Nikki Lane – Denim & Diamonds (New West Records)
While Nikki Lane hasn’t completed ditched the Americana world, her latest, Denim & Diamonds, is her most rock-centric record yet. The stroll into the rock lane likely comes courtesy of her producer, Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, who also played guitar on the record. That’s not to say Lane has tossed away the cowboy hat and gone full AC/DC, but you can her the influence of more indie and classic rock in the louder drums and more powerful guitars weaved throughout the 10 songs here.
The change is evident on the first track, the driving “First High.” Lane described the song as chasing that that feeling you got the first time you rode a roller coaster, the first drag of a cigarette or that first kiss. And as universal as that feeling is, Lane makes it sound like a revelation here. The title track also boasts some of the coolest riffs on the record (or from any of her albums for that matter) on a song about unabashed independence.
There are quieter moments throughout like on the reverb-heavy “Faded,” with Matt Helders of Arctic Monkeys sitting in on drums and Matt Pynn on pedal steel or on the delicately sweet “Live/Love,” both strong tracks, but Denim & Diamonds’ best moments are when Lane’s band plugs in the guitars and leans into the rock on tracks like “Black Widow,” sounding like a long lost Heart track or on the addictively catchy title song.
Lane’s blend of classic honky tonk with a more modern Americana update has always been part of her appeal, but the addition of more rock guitars just adds to the attraction this time around. Fresh off of playing at this year’s AmericanaFest, she and her band have dates throughout the fall and winter across the U.S.
Enjoy some photos of Nikki Lane and the band including Matt Pynn at AmericanaFet 2022, here: AmericanaFest 2022 — A Photographer’s Look
Find the music here: https://newwestrecords.com/collections/nikki-lane-denim-diamonds