There’s only a few folks who’ve earned the utmost respect of snarly and grizzled performers like Cody Jinks and Whitley Morgan. There’s only a few who would be willing to go out on the road and perform in intimate settings swapping songs with a songmaster such as Brent Cobb. But nothing holds the Highway Queen Nikki Lane back. Fearless and resolute, she is here to leave a mark, and is unafraid if it bleeds.
It’s been five years since Nikki Lane released an album, but it’s not like she’s been sitting on her duff this whole time. As the proprietor of the vintage store High Class Hillbilly now for a decade, Nikki Lane isn’t just an ambassador of throwback music, but the fashion and culture that goes along with it.
Writing and performing songs is just one of the many ways Lane contributes, and instead of just jotting down a few ditties to satisfy some arbitrary release timeline, she decided to savor and experience life, and let the songs come to her for this particular album called Denim & Diamonds, which will emerge in full on September 23rd via New West.
“There is a song that didn’t make the album with the lyrics ‘sometimes you gotta run away to live a life that you can write a song about,’” Lane says. “Prior to this album, I was so focused on writing about life on the road, that I just didn’t have the headspace to write about the road that got me here.”
Produced by Joshua Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, and featuring Queens of the Stone Age members including Alain Johannes on guitar, Dean Fertita on organ, and Michael Shuman on bass, the album is said to push Nikki Lane more towards the rock side of country. But her pedal steel player Matthew Pynn also appears to make sure the album includes the requisite twang.
You can definitely hear this more rock edge in the debut single from the album called “First High” (see below). “This song is about chasing that feeling of the first roller coaster, the first drag of a cigarette, that first kiss,” Lane says. “Those moments are harder to come by the older we get, yet only get better each time. The video captures that feeling of being young in a small town on a summer day, and the lack of inhibition that came with it.”
Denim & Diamonds is now available for pre-order.
2. Denim & Diamonds
4. Born Tough
5. Try Harder
6. Good Enough
8. Black Widow
9. Pass It Down