April was good to us with creative covers. The Wood Brothers bequeathed us with The Band’s “Ophila” and Escondido offered a version of The Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved.” But the Paste Studio hosted a number of other diverse artists, as well, and we’re pleased to share seven particularly great sessions recorded last month in our New York studio.
1. The Wood Brothers, “Ophelia”
There are many successful bands that started out as side projects and then became almost as big, if not bigger, than an artist’s main gig. This is the case with folk/roots act The Wood Brothers. Chris Wood started off by being a founding member of seminal 1990s avant-jazz group Medeski, Martin & Wood. Although Chris has always had a passion for roots music, it wasn’t until almost 15 years after the formation of Medeski, Martin & Wood that he formed The Wood Brothers with his brother, Oliver. This cover of The Band’s “Ophelia” is one of our favorite interpretations to come out of this little studio.
2. Silversun Pickups, “Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)”
Singer/guitarist Brian Aubert and bassist Nikki Monninger of Silversun Pickups stopped by the studio last month to play a few acoustic songs for us. The Los Angeles-based band released its fourth album Better Nature last July, and “Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)” shows how well Silversun Pickups tread between alternative and emo.
3. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, “Departure”
A Man Alive, the inexplicable upbeat alt-folk album by San Francisco genre mainstays Thao & The Get Down Stay Down was recently named our favorite album from March 2016, so we were especially pleased when they played a few songs in-house in April. The new record focuses on Thao’s rather complicated relationship with her dad, who left her and her family during her childhood. Additionally, the band ventures into more natural electronic based soundscapes, mainly due to producer Merill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, who replaced John Congleton. The new sound is definitely felt during this session, and is a perfect complement to A Man Alive.
4. Birdy, “Beautiful Lies”
Birdy, who became internet-famous after her cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” went viral, recently released her sophomore LP, Beautiful Lies. The nearly-20-year-old English singer/songwriter has been winning awards for her singing since she was just 12, and this version of her second album’s title track is a sparse showcase of her voice.
5. Escondido, “When Will I Be Loved”
Fans of The Lone Bellow might know Escondido as their opening act. But this Nashville-based indie/folk group is going to start getting recognized on its own, based on the interplay between Tyler James and Jessica Marcos. The duo’s latest album Walking With a Stranger came out earlier this year and they stopped by to play this gorgeous over of The Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved.”
6. Lucy Wainwright Roche, “Seven Sundays”
Lucy Wainwright Roche comes from a family of accomplished singer-songwriters. Her father, of course, is the legendary folk musician Loudon Wainwright III. Her mother, Suzzy Roche, is best known for her work with sisters Maggie and Terre in the familial folk act The Roches. Therefore, it would seem natural that Roche would grow into a gifted songwriter as well. Her latest album, Mud and Apples, definitely confirms that notion. Armed with little more than an acoustic guitar, Roche clearly believes that simplicity is the key to making a great song resonate, as evidenced by this version of “Seven Sundays.”
7. Brian Fallon, “A Wonderful Life”
Brian Fallon is best known as the frontman for folk-punk/heartland rock group The Gaslight Anthem. But despite being on hiatus from Gaslight, Fallon shows no signs of slowing down, as he just released his first solo album. On this new record, Painkillers, Brian Fallon croons like a 2010s version of New Jersey hero Bruce Springsteen for a crash course in Americana rock and a punk-esque take on heartland rock. His distinctive sound is straight out of the boardwalks of New Jersey. Check out lead single “A Wonderful Life” below.