Sat Sept 27
A delightful sense of mystery surrounds Holly Golightly, former lead vocalist with arch garage girl group Thee Headcoatees, and stylish doyen of '50s-style fashion and raw rock 'n' roll. "There's just so much I don't know about you," sings Jack White in a line from his duet with Holly, "It's True That We Love One Another" (from the White Stripes' newest album, Elephant). Like the best humor, the lyric resonates because it's true.
We know that Holly has made about 10 exquisitely crafted, simple rock 'n' roll albums since leaving Thee Headcoatees sometime in 1997, some with her muse Billy Childish, to whose Lee Hazelwood she plays a dirtier, seedier Nancy Sinatra. We know that she's able to turn out a finely poised, near laconic love or rock song with an almost arrogant ease. But how is she able to write so prolifically, and to such high standards? She isn't forthcoming.
"Thank you very muchÉ that's so sweet of you," she writes via email, in response to the second half of the query (an interview in which I also learn that Thee Headcoatees broke up in a bizarre shopping accident). "I don't write half as much as I'd like to," she continues. "It is something I intend to spend more time doing just as soon as I'm able."
So let's dwell on her new solo album, Truly She Is None Other--13 fully rounded, dryly emotional songs, with a voice like honeyed gravel and a low-end production like Ringo given full rein on the early Beatles recordings. It's so brilliantly simple and direct that it makes you wonder why all rock isn't this great.
Beyond the warm music, facts get sketchy. Her name is identical to that of Audrey Hepburn's dreamy dilettante in Breakfast at Tiffany's, but that apparently is coincidence. "I didn't choose it," she pouts, "my mother did." Holly may've had her start on the grimy stages of London as part of a splinter group from Childish's Thee Headcoats--who would play, and play, and play, until even the most hardcore fan would be losing interest, and then Holly and her girls would come on and the party would start again--but she is definitely a rock diva in the making.
"I'd like to think of myself as cock rock," she grins.