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Kim Lenz

Slowly Speeding – 2019 (Blue Star)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Kim Lenz

Kim Lenz prevents a slew of (mostly) rockabilly-inspired sounds on "Slowly Speeding," although the release's title track is, surprisingly, a traditional country song. Yes, she knows her way around bass-thumping, rocking grooves like the one driving "Wild Oak," but it's also a joy to hear Lenz's strong voice applied to something country.

The title track is either a contradiction or a paradox. No matter how you interpret it, though, Lenz varies her speedometer readings throughout this consistent musical trip. "Percolate" is a hyperactive brew, while "Room" slows things down significantly and thoughtfully. "Bogeyman" reveals how Lenz has learned to inventively incorporate blues music into her sonic portfolio.

"Pine Me" is one of the standout tracks because it's quietly moody, while still rhythmic. Lenz sings its lyric longingly. It has a Chris Isaak "Wicked Game"-like vibe running through it, which makes it so compelling. "Pine Me" is one of many examples where Lenz finds new and intriguing ways to create rockabilly and rockabilly-adjacent sounds. Many of these songs have a slightly sinister tone to them, making Lenz appear like a Flannery O'Connor-inspired Southern Gothic femme fatale. The rockabilly revival that first brought attention to Lenz's music may be long gone, but "Slowly Speeding" exemplifies how her love of American sounds is still alive, well and kicking.