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Holly Golightly and Lawyer Dave look to midcentury R&B and gospel on their latest album, Sunday Run Me Over. (Courtesy of the artist)

Holly Golightly: Singing In The Back Of The Revival Tent

by NPR Staff
Oct 7, 2012 (Weekend Edition Sunday)

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For more than 20 years, the British songwriter Holly Golightly — yes, named for the heroine in Breakfast at Tiffany's — has been a lo-fi artist with a spare, stripped-down sound that hits you somewhere in the midsection.

The latest album by the singer-songwriter and her musical partner Lawyer Dave — collectively known as Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs — is called Sunday Run Me Over. Musically, the album has all the ingredients to be the soundtrack of a good old-fashioned religious revival. But when they sing, they come off like the disenchanted youths in the back of the tent, who bail on the revival to drink and curse by the river — not to mention write their own songs.

"I got really into '50s and '60s R&B a long time ago," Golightly says. "And I think through dissecting those — which essentially were gospel songs — I went backwards in my search. Rather than reaching for the sky, I guess I just sort of stripped it down and put my finger on what I liked about it. There's a formula to it that's meant and intended to make people feel like they know it before they've even heard it. There's something in that. And that's what good church music does, really — it's inclusive."

Holly Golightly and Lawyer Dave sat down with NPR's Rachel Martin to discuss how they collaborate, getting started in music, and why cover songs are a perverse pleasure.

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