A few weeks ago we brought you a new track from Papercuts, and with that, we talked about how the new Baxter’s Bliss EP would have a few covers you’d want to enjoy. So, here we are with Jason’s cover of “The Partisan,” originally written by Anna Marley, but made popular by some guy named Leonard Cohen, which is the version that inspired this tune. Aside from being a song about anti-fascism, the way Quever does his production just always seeps into my soul, with those string arrangements brushed against this thunderous drum bat, all set to a dark shadowy film. If you dig it, the new EP is out this Friday!
It’s not easy to cover a legend– to me a good cover pays homage to the original track while putting enough of a different spin on the sound to prevent the inevitable mental comparison of the listener. The Districts, in my opinion, have struck a pretty good balance on their cover of Leonard Cohen‘s “Lover Lover Lover.” What I like about this rendition is that the band keeps the focus on their gritty indie rock sound, but they retain the melancholic tone of the original.
This track is a B-Side off the band’s upcoming Record Store Day Release via Fat Possum Records. Check it out below, then go hunt it down on Record Store Day.
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So it’s not often that we post covers of songs, let alone whole cover albums, but it’s a Monday and it’s time to mix things up. Greg Ashley, who you should already know, has made an album covering legendary songs from Leonard Cohen and Phil Spector. I’m not going to say too much, as you should really just take a listen below or over here, but Death of a Ladies’ Man is filled with cowboy folk renditions of already great tracks. Hear it for yourself.
After he released Lady’s Bridge, it seemed that the British crooner Richard Hawley could do no wrong with me. As the release drew near for Truelove’s Gutter, I wasn’t quite sure what I expected from this new record. Would it be similar to his previous work, or would he branch out into a new direction, much as his friend Jarvis Cocker has done?
Well, as the odd soundscape opening of “As the Dawn Breaks” began, I will say that anxiety crept into my throat. Sure, this dabbling in sonic structuralism was indeed a new direction, but from a man who has blanketed his albums with lush orchestration, it seemed a step too far off. Still, as the song progressed, the music almost loses its focus, bring Hawley’s throaty baritone to the forefront. Perhaps this is where the album would go?
When “Open Up Your Door” came on, you could hear the instrumentation that so often backs Richard, although it seemed to be in the distance here, that is until the slow drum work came into the picture. It’s at this point that I found Hawley completely stepping into the role of a modern-day Leonard Cohen. You hang on every syllable, on every gentle note; and eventually, it all breaks into the dense orchestral movement you would expect.
It seems fitting to me that this record was already causing me to waiver on my decision to love this album or not. Richard Hawley is not a taste for everyone, though surely everyone can find beauty in his voice, which sounds as guttural as anything you’re likely to find out there. Perhaps the way the instruments traipse about, barely catching your attention until the song requires them to do so, seems striking to most. Almost unimportant. But, how can such songs evoke so much emotional toll on a listener? It made Cohen great. It made, for some, Waits a classic. Surely Richard Hawley will find his place, though his lyrics are that of the forlorn lover.
And so it went, to the point where I arrived at “Remorse Code,” the second longest song on Truelove’s Gutter. How does a nine minute long ballad capture you, wrap you around its finger, and throw you upon its back until the end. Listening to the subtle guitar work, I found no answer, only that I adored this song absolutely, as I adore the man singing the words. I didn’t have to go far, one song past, to find “Soldier On.” There’s some biblical allusions here, or at least some references to Christianity, though not in the overt sense. Hawley seemingly walks through this album, pacing himself, creating tension for the listener. It’s as if we’re merely meandering through this tune, until you reach just past the four minute mark where the song crashes into you. It releases you in a wash of cymbals and emotions.
By backing it all into the finer moment that is “For Your Lover Give Some Time.” I don’t particularly want to go into the detail of this song, as I’m sure, as with most Hawley tunes, each person will get out of it what they will. It’s such a personal song, for me as a listener, that I don’t dare ruin your impression of it, or what it may offer you.
Thus the album walks into the longest song, the perfect ending to Truelove’s Gutter. The epic failure that could be this album’s bookend is not there. Although it may be long, it encapsulates everything you wanted from the end. Your time with Richard Hawley has come to an end, and though you want it to last forever, you needn’t fret, as you can simply relive it time and time again by pressing repeat. I know I will.[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/07-For-Your-Lover-Give-Some-Time-1.mp3]
Download: Richard Hawley – For Your Lover Give Some Time [MP3]
The Walkmen are another band we are very excited about seeing at ACL so it seemed natural for us to want to interview the guys. We recently spoke with leading man Hamilton Leithauser via email about the current state of his band. Follow the jump to read our full interview.
On a quiet Monday evening, The Parish continued its recent tradition of well-produced shows as they put on a solid bill, with ATH favorites Other Lives and Elvis Perkins joined by his new band Dearland, supplying the talent. An orchestral grab bag of instrumentation ranging from cellos to trombones, to flutes, a harmonium and organs were laid upon the stage foreshadowing an ambitious evening of unpolluted musical ability in front of a very attentive audience. Follow the jump to continue reading our review.
This Saturday, April 18th, is Record Store Day all across these United States. Sure, that seems like just another Saturday to most buyers, but the true record geek in all of us is already waiting in line. You see, on Record Store Day, you get to do two things: you get to support your favorite local indpendent record store and you get loads of limited edition stuff. Me, personally, I can’t wait. I’ve already crafted a list so as to move through my favorite record store with ease in pursuit of such rarities that one can only dream. The following is the list of the great things one can find at their local indpendent store, and we encourage you to do so, as this is the day the stores give back to us, and we give back to them.
Here’s a chance for all you fans who couldn’t make it out to the expensive as hell Leonard Cohen show last week to dry your tearful eyes. You can attempt to recreate the live experience you missed with your very own copy of the recently released Leonard Cohen Live in London DVD. The live performance features 2 hours of classic Cohen hits at London’s 02 Arena during his 2009 world tour (Amazon has more details and a video sample from the DVD). Our contest is simple. Simply leave a comment telling us about your favorite Leonard Cohen song and why it’s the best in your mind. We’ll pick winners and announce them on Tuesday of next week. Don’t forget to leave a valid email address so we can get in touch with you if you win. May the biggest fan win.
Let’s face it, there really isn’t a better show in town this week. If you are nearing the end of your life, wouldn’t you like to say that you were there when Leonard Cohen played the Long Center in Austin? Sure, tickets may be a bit much, but you can’t go wrong with buying one of these. I mean, really, you can pay your bills next month, but Leonard only comes to Austin once in a lifetime, so live it up with Leonard this week.[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/07-a-singer-must-die.mp3]
Download: Leonard Cohen – A Singer Must Die [MP3]
We’ll go a little old school crooner this week, well, not that entirely old school, as the feature of this week is still up and at it. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you Leonard Cohen. The man has been honored by everyone, and this Friday we have a chance to honor the man as well. You can do so by purchasing tickets to his show on April 2nd at the Long Center. This will be the show you will tell your kids about. Get a hold of your tickets here, and buy me one as well please![audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/02-chelsea-hotel-no-2.mp3]
Download: Leonard Cohen – Chelsea Hotel No. 2 [MP3]