Brendan Shanahan

Brendan works and lives in Adelaide, Australia. Interested in all kinds of music (there are few he won't listen to), he's trying to find the best album in the world through the process of elimination. He's interested in covers that re-invigorate and elevate the original song, rather than those just used as filler (I'm looking at you 50s and 60s pop music albums!) Follow him on twitter.

Apr 272021
 
Big Surprise

After the first minute of California duo Big Surprise’s new cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop,” I’m certain that you’ll be instantly calmer, happier and ready to drift off into another world. All of the song’s distinctive sounds remain, but changed into a trippy, dream-like haze. The beat is deep and way in the background, with guitars providing the melody lines with a heavy amount of reverb. Arthur and Kathryn Adams’ vocals intertwine with each other and add to ethereal vibe. Continue reading »

Apr 132021
 
jim o'rourke fast car

Just hearing the opening riff to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” has an instant calming effect. The lyrics kick in, and you’re on a joyful soft rock journey for the next five minutes. Or, in Jim O’Rourke‘s case, 33 minutes.

This cover by the experimental musician, recorded live in Japan in 2002, uploaded to YouTube in 2016, and brought into wider view by a in a Washington Post article last week, lulls you into a false sense of security. The classic riff starts us off, and it seems like it’s going to be a straightforward cover, but after a minute or so, the riff starts to be looped, just out of sync of the main melody. By six minutes, the loop has started to turn into a swelling drone, filling your ears and blocking out the rest of the world. By the half-way point of this 33-minute (!) track, the riff has disappeared, with a new droning tone and guitar melodies swirling around the space. Continue reading »