British garage rock chanteuse Holly Golightly left the U.K. in 2008 to settle in Georgia with her romantic and musical partner, an American musician known as Lawyer Dave, and since then she's released a handful of albums informed by American folk, blues, and country under the rubric Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs. While Golightly has remained a talented and engaging vocalist and songwriter, her work with the Brokeoffs hasn't always been as satisfying as her early solo albums, where her fusion of early rock & roll, barroom blues, and mid-century pop was perfectly suited to her playfully sweet-and-sour vocal style. So for many of Golightly's fans, the good news is she's cut a new solo set after a ten-year layoff, and Slowtown Now! is just what folks who loved albums like Truly She Is None Other or Painted On have been waiting for, a set of slinky, low-key retro-pop that puts the cool insouciance of Golightly's voice to ideal use. Featuring longtime associates Ed Deegan on guitar and Bruce Brand on drums, Slowtown Now! sounds a bit cleaner and tidier than Golightly's sessions with Billy Childish at the controls (Deegan also served as producer), but the mood is perfect for Holly and her songs, with a small combo giving these numbers a three-a.m. mood that blends the slinky and the gritty in just the right proportions. Considering she hasn't worked in this style in quite some time, Golightly seems confident and assured, and she's in splendid voice, low-key but witty and authoritative, and her songs, which generally find her sardonically musing on how love often gives her the fuzzy end of the lollipop, are simply first-rate. Slowtown Now! doesn't sound like a grand gesture, in which Holly Golightly declares to the world that the Julie London of Medway is back in business, but as a compact and clever reminder of a genuinely unique talent, it's a delightful return to form, and hopefully she can slip away from the Brokeoffs a bit more frequently in the future.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming