Jenny Owen Youngs – “Teenage Dream” (Katy Perry)
We had the privilege of seeing Jenny Owen Youngs on a supporting tour with Frank Turner years ago. The way she captured the audience was electrifying. Much of that talent is captured in her subtle and textured cover of, what we believe is a pop classic. Mixing electro and downtempo elements with indie credibility, the artist reimagines the track while still capturing its brilliant nostalgia. This is a rare cover that leads listeners to a deeper respect of the original, while forcing them to pay closer attention to a rare talent.
Mo Kenney – “Game of Pricks” (Guided By Voices)
Kenney, who is releasing an album of covers, does something beautiful here. Her take on “Game of Pricks” is a somber reimagining of what is typically a louder and raucous affair. Her take is a whispered reflection on isolation and the freshness can easily stand with the beloved original. Not being overly familiar with Guided by Voices, we came to this one with open ears. What we hear, is a brilliantly astute and vulnerable artist who demands attention.
Øzwald – “The Word” (Beatles)
Here is another act who likes to steadily release cover songs. The tracks are always fun and interesting. Their day job band is the hugely successful act Lifehouse, yet with the amount of care this project has, you could be forgiven for assuming this was their main gig. Their chemistry and talent is evident, even when they take on classic Beatles jams. Øzwald keep it simple (their mantra is “no rules”), while impressing and reimagining what we think we know about classic tracks. It is a fun project and one that is worth checking out.