Ah. The covers album. I’d never begrudge an artist the chance to pay homage to their influences or heroes, but it can often feel like a holding pattern, an easy way to satiate the fanbase whilst they come up with some new material. On the other hand, a decent cover can be a gateway into an artist that you may have previously overlooked.
So, although I’m always keen to listen to new tracks from Juliana Hatfield, and she has a good track record of introducing me to tracks that I’d not heard before, I wasn’t as excited by her new covers album, available via Pledgemusic, as I would have been for an album of new material.
But, I’ve been listening to it in the car (off and on) for a few weeks now, and there’s one track that I keep going back to.
Fruit Fly starts off with a simple repeated guitar motif that reminded me of something by Ned Rifle. It’s observational lyrics about a swarm of fruitflies sit in perfectly with her oeuvre, and halfway through it swells up and becomes something beautiful. I finally remembered to check it out this evening, and it’s from the Nada Surf album ‘Let Go’
I can’t believe that was ten years ago. I remember it being acclaimed at the time. I remember not being particularly enamoured of the tracks that I heard, and so I didn’t bother. And now, I want to listen to the track over and over.
If you get the chance to listen to Juliana’s covers album, I would say its well worth your time. She is touring the UK with Evan Dando in November (we are going to the Birmingham show)
But in the meantime, you should probably put your life on pause for 5 minutes, and watch this video. It’s brilliant.