New album Wreck Your Wheels, the sixth album in fifteen years from fine Nashville songwriting mainstay Kim Richey -- and first since 2007's Chinese Boxes -- epitomizes the "new reality" of the brave new world of the music industry. No mention of the album on her website or myspace, no press releases -- just a few comments on her Facebook wall and scheduled release (May 17 U.K., September 14 U.S.) Even when randomly surprised by happy accident, we're still pleased to learn that Richey is back with a new collection of uniformly excellent folk/pop with subtle Americana roots peaking through. Once again the Brits have again embraced, if not absconded with, yet another one of our best female singer/songwriters.
Wreck Your Wheels was recorded in Nashville last year and features co-writing credits with The Jayhawk's Mark Olson, English blues/pop singer and '09 Brit Award nominee Beth Rowley and the always dependable U.K. writer (and Eddi Reader collaborator) Boo Hewerdine. The vibe throughout Wheels is warm and inviting, the relaxed Americana atmosphere richly textured even when the folk-pop instrumental backing is spare. Richey's plaintive, emotionally composed singing has never sounded more appealing on songs such as the lovely, downbeat Hewerdine co-write "Keys", the bittersweet gem "99 Floors," or the haunting ballad "Back To You". Languid but never lax, Wreck Your Wheels is a revelation of small gestures, low heat and the power of restraint. Highly recommended.
Kim Richey - "99 Floors" (from the album Wreck Your Wheels)