Song of the Day: Casper Skulls – Ou Va la Chance

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A good cover song can take the original song and frame it in a new light as the artist puts their own spin on it, but just as often a band’s choice of cover song can reveal something new about them as well. Casper Skulls’ “Ou Va la Chance” manages to do both.

The Toronto indie rockers’ recently released cover of Francoise Hardy’s “Ou Va la Chance” (itself a French language version of Phil Ochs’ “There But For Fortune”) hits the sweet spot between the gentle sounds of Hardy’s original version and the band’s own sound. And the song itself has a special significance to singer Melanie St. Pierre, who has dedicated it to her mémère:

“When I was young my mémère used to sing a French song to me called “Melanie” by Mélanie-Chantal Pary & André Sylvain. I specifically remember the lyrics going “Mélanie on a besoin de toi” which translates to something like “Melanie we need you.” Now as an adult I realize how sweet that was. This song is now dedicated to her.”

Give it a listen below:

Album Review: Molly Tuttle – … but i’d rather be with you (2020, Compass Records)

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One could argue that (among other things) the mark of a great performer is what they bring to the table when interpreting someone else’s work, and to my mind, Molly Tuttle‘s recent covers collection, … but i’d rather be with you, is a perfect example of a great cover album.

Recorded during quarantine in collaboration with producer Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Andrew Bird), the album features Tuttle’s takes on songs by such unlikely bedfellows as The Rolling Stones, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen Dalton, and Harry Styles, but the songs all flow together perfectly, to the extent that it’s not at all jarring to hear her transition straight from the beautiful balladry of FKA Twigs’ “Mirrored Heart” into the much more rollicking sound of Rancid’s “Olympia, WA” over the course of the album.

Tuttle made her name as a virtuosic bluegrass guitarist (she’s been named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year in both 2017 and 2018), and her instrumental prowess is most definitely on display throughout this album. And yes, Molly Tuttle is an impressive guitarist, but just as important is her voice, with particularly strong and memorable performances coming through on her versions of Arthur Russell’s “A Little Lost” and the aforementioned “Mirrored Heart”.

In her song selection on this release, Molly Tuttle branches out and shows the breadth of her influences, covering artists across various genres and putting her own distinctive mark on each song while also showing her range as a performer – Bob Dylan’s not the only one out there who contains multitudes, you know.

Song Of The Day: Happyness – Vegetable

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I hope you’ll forgive me for paraphrasing the title track from the soundtrack to Todd Solondz’s 1998 film Happiness, but when I learned recently that London’s Happyness had put out an album back in May of this year, I couldn’t help but think, “Happyness, where were you? I didn’t have a clue.”

It’s true – somehow I managed to miss out on the news that the band had put out a new album. I’d imagine the fact that the most direct way for a band to promote a new release – touring and playing live – has pretty much disappeared in the past several months, but beyond that, it’s on me – I just wasn’t paying attention. Luckily, I did finally find out and the band’s latest release, Floatr, is a solid addition to their catalogue – while the band may have lost original member Benji Compston in the time since releasing 2017’s Write In, they’ve lost none of what made their sound so enjoyable in the first place.

“Vegetable” is one of the more memorable tracks off of the new album, with a melody that brings to mind Elliott Smith. Check it out below.

Song Of The Day: Wolfmanhattan Project – Summer Forever

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Sometimes all it takes for a band to grab your attention is a unique band name and with a moniker that brings together lyncanthropy and nuclear research, Wolfmanhattan Project have done just that.

To borrow a phrase from Spinal Tap, such a band name walks that fine line between stupid and clever, but once the band’s name drew me in, I became even more intrigued once I saw who was in Wolfmanhattan Project – with its members having spent time in groups such as The Gories, The Cramps, Gun Club, Sonic Youth, and Pussy Galore, the band’s got some pretty impressive rock credentials.

“Summer Forever” is the first single off of Summer Forever And Ever, the upcoming second album from this self-professed “anti-supergroup” and I must admit, you’ve got to admire a band who releases a song called “Summer Forever” shortly after the official end of summer. We need that sort of optimism right now.

Summer Forever And Ever is due out sometime in 2021 via In The Red Records.