“Black Widow” is de tweede single/videoclip van haar nieuwe album “Denim & Diamonds”!
Nikki: “I had found intriguing that the chasing after her prey of the female black widow spider is often associated with powerful women. For me, it’s always been more fun to just move on”.
“Denim & Diamonds” is het vierde album van country zangeres Nikki Lane en de eerste in 5 jaar. Na 2017’s “Highway Queen” had ze simpelweg even genoeg van haar hectische artiesten/tour-leven en richtte ze zich op haar ‘vintage’ winkeltje High Class Hillbilly. Daarnaast werkte ze muzikaal nog wel wat samen met Lana Del Rey (op haar album “Chemtrails Over The Country Club”), Brent Cobb en Spiritualized. Twee jaar geleden kwam ze in contact met Queens Of The Stone Age-frontman Josh Homme en hij wist het vlammetje weer aan te wakkeren. Met Homme als muzikant en producer, in zijn eigen Pink Duck Studios, nam de singersongwriter Nikki Lane 10 nieuwe songs op. Naast Homme zijn ook drie andere QOTSA-leden prominent te horen: organist Dean Fertita, gitarist Alain Johannes en bassist Michael Shuman. Daarnaast zijn er ook gast-bijdragen van drummer Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys), pedal steel muzikant Matthew Pynn (Dwight Yoakam, Miley Cyrus) en percussioniste Carla Azar (Autolux, Jack White). Nikki Lane’s poppy country sound kreeg door Josh Homme’s invloed duidelijk wat meer ‘dynamic, bluesy & rock ’n roll swagger’ en werd “Denim & Diamonds” een avontuurlijke ‘wild, gritty and heavy journey’!
Op 23 september verschijnt het album: “Denim & Diamonds”
Nikki Lane grew up First Baptist, but always felt like an outsider; her parents were divorced, and didn’t have a lot of money. Before music, fashion was Lane’s outlet for creative expression. She remembers being a teenager in Greenville, South Carolina, dressing up for Christian punk shows her parents allowed her to go to. "Remember the Aerosmith video where Alicia Silverstone changed her outfit in the car? That's really what the fuck I did.”
She dropped out of school at 17 and within two years had moved to Los Angeles, which led to New York City, and then down to Nashville, where she began writing her own songs.
2011 saw the release of her debut album “Walk Of Shame”, which proved Lane could sing anything from swampy rockers to tender love ballads. It was a stepping stone for her more ambitious second album, 2014’s “All Or Nothin’”, which was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, whom she met while selling clothes at a Nashville flea market. Auerbach helped Lane amp up her sound, touching on doo-wop, surf-rock guitars and funky rhythms. It worked - the stomping opener “Right Time” has racked up more than 10 million Spotify streams. It was then followed by 2017’s “Highway Queen”, where she made no secret of her big ambitions. The album received wide critical acclaim and was featured on multiple year-end best-of lists.
But then she wasn’t sure she wanted to make another one.
She was tired of saying yes and tired of the touring grind. She had lived up to her Highway Queen persona, touring from Boston to Barcelona, and back again. Lane did it all - driving the tour van, keeping track of the merch she designed, performing, meeting fans. “It was hard playing all the roles. There was very little left,” she says. When the grind came to a halt, she was happy staying home, working in her vintage store High Class Hillbilly and hanging out with artists like Sierra Ferrell (“One of the most raw, original talents I’ve ever heard - she's my favorite”). Lana Del Rey enlisted Lane to write and duet with her on last year’s “Chemtrails Over The Country Club” (Del Rey has also become known to jump on stage during Lane performances). Lane also collaborated with Spiritualized on their acclaimed “Everything Was Beautiful”.
“I hadn’t made a record in years and did not really feel interested in making another one,” she says. But Lane had been secretly stashing away ideas. “What I realized was how many little nuggets I was sitting on,” she says.
Enter Joshua Homme.
She and the Queens Of The Stone Age frontman connected over the phone in May 2020 when the world was shut down. Like Lane, Homme was feeling overwhelmed with everything happening. “Neither of us knew what the year was going to hold and if it was going to work or if it was going to be easy.”
Energized by their talk, Lane and Homme found themselves in his Pink Duck Studios months later. Lane came in with new songs and Homme put together a big talent studio band, including his Queens Of The Stone Age-collaborators Alain Johannes on guitar, Dean Fertita on organ & Michael Shuman on bass, as well as drummers Matt Helders of Arctic Monkeys and Carla Azar of the acclaimed post-punk band Autolux. Homme asked Lane to bring a bandmate of her own, and she chose her steel player Matt Pynn. Since Lane felt out of her element, Pynn became a crucial support system in a room of new faces: “I’d be like ‘Did we get that vocal?’ And he’d be like, ‘Fuck yeah.’”
On “Denim & Diamonds”, Lane combines her love of Nuggets-era bands like The 13th Floor Elevators with the back porch wit of Loretta Lynn - an artist Lane hadn’t discovered until she was in her twenties (“MTV was my babysitter growing up,” she admits). Later, Lynn immediately felt a kinship upon hearing Lane’s sharp-witted biographical vignettes. “She’s a lot like me,” Lynn told. “I just feel like we always knew each other. We might have met in another lifetime.”
Homme helped Lane take her sound to new places. He took her empowering kiss-off, the title track, “Denim & Diamonds”, and turned it into “the most Homme song on the record,” complete with a swaggering blues riff and dynamic snare-drum pummeling; On the heavy “Black Widow” Lane uses spider superstition as a parallel to warn about a dangerous lover.
One song Lane keeps coming back to is “Pass It Down,” a buoyant folk singalong that came out of a phone conversation about her relationship with her father and her deeply religious upbringing. “It could be about religion, it could be about AA,” she says. “It’s about getting it off your chest in order to move on.” Lane realizes she may have stumbled upon the theme running through the entire record. “I'm attracted to things that might catch me on fire, because that's the inkwell,” says Lane. “I got my confidence back in some ways. I remembered what I was good at. I’m in a good place.”
For Lane, “Denim & Diamonds” was a chance to take stock of her first decade as a songwriter. She traces her story of origin, from her religious youth in South Carolina to Nashville Rebel. It’s a wild, heavy journey into the mind of one of today’s most talented songwriters.