It’s the classic story. Upstate farm boy gets antsy for the big city. He arrives in the Big Apple and meets a crazy blend of eccentrics. It’s pretty much Babe: Pig in the City. Starring a human.
Todd Michaelson, the farm boy in question, soon met an Indian dancer in Brooklyn (of course). After they got engaged in Mumbai, the two decided to form a band called My Pet Dragon. How romantic. They’ve been releasing singles and EPs ever since, with a full-length on the way next year. Their latest single, “Flow,” is a high-energy indie-pop tune that suggests a happier version of the Smiths. The b-side pulls it back (a little) for a lush run through Pearl Jam’s “Release.”
“I chose ‘Release’ as a cover for My Pet Dragon because I love the lyrics and its simplicity,” Michaelson tells us. “I remember first hearing the song as a kid and I was taken away by its power. It has just three chords but when Eddie Vedder’s voice goes from a low growl to an all-out scream, it’s just pure emotion. I was bored one rainy night over the summer while on a trip to my parents’ house and I just started strumming the chords to ‘Release.’ The next thing I know, it’s 2 A.M. and I’m layering three-part harmonies and e-bows into my computer and just kind of floating with it. It was an exciting moment because I don’t usually record or perform covers. Vedder is a magical guy and I think he and his band sometimes get unfairly grouped into one era. Pearl Jam is still making great music with every album and every show.”