, but that doesn’t stop her, and why would it? Whether solo or with the Brokeoffs, she is still a relevant artist doing great work, which isn’t always a given for someone two decades into a career. But one spin of Coulda Shoulda Woulda erases any doubts. It’s an album that brings a smile to your face, and not just because of the songwriting and performances, but because there are going to be folks out there who just don’t get the tongue in cheek lyrical turns and will, undoubtedly, be offended.
“They can’t wait to be offended,” she said. “Everybody’s just dying for something to be offensive. But it doesn’t ever cross our minds that we might be doing something offensive. We don’t actually think they’ll be offended as much as it might not be in favor within certain factions. (Laughs) But then they’re not the factions that we’re catering to, so it really doesn’t matter. If a normal person – and I know that’s a very loose term – can’t listen to something that’s going on in the world without being offended by it, then they’re probably not ready to be in the world, because there’s a whole lot of s**t out there that people don’t like.”
It’s not necessarily a defiant stance, sending out a musical bomb to the PC police, as much as it’s simply the personality of Golightly and Dave and their desire to make music that makes them smile as well.
“We live in isolation, there’s that as well, so we laugh about things that perhaps people in more cosmopolitan areas don’t laugh at,” she said. “We have different stuff to poke fun at.”
That ability to laugh at the world and themselves does separate the Brokeoffs from some other duos that may touch on the same material, but in a darker, more serious sense.
“We’re not trying to be studied in any one genre, so we’ll turn our hand into anything,” she said. “There are not many duos doing things like “Karate.” (Laughs) I think we’re much more tongue in cheek. For us, personally, we don’t take ourselves as seriously as perhaps other people take us.
“We started playing as a duo so we could tour really cheaply,” Golightly continues. “We didn’t do it for any aesthetic. So we didn’t anticipate it would even be popular. It was a bit silly and we didn’t know what to expect, and it was really well received, so we just carried on doing it. We didn’t think about it that hard.”
Eight years and eight Brokeoffs albums later, she’s still here and not going anywhere either.
“Before I did this, I hadn’t really been involved in a real collaboration,” she said. “I’ve been in a band, which was a seven-way street and nobody could ever agree on anything, but it wasn’t a collaboration in the same sense. Then after that I did a load of solo stuff where I had a brilliant band and really good friends, but they were essentially doing my thing. So this is a different thing entirely, because you’ve got to agree on something. And we don’t always agree and we argue a lot, but I think that’s what keeps it different from anything else I’ve done before. With each record, it’s been approached differently. Some of come really easily, some have been harder to get together and taken longer, and it really does depend on what we’ve got going on outside of playing music. But it’s like a facet of the thing that we do together, and it keeps it sparkly, like a diamond.”
Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs play the Mercury Lounge in NYC on Tuesday, October 27. For tickets, click here