Cassandra Jenkins and Peter Bjorn and John have shared their contributions to Under the Radar‘s 20th anniversary Covers of Covers compilation. Listen to Cassandra Jenkins’ take on Animal Collective’s Vashti Bunyan collaboration ‘It’s You’ and Peter Bjorn and John’s rendition of The Divine Comedy’s ‘Songs of Love’ below.
“Covers are a great way to experiment with sounds, palettes, and people I want to work with,” Jenkins said in a statement. “Harpist Rebecca El-Saleh and I did some e-mail recording during quarantine and this was the first time we got to play in a room together, with Zubin Hensler engineering. I had been listening to a lot of Curtis Mayfield at the time and loved some of the harp usage in his recording, and felt like the harp was one of the few acoustic instruments that could capture something similar to the original recording. Michael Coleman added some piano, and I used field recordings from the house where I’ve been living for a good part of this year, because the bugs made their way into all of my vocal tracks anyway, so I just embraced them.”
Peter Morén of Peter Bjorn and John commented:
Suddenly I realized The Divine Comedy/Neil Hannon wrote the theme tune for the Irish-English sitcom classic ‘Father Ted’, a perennial favorite of mine. This madcap mid-’90s series about three bonkers Catholic priests on a remote, fictitious island called Craggy Island, hit me hard when it ran late night on TV in Sweden. Apparently it’s been banned in the United States and voted second best British comedy after Fawlty Towers, by some poll in 2019. On a tour of (you guessed it) Ireland I got the DVD box-set and pained the rest of the band with it on the bus TV (though our British crew got it).
Long story, but I thought we might as well have a go at it. Bingo! A few jammed out, slightly psychedelic PB&J-angled takes with some added vibraphone and tape-echo and there you have it. We then thought… well the song DOES have a lyric, looked it up, and sang it. A good set of words too… nothing soever to do with Mrs. Doyle or ecumenical matters. Thanks Neil for writing it, and thanks Under the Radar for the opportunity.
Covers of Covers is out March 4 via American Laundromat Records. One dollar from every purchase of the album will be donated to Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a non-profit organization that “provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians and music industry workers who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems.” Under the Radar previously shared Grandaddy’s cover of ‘Blindness’ and EMA’s version of Modest Mouse’s ‘Trailer Trash’.