Nikki Lane – All or Nothin’
South Carolina’s Nikki Lane is Dan Auerbach’s protégé, which immediately marks her out as worth a listen. The Black Keys guitarist, singer and producer takes producing credits on her second album – and you can hear it. There is an assured feel, with every tune memorable and well put together.
Lane, who is also a model and owner of The High Class Hillbilly clothes shop, has a cute yet husky voice in the style of Stevie Nicks – it has an addictive quality to it, you just want to hear more. The album cover sees jet-haired and blue-eyed Lane dressed with an old-fashioned, subversive circus feel to her look and style.
The album kicks off with Right Time, a fun, naughty, indecently catchy tune, a clarion call to misbehavers: “Any day or night time, it’s always the right time to do the wrong thing.” On Don’t Care, Lane declares that “I don’t care about anything but you.” On You Can’t Talk to Me Like That, she warns a suitor that his charming words “make me crazy/wanna be your baby”, which is not necessarily a positive thing. She continues the venerable country tradition, just like Patsy Cline, of women making themselves crazy over men. Lane has been described as a cross between Loretta Lynn and Lykke Li, in the way she conveys the drama of relationships, the rawness, the dubious romance and the subsuming of the self into infatuation.
The steel guitar riffs complement the simple yet punchy tunes throughout, especially on Seein’ Double. She duets with Auerbach, to great effect, on Love’s on Fire, an upbeat love song featuring some bluegrass fiddle. Their husky, heartfelt voices work well together. However, Lane is not to be pinned down so easily. She’s back in mischievous mood in the seductive Sleep with a Stranger: “I ain’t looking for love, just a little danger, tonight’d be a good night to sleep with a stranger.” As you might expect from a clothes shop owner, she relishes in describing the little Americana outfits she’ll use in this planned seduction.
The closing two tracks, Wild One and Want My Heart Back (“you left me with nothing but goodbye”), see Lane in more downbeat, reflective mood, brooding over some deceiving cowboy. This album almost creates its own genre – “naughty alt-country”. It’s sassy, self-assured and catchy.
All or Nothin’ was released on 2nd February 2015, for further information or to order the album visit here.