Following the footsteps of fellow Brits Friendly Fires, Miss Natasha Khan, aka Bat For Lashes, has been enlisted by Gucci to cover Depeche Mode’s “Strangelove” for their next fragrance commercial. Not surprisingly, her idea of a strangelove sounds more like a pagan séance in the woods, complete with harpsichords. Her 2009 single “Daniel” was actually the song of 2009 for me. It’s about time for a new album, I’d say.
Canadian singer/songwriter Serena Ryder and her band, The Beauties, have transformed American Idol alumna Jordin Sparks’ hit “No Air” into something that could be straight out of the Twin Peaks soundtrack! Log lady will approve. This interesting low-key reinterpretation was first released on the deluxe edition of her album “Is This OK” in 2009. Now, it will be collected on a limited edition 12″ EP, along with 3 other covers of Band Of Horses (“The Funeral”, on which she sounds like Cat Power), Hank Williams (“Rambling Man”), and Kylie (“Slow” – a rocky take with bassline). Quite an eclectic array of selections there! Her reason for these covers is refreshingly honest, too: to get shows in England. You can stream all the tracks here, or just try her version of “No Air” below.
On her last album “Neptune City”, Nicole Atkins won me over with 2 immaculate songs: the title track and “Maybe Tonight”. 4 years and a label change later, she has forgone the Phil-Spector-esque soul-pop for ramshackle psych-blues. Her new album, “Mondo Amore”, is a dark and bold affair, one that requires a right mood to get into. The single “Vultures”, currently the free single on iTunes US, serves as a fitting introduction for this new direction. I’m still on the fence about the album, and would like to spend more time with it, but it can’t be denied that her voice is a powerhouse of its own. Watch the Southern gothic video and get the track below.
Rather out of the blue, Seattle-based dream-pop/shoegaze band Trespassers William just released a collection of rarities, consisting of unreleased covers, remixes, and alternate takes, on Bandcamp. It’s one for the loyal fans, but not to be missed is their much-coveted (well, for me) cover of The Innocence Mission’s “Tomorrow On The Runway”. It was recorded for a tribute compilation that was eventually shelved, and remained unreleased until now. Both Karen Peris and Anna-Lynne Williams are two favorite vocalists of mine, and the original is the sort of unbearably beautiful folk song that, for lack of a better expression, can make grown men cry. So the idea of Trespassers William covering this particular song is just too good to be true.
The band had also recorded their version of Muppets tune “The Rainbow Connection” as a sweet little lullaby. Stream/free download below.
Now that’s a striking cover. She looks a bit Dita Von Teese there, doesn’t she?
Clare Maguire is definitely one of 2011’s pop hopefuls and her new single, “The Last Dance”, is a belter. It’s actually an ode to Michael Jackson, and has a pretty nice video, too. Chase & Status has done the token dubstep remix, giving it the night-time treatment with some lovely harpy bits.
She lent them back her pipes on “Midnight Caller”, a track from their album “No More Idols”. How awfully nice of her!
Clare also did a beautiful cover of Antony & The Johnsons’ “Hope There’s Someone”, which you can stream/download below.
Her debut album, “Light After Dark”, drops Feb 28 in the UK. It has the potential to be quite amazing. But of course I haven’t heard it yet so don’t take my words. Watch this space etc.
To sum it up, hot artwork, nice remix/cover, new album soon. Hurrah for journalism.