Throughout indie rock’s ascendance in the ‘00s, Cat Power (a.k.a. Chan Marshall) was one of the foremost musicians to keep the flame of cover songs alive. Marshall’s epic pair of cover LPs in that decade, 2000’s The Covers Record and 2008’s Jukebox, were luminous and sharp — featuring pointed, personal interpretations of the likes of Smog, The Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, James Brown, alongside legends of blues. While the albums may not have had an outsized impact (Marshall was often keen to deliberately tone her versions down, cooling the temperature and sitting back in the groove), both were brilliant vehicles for her evolution as an artist. Looking back, too, her open-hearted approach to interpreting songs of all sorts— commingling rock, folk, blues, punk and classic R&B in the same stew — was a harbinger for the genre-hopping that’s become standard in the years since Jukebox’s 2008 release. It seems only natural now, for example, to cover The Rolling Stones as a solemn dirge; to play a doo-wop classic on autoharp; or to take on Kander & Ebb with a band comprised of leading Memphis soul session players.
Now, Cat Power has announced another big-event covers record — simply titled Covers, set to be released in January 2022. The new album was announced in an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden, where Marshall performed a beguiling, slow-burning version of Frank Ocean’s “Bad Religion.” Following that track’s live debut, a studio take of The Pogues’ “A Pair of Brown Eyes” was also shared. The Pogues cover finds Marshall singing coolly but triumphantly over a coursing tide of Mellotron flutes. The pair of Covers covers share a surprising continuity, and both bode well for what the full record has in store.
Check out Cat Power’s new covers of Frank Ocean and The Pogues below, alongside the full Covers tracklist.
1. Bad Religion – Frank Ocean
2. Unhate – Cat Power
3. Pa Pa Power – Dead Man’s Bones
4. White Mustang – Lana Del Rey
5. A Pair of Brown Eyes – The Pogues
6. Against the Wind – Bob Seger
6. Endless Sea – Iggy Pop
8. These Days – Jackson Browne
9. It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels – Kitty Wells
10. I Had a Dream Joe – Nick Cave
11. Here Comes a Regular – The Replacements
12. I’ll Be Seeing You – Billie Holiday