SONG PREMIERE: Devil Doll Paints Wistful Nostalgia Via Patsy Cline Nodded “Steeltown Heart”

Lover & A Fighter, Devil Doll’s new album (out May 1st) backs vibrant vignettes (“Ballad of the Rearview Mirror”) with carefully etched narratives (“Back Home to Me”). “I thought ‘lover and a fighter’ was such a great phrase to embody this song and the record,” lead singer and songwriter Colleen Duffy says. “It shows women being strong, sticking together and not taking any shit, but also rewarding men for being decent. If the title track was a film it would probably be Faster Pussycat Kill Kill. I thought trying to write my own version of a female anthem like Joan Jett’s ‘Cherry Bomb’ would be really fun and empowering.”

After a six-year hiatus caused by a debilitating illness, Duffy’s adoring fans crowdfunded Devil Doll’s new album, Lover & a Fighter. Recorded at the world-famous Sunset Sound in Hollywood, and featuring contributions from Jon Button on bass, Lover & a Fighter is a masterpiece that allows Duffy to re-stake her claim as queen in a male-dominated world of grease-rock, outlaw country and junkyard soul with her siren voice and gangster guts. Few match her switchblade anthems and ballads of redemption.

“I was surprised by this record,” says the record’s mastering engineer Howie Weinberg (Tom Waits’ iconic Rain Dogs), “It’s just a really, really good record.”

Devil Doll’s return to the public eye has already started building waves of anticipation, with prominent radio & media personalities expressing their love for the new album. “Colleen Duffy writes theme songs for imaginary movies and naughty girls everywhere,” says Los Angeles DJ Special Agent Lotus, KXLU 88.9 FM, “Whether it’s a sea shanty that fits snuggly into the crevice between honky-tonk and punk rock or a torchy slow grind to accompany back-seat make-out sessions.” “Devil Doll’s Lover & A Fighter is Duffy’s best work to date,” echoes Michigan DJ Alan Contino, WHFR 89.3 FM. “Her sultry, soothing voice seduces you like a lullaby, but once the beat changes you get a swift kick in the nuts from a hard-edged rocker who doesn’t hold back.”

Glide is proud to premiere “Steeltown Heart” (below) from Devil Doll, a nod to a country standard, but refreshed with a gripping and nostalgic yearning. Devil Doll performs with a cinematic lustre and dusty twang, painting shedding images of a wistful time and place.

“This song was written as a sort of hat-tip to Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. I grew up listening to Hank and became fascinated with Patsy Cline in my teen years,” says Duffy. “I was always so taken with the country music that was coming out of that era, and the honesty that unfolded verse by verse. There was a fearlessness in the storytelling yet this otherworldly quality in both of their voices. It was as if they could pierce their notes straight through your soul unapologetically and keep going without skipping a beat or missing a note. They would confess these stories of such heartbreak and loneliness that these songs would become like safe havens for the lost. Man… I don’t know if I could ever deliver a song with the same air-chilling boldness that they could, but ‘Steeltown Heart’ is my best shot so far. It’s a “not all that glitters is gold” story about the departure from Los Angeles and the return back home to Cleveland, where I grew up near the steel mills.”




Photos by Tim Sutton

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