Only two months ago, Noah and the Whale hit the BBC Live Lounge to bust out a Robyn cover. They’ve returned already, as part of Radio 1’s Student Tour, with another cover. This time they get even more current with a cover of Coldplay’s newest single “Paradise.”
They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
Well, bad news Paul. Bob beat you to something else: turning 70. When Dylan turned 70 in May, it was accompanied with all manner of fanfare, tributes, and think pieces. We ourselves held a five-day celebration. Paul’s 70th birthday today comes with noticeably less pomp and circumstance. No lavish tributes, no critic navel-gazing, not much notice of any kind. It’s an occasion worth celebrating though, whether he was first or not.
It’s always fun to find out why artists decide to cover the particular songs they do. In the case of the spontaneous teamup of The Vaccines and Noah and the Whale, the reason was simple: “I don’t know the lyrics to very many songs,” said Noah frontman Charlie Fink on Britain’s Triple J radio before performing the Pixies’ “Where is My Mind?” As always, we get the typical radio banter with the DJ talking endlessly and the band just ready to get the show on the road already, but, when they finally do, it’s a treat.
Two weeks ago, Robyn hit the BBC Live Lounge to cover Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.” Now Robyn herself gets covered on the Lounge by the latest guests, Noah and the Whale. The indie folk-rock band take on her latest hit “Call Your Girlfriend,” giving it a decidedly more uptempo take than Gavin Beach did last week.
John Cale just turned 69 and several cover tributes have emerged to the legendary Velvet Undreground violist. Noah and the Whale covered Cale on his birthday, and Danish singer Agnes Obel did it a few months before that (but just released it for free in honor of the legend). Sadly, neither chose “The Man Who Couldn’t Afford to Orgy,” but the tunes they picked prove a lively, just-dissonant-enough tribute.