While this spot is normally reserved for a cover song of the week, I’ve decided to do a cover album of the week instead! Cameron Boucher of Old Gray and Sorority Noise, both heavy-hitters in east coast DIY punk, released a solo album earlier this month, Some Covers, comprised solely of covers from very notable, recognizable artists – Modest Mouse, Julien Baker, TWIABP, The Microphones, Alex G, and others. What stands out most about the eight-song collection is Boucher’s sincerity, slowly dripping from acoustic-notes and mellotronic ooze, sliding him to the brink of defeat. There’s a weary nature about these renditions that pulls off a clinical sense of tiredness at which Boucher is adept. While the album stands well on its own, the “Bankrupt on Selling” and “Low Light Assembly” covers are two of my favorites.
As one of the standouts on Modest Mouse’s Lonesome Crowded West, Boucher finds a way to make “Bankrupt on Selling” even more desperate-sounding and weepy - quite the feat. With enhanced bedroom-esque production, the track focuses heavily on the narrator’s desolation and Boucher’s sighing, downcast tone as opposed to Isaac Brock’s more defiant crawks. The isolation and bleak atmosphere, accompanied by Boucher’s earnestness, is what really makes this cover a worthwhile listen.
“Low Light Assembly” is the solemn, penultimate track to TWIABP’s Whenever, If Ever, filled with group vocals and mesmerizing chords all pent-up to the album’s climactic finish. Back-dropped by a haunting synth, Boucher gently whispers to the audible void, meditating with an exhaustion that makes the lyrics shine brightly, once again amplifying the atmosphere of the original song.
Some Covers is a well-done example of how an artist may imbue their own personality into another’s work, giving it new flavor and life. It’s available on Bandcamp as a name-your-price download.