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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Covers by Aimee Mann, Evanescence + new tunes from Judah & The Lion, Runabay, Deep Blue Sea

Aimee Mann: "Hold On"

Nashville-based Dualtone Records just released Come Up To The House: Women Sing Waits, a collection of 12 covers of Tom Waits songs interpreted by female vocalists. Produced by Warren Zanes, it features performances by Rosanne Cash, Patty Griffin, Corinne Bailey Rae, Phoebe Bridgers and many more - including Aimee Mann. In a glowing review of the album, Variety says Mann makes this classic her own: "something about Mann’s voice naturally conjures the tossed-off intimacy of a coffee shop confession between besties." Of the entire collection, the magazine says: "Freed from Waits’ gravelly, way-down-in-the-hole brogue, his female interpreters discover dramatic new shapes and colors within" his songs.

Evanescence: "The Chain"

In a very different musical vein, Evanescence gives its gothic orchestral pop treatment to this Fleetwood Mac classic. It's the band's first rock recording in eight years, and debuted in the trailer for a new video game. Whatever its origins, it works: The dramatic song lends itself well to this band's overwrought stylings and Amy Lee's soaring voice. "This cover was so fun to make," Lee said in a press release. "We love Fleetwood Mac and wanted to paint a dark and epic picture with our take on 'The Chain.'"

Judah & The Lion: "Alright"

This Nashville band, with its brand of folk-tinged electronic pop, hasn't been a regular part of our mix before. But this track caught our attention with its simple, hopeful response to a deeply troubled world. "It's clear to me we're scared to hope," Judah Akers sings - and yet: "I don't know why / I cannot stop this feeling inside / ...We're gonna be alright." The bouncy tune invites you to believe it, at least for a few minutes.

Runabay: "How Long"

This indie-folk band from Northern Ireland was featured in our New Music bin a couple of years ago, and we're happy to have them back with this new single. It's a quiet, contemplative song evocative of someone gazing at the sky and pondering deep questions about love and life: "In the movements of your body / In the stillness of the skies / Lies the root of my existence / Where infinity resides." The band's recent album, Between the Lines, was a nominee for this year's Northern Ireland Music Prize.

Deep Blue Sea: "Rock Star Status"

This London-based quartet joined our mix about a month ago with "Don't Say I Didn't Warn You," and now we're taking another dip into Strange Ways, the group's debut studio album. It's a snappy Warholian commentary on our everyone-wants-to-be-a-star culture. "Everybody here gets rock star status /  there's no pointing out 'cause everybody's famous," Dregas Smith sings over driving guitar, bass and drums. "Fifteen seconds of adoration / a lethal dose of adulation."

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