I wrote about Billy Pettinger a few years ago when she was duetting with Joe McMahon as Billy + Joe. Since then, she’s forged forward with her solo career as Billy the Kid, releasing DIY long players each of the last few years. Even with all that momentum, this year’s Horseshoes and Hand Grenades still registers as a major step forward. It’s her first album backed by the mighty Xtra Mile Recordings; it was produced by Frank Turner; it sounds ecstatic to exist.

It’s a contagious ecstasy, a record that appeals effortlessly. It’s consistently interesting across fourteen songs; fun to spend forty minutes with an artist who’s happy for the opportunity to reach you. To me, it sounds like a badass Cyndi Lauper record. Definitely worth further investigation for fans of recent stuff by Ryan Adams, Frank Turner, Lydia Loveless, Amanda Shires.

Phone Bills
Lord Let Me
Walkin’ Around Hotel Blues

Snag the album on digital and CD from Xtra Mile Recordings.

Author: Mike Ostrov

Mike Ostrov relays the history of popular song on message boards and under rocks.