The Lemonheads have popped up here a lot recently, despite not doing much. When we posted our Best Covers of 1987 retrospective last year, The Lemonheads’ “Amazing Grace” was on there. The year before that, we decided the also did one of the Best Covers of 1996 (Metallica’s “Fade to Black”). But their biggest list appearance here was the first. The first time we ever did a year-end Best Covers Albums list, in 2009, sitting right at the top was The Lemonheads’ brilliant Varshons.
They haven’t released an album since, but Evan Dando will return in January with Varshons 2. As you can imagine, we’re pretty excited, though he has set himself quite a bar with the first volume.
The track list shows promise, blending obvious peers and influences (The Jayhawks, Paul Westerberg) with some serious left-field choices (Florida Georgia Line??). He announces the album with a cover of the Yo La Tengo song “Can’t Forget.” On paper, this might not be the first song on the tracklist I’d want to hear, but there’s a story here. Back in 1990, Yo La Tengo released their own covers album, Fakebook. Well, an almost-covers album, as the band included a couple originals. One was, you guessed it, “Can’t Forget.”
A nice nod to cover-album history to lead with this, and a beautiful cover too, Dando at his most Gram Parsons. Listen below, and preorder Varshons II here. You better believe we will.
Like I said, we write plenty about the Lemonheads even when Evan Dando isn’t up to doing much. Catch up on their best covers here.