Telephoned have been a staple band for Cover Me in the past year, and they’re back with a 3 song Christmas EP, A Very Telephoned Christmas. As usual, Maggie Horn and Sammy Bananas do part cover, part remix by singing Christmas classics over other artists’ songs. But while you may have heard someone add a dance beat to Bing Crosby while you were doing some holiday shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch, that doesn’t prepare you for what you’re about to hear on this EP. For example, Horn singing “The Chipmunk Song” over Snoop Dogg’s “Drop it Like it’s Hot.”
No secret that we love Telephoned. The covers duo of Maggie Horn and Sammy Bananas consistently bring one of the freshest approaches to covers out there. We named last year’s Off the Hook mixtape the third-best covers album of 2010 and now they’ve released another: Good Call. It finds the duo branching out even further to redefine the “cover” concept. Their general M.O. – cover one song while remixing it with another – proves more fluid than ever and the song selection follow suit.
There are many words that could be used to describe Telephoned. Prolific; eclectic; unpredictable. Most bands have some standard approach to their covers, some templated way of making their covers seem like a break from the original. With Telephoned (DJ/producer Sammy Bananas and vocalist Maggie Horn), you never have any idea what you’re going to get.
We said it in our post on their cover of Yeasayer’s O.N.E. and we’ll say it again: “Telephoned is not your average cover band.” And on Kanye West’s “All of the Lights,” Telephoned brings the elements together very differently than they did on the reggae-fied “O.N.E.” It feels like the background music to the “All of the Lights” level in the video game that Kanye would doubtless love to see made of his 35-minute long “Runaway” music video.
Telephoned is not your average cover band. For one, this Brooklyn singer/DJ duo spent the past year opening for Chromeo. Transforming, sampling, and remixing, they told Spinner they aim to take a song and turn it into something that gets you moving on the dance floor. The pair's latest cover is “O.N.E.,” the hipster anthem from Yeasayer's Odd Blood.
While the original version of “O.N.E.” is actually better for dancing, Telephoned did make it theirs by mashing it up with the reggae beats from Gyptian's “Hold Yuh” and adding their own vocals. It feels like “O.N.E. on vacation” as a laid back, dance in the sand, sip a daiquiri kind of tune. If you're looking for a little more soul and a little less dancing, Telephoned will take you there. But when vacation's over, head back to Yeasayer… because they are the real thing.