A downward harp glissando descends into January’s slowest song. Proceeding at a dreamy sixty beats per minute, Khodara’s latest single “Billie” sounds like the lighter, major-key yin to the Twin Peaks soundtrack’s dismal yang. The tempo is strategic, though: the minimal beat, with its spare drumming and low-register guitar strumming, only serve to bring Khodara’s lyrics to the forefront. Keeping the track this molasses-slow is no doubt also a calculated move to separate this female-led crooner into an atypical and unhurried space. Even the chorus is a slow build, where the meter switches to 3/4, injecting it with some urgency. In some songs, the bridge is the area where the song breaks down. Thankfully on “Billie,” the chorus tempo is maintained, although the coloration suffers somewhat from some timbrally primitive synths.
Fans of slowcore band Low or dark cabaret singing with a huge dash of soul will find solace in the mood articulated in the notes and lyrics, which revolve around Khodara’s relationship with the titular Billie. The two meanings of “crazy” are presented as positive and negative forces, a clever device. “Billie you’re crazy / and when you act crazy / I’m not crazy about you,” Khodara sings, both in chastisement and surrender.