Thursday, September 18, 2014

Covered Up: Shearwater and Sharon Van Etten - "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"

Shearwater & Sharon Van Etten – “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (Tom Petty & Stevie Nicks)
Record Store Day 7”, 2013
After listening to Shearwater’s “Rooks” for the last entry, I got Shearwater on the brain, so I might as well talk about how great their cover (with the impeccable Sharon Van Etten) of Tom Petty & Stevie Nicks’ “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Shearwater abandon all the lovely, ornate elements of their usual sound for the ballsy swagger of Tom Petty and Van Etten takes a little sandpaper to her lovely vocal chords to affect a worthy, sultry Stevie Nicks tribute. Meiburg even tones down his melodramatic (I say that lovingly) quavering vocals to inject the song with a certain amount of testosterone that his vocals usually do not bring to the table. What I love about this cover is that it’s taken from the AV Club’s Undercover series, and I always thought they should compile those covers into a compilation every season because some are jawdroppingly perfect and I’ve discovered so many bands (via the performers and songs covered alike) that, goddamnit, they deserve a better audience than the AV Club can provide. This season they practically buried the Undercover series and I am particularly bothered by that. ANYWAY, this cover, fantastic. Off the cuff, raw as hell, and accurate and we can talk about Sharon Van Etten’s gravitas all damn day (I’ve put off writing about her latest—Are We There—because my love for that album grows a little more every time I hear it). The b-side features another collaboration between Shearwater and Van Etten in a lovely original—“A Wake for the Minotaur”—whose hushed glory captures the true sensibilities of both artists.

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