Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.
Sara Lov first made a name for herself with the Devics, an indie dream pop-rock (for openers) L.A. band with a small but highly appreciated catalog. Since they came to a close, she’s released two full albums and is working on a third. She’s a fine songwriter, but has shown a special flair for cover songs; whether the original is too cool for school or the guiltiest of pleasures, she makes it matter without making it unapproachable.
Sara Lov – Hold Me Now (Thompson Twins cover)
The Thompson Twins took the tale of a deteriorating relationship into the top ten in charts all around the world. Lov won’t have that kind of success, but the artistic success found in her cover of “Hold Me Now” is probably more to her liking. Note how her reading of the line “Stay with me” turns it from a desperate plea into a seductive proposal.
Sara Lov – Papa Was a Rodeo (The Magnetic Fields cover)
“Papa Was a Rodeo” has become one of the most loved of the 69 love songs the Magnetic Fields released on their everlasting classic. It was country and cool, mixing its metaphors to come up with the romance of the century. Lov’s cover is relatively close to the original, and like “Hold Me Now,” it appears on her 2011 cover album I Already Love You.
Sara Lov – All Out of Love (Air Supply cover)
Lov has the rare ability to take songs that people wouldn’t be caught dead enjoying and recreate them as songs that are truly something special. Witness her work on “All Out Of Love,” the Air Supply hit that has shown up in South Park, The Office, Van Wilder, and other places that used it as a punchline’s underline. Lov has no interest in following suit; her cover is sincere and moving.
Sara Lov – My Body is a Cage (Arcade Fire cover)
“My Body is a Cage” was the closing track from Arcade Fire’s sophomore release Neon Bible. Peter Gabriel covered it on his Scratch My Back album to much acclaim, but Lov actually beat him to it, featuring it on her debut EP The Young Eyes a couple years earlier.
Sara Lov – Hopelessly Devoted To You (Olivia Newton-John cover)
When Lov starts this cover of “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” the star turn for Olivia Newton-John in Grease, there are audience members who are determined to hear it as a joke, frosted with hipster irony. It isn’t long before Lov makes it clear that this kind of devotion is nothing to laugh at. She slows it down, to the point where it has to be examined, then recognized for what it is – a scarily intense declaration of worship.
Visit Sara’s official website. Look for her collaboration with Zac Rae in early 2014.