Jul 162010

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.

Quoting a Facebook comment in your press release is kind of lame. Unless that comment describes your sound as “Lori Anderson meets Austin Powers with back up from the Beach Boys and the Bangles.” In case, quote away! Misspellings notwithstanding (Laurie Anderson), you’re not going to write better PR copy than that.

That description of the Peptides is off in one way though: This Ottawa group has already released more material this summer than all those artists/pop-culture phenomena have in the past decade. They just dropped the brilliantly-titled For Those Who Hate Human Interaction, a 25-song three-act journey into hate. Apparently worried that a mere 25 songs could be viewed as slacking though, they simultaneously released a second album, North Hero, with 15 more. Forty songs at once, no big deal.

The Peptides have popped up on Cover Me before – we named an earlier recording one of the Best Covers of 2008 – but North Hero contains four new covers that more than justify a return.From the slow-burn “Don’t Fear the Reaper” to the slower-burn “Jealous Guy,” they infuse every moment with haunting beauty.

Each download comes with a terrific video, pairing the songs with some classic film footage. Plus, Cover Me checked in with singer Claude Marquis, who shared his thoughts on the new songs with us. Listen/read/watch below, and pay attention. You may see the Peptides back here sooner than you think…

Don’t Fear the Reaper (Blue Öyster Cult cover)

Claude says: Every cover begins with the gift of a great melody. At any speed, this song really captures a haunting essence and the opportunity was there to simply focus on that atmosphere. What a great song to scare & creep humanity! [footage: Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Seventh Seal’]

Fallen Leaves (Billy Talent cover)

Claude says: I admire Billy Talent as songwriters. Their song structures for me evoke an Eastern European gypsy caravan feel and when slowed down one trulyy gets to appreciate their effective melodies. My motto is to always approach a cover by veering far off left-field from the original, thus the ‘Bach’ bridge. [footage: a 1950s anti-drug film & game show Let’s Make A Deal]

Jealous Guy (John Lennon cover)

Claude says: John Lennon. ‘Nuff said. When his songs ache they hurt, and bringing this song to an almost suicidal grinding halt, I would hope, only digs the knife in deeper.
[footage: various beauty pageants]

Silver Dagger (Trad. cover)

Claude says: On a more personal level, I tend to attach to tunes that move me within a current state of mind. Recorded years ago and usually sung by a female on guitar, I found it interesting to have it flipped to a male protagonist on piano. [footage: Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Monika’]

Check out the band’s website to download more tunes from both their new albums!

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