Good Cover Version: Popular Music does The Kinks

Pulp gave the world the song "Bad Cover Version." But seeing as I'm a sonic optimist, I'm of the belief that there's more likely than not more good cover versions floating around than bad ones. Good Cover Version celebrates the good, and leaves all that bad and ugly stuff alone.

I love everything about "The Way Love Used to Be." From the pastoral, yet mournful strings, to the perfect Ray Davies lyrics, this Kinks song is such a treasure. Popular Music, the new partnership between Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls) and Prudence Rees-Lee (Prudence), agrees.

The twosome's first single is a heck of a take on "The Way Love Used to Be." Popular Music's rendition retains some of the verdant lushness of the original, and they, too, incorporate silvery, somber strings. The paths diverge after that, however, with Popular Music bringing some tension and theatrics to the party. Pennington's vocals almost tremble, faltering in all the right ways as the strings soar and the time-and-tide metronome of the backing track prettily keeps time.

The b-side is a spin on "Willow's Song," from the cult classic The Wicker Man. Both songs are pulled from the forthcoming Popular Music record Popular Music Plays in The Darkness, in what the band describes as, "the forthcoming full length wherein we've re-imagined our favorite songs from the cinema." Action, indeed.     

[posted 1.12.20]


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