Lagniappe Session (ep)
Independent / Aquarium Drunkard
The great Aquarium Drunkard site/blog started up this thing a while back called the Lagniappe Sessions – getting artists to record covers and inspirations, a short-form thing, an EP the result. It’s been a great way to discover both new musical talent (the artist) and rediscover great material from the past (the songs).
Never more so than with Erin Rae’s recent entry to the series.
Here she tackles songs by Gene Clark (Some Misunderstanding), The Monkees – via Carole King (As We Go Along), Jonathan Richman (You Must Ask The Heart) and Scott Walker (Duchess).
That’s a perfect set of influences right there. That’s some record-collection pop!
But to hear these versions is to be taken right back. This could be Karen Dalton or early Joni Mitchell, if you’d never heard the originals you could be fooled into believing these are either new songs by a new talent or a long lost recording of polished demos from a singer/songwriter that never made it to the mainstream some 40 years ago.
Such is the power and tone of Rae’s voice – it has that soul-cry of the finest country-folk. The way she owns the words and interprets the melodies; the playing is subtle beneath her, it’s all about her majestic, ethereal voice.
You can have fun fooling your music-lover friends into believing you’ve discovered the lost voice of the late 60s/early 70s. You by turn can discover Rae’s other work, either as the leader of Erin Rae & The Meanwhiles, or more recently as solo artist – her Putting On Airs album from last year is worth your time.
But this EP – as a standalone gem – is exquisite. Almost worth it for the opening track alone. But her ownership of each song her, the reinventions, the command, it’s really something.
Maybe you’ll hear both your new favourite artist here and some new (old) favourite songs. I guess that’s the hope of the Lagniappe Sessions.
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