Twin Shadow ft. Samantha Urbani: “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” (The Smiths Cover)

By now it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m a major fan of Twin Shadow aka George Lewis Jr.. What may still be a mystery, though, is that I’m a sucker for covers. It’s not a matter of trying to copy or outshine the original, but rather interpreting – doing an homage, if you will – a song that’s left an impact. At least that’s what I naively hope to be the inspiration.

When one of my favourite current artists covers a personal favourite of all time, my attention radar is on full alert. Earlier, Lewis Jr. approached Rookie magazine with the idea of covering The Smiths’ classic, “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”, with Samantha Urbani of Friends. The cover is a part of his UNDER THE CVRS series, and a Valentine’s gift for Rookie readers.

This is what Lewis Jr. had to say about the cover:

“Everything I do, I mean sincerely, but there is a little joke within this one. In every critique of Twin Shadow, there is a dropping of Morrissey’s name, which I always thought was funny because I have never really been a huge fan of Morrissey or the Smiths. [Laughs] So it’s a nod to people calling me ‘the Dominican Morrissey’.”

The end result is a synth tune with a distinct 90s R&B flavour. Watch the accompanying video, edited in a single day, below.

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MtMt’s 5 Favourite Songs of 2013

Here, oh beautiful readers, is a list of my five favourite songs of 2013. My main motive for listing them is that you wouldn’t have to think for yourself. I’m thoughtful like that.

Previous parts can be found here (#10-#6) and here (#15–#11).

Have a splendid 2014!

5. Poliça – “Chain My Name”

After collaborating with Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon on the single “Tiff”, the American alt-electro group Poliça pumped up the jam with “Chain My Name”. It’s a more dancier track off Shulamith, an album that’s hard to define – except that it’s one of the more memorable ones this year.

4. Twin Shadow – ”Old Love / New Love”

While “Old Love / New Love” off the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack isn’t Twin Shadow’s finest piece of work, it still seems that whatever George Lewis Jr. does, this girl is pissing honey. “Old Love / New Love” always makes me bust out a dance move or two.

3. Daft Punk – “Get Lucky”

Unless you were chained in a basement and/or too busy taking selfies this whole year, there’s no way you could have missed “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk. Honestly, I’m still not tired of hearing it. ”Get Lucky” is four minutes of delicious disco fun with the hookiest of hooks.

2. Broken Bells – “Holding On for Life”

Broken Bells, the side project of Danger Mouse and The Shins frontman James Mercer, are returning in 2014 with their second album After The Disco. On the catchy chorus of “Holding On for Life”, the duo does a decent job in channeling Bee Gees, which guarantees that the song gets stuck to your head in a good way. I hope it never gets unstuck.

1. Autre Ne Veut – “Play by Play”

There can only be one number one. Mine is “Play by Play” by Autre Ne Veut (stage name of the American singer Arthur Ashin). Shimmering synths, powerful keyboards and the somewhat cheesy opening moan “baaa-aa-aaaa-byyy” are what seal the deal for this throwback lover.

“Play by Play” is a delightful 80s-inspired juggernaut that just won’t stop! Or it does after three and a half minutes. And that’s its only flaw.

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MtMt’s 15 Favourite Songs of 2013: 10–6

10. Kanye West – “I Am a God”

Renaissance Man Kanye West released yet another album this year, and of course, it turned out to be great. Out of the many dandy tunes on Yeezus, the modest-sounding “I Am a God” has become a personal favourite. It also features, who else, but God himself, according to the song credits.

9. Holy Ghost! – “It Must Be the Weather”

“It Must Be the Weather” is a clear standout track on Dynamics (2013), the second album from the NYC duo Holy Ghost!. Any song that emulates ”Phil Collins drums” gets my full support (yes, ”In the Air Tonight” vibes are there right in the beginning and at 2:10).

8. Satellite Stories – ”Campfire”

From the very first seconds of “Campfire” by the Finnish indie rock band Satellite Stories, you can’t help but draw comparisons to Two Door Cinema Club. This energetic and upbeat single off the band’s second album Pine Trails is immensely catchy. A true pick-me-up track!

7. Phosphorescent – “Song for Zula”

American singer-songwriter Matthew Houck, who works under the moniker Phosphorescent, has been releasing albums for the past ten years, but it wasn’t until this year’s Muchacho – and off it, the single “Song for Zula” – that I took notice. This serene and beautiful 6-minute song melts in your ears.

6. Wampire – ”The Hearse”

Wampire missed the obvious opportunity to spell their name as ’Whampire’, and solely concentrate on doing Wham covers. Instead, the Portland indie duo opted to release a stellar debut album Curiosity this year. The video for the album’s banging opener “The Hearse” is a creepy 80s thriller.

<< MtMt’s 15 Favourite Songs of 2013: 15–11

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Crazy Cat Lady’s Christmas Calendar – Day 24

It’s Christmas Eve, but let’s not forget the real star of the day: Da Jesus. Since I’m born in December as well, I can totally relate to how it feels having your birthday overshadowed by Christmas. So happy birthday to you, Big Baby Jesus!

My original choice for the vidéo du jour was this one by filmmakers Katie Akana and Ryan Barger. It has all the important elements of a good cat video: Time travel? Check! Space exploration? Check! Romance? Check!

But then this Christmas video popped up on Catster:

”In the video, a guy celebrates Christmas with his cats (who are named Theo and Thea) in New York City. He decorates with the, uh, ”help” of the cats, and then goes for a walk in the snow, treating us to swooning sights of the Big Apple. He picks out two small, perfect gifts, and then comes home to make dinner, which he shares with the cats, who, again, prove to be very helpless helpers.”

Whether you celebrate this holiday season with or without cats, I am wishing you the Merriest of Christmases!

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Crazy Cat Lady’s Christmas Calendar – Day 23

You saw this song coming 1.6 kilometres away. Yes indeedy, it’s “The Lovecats” by The Cure, one of the most important bands to me personally. The song was the band’s first British Top 10 hit, reaching number seven in 1983.

”Brat Packer” Molly Ringwald has revealed that after The Breakfast Club (1985), filmmaker John Hughes started working on a screenplay inspired by “The Lovecats”. He also planned a jazz-filled soundtrack to match the mood. Sadly, the movie never got into production.

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Crazy Cat Lady’s Christmas Calendar – Day 22

Cat people are not only the coolest and most laid back types of people (compared to dog people), Cat People is also an excellent erotic horror film from 1942, later remade by director Paul Schrader in 1982.

A beautiful young virgin (Nastassja KinskI) travels to New Orleans only to learn that she is the descendant of a race of feline humans. Sex with humans transforms them into panthers who then then have to kill to regain their human form. Ugh. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Giorgio Moroder composed the film’s score, including the theme song with lyrics and vocals by David Bowie. The song also featured in the amazingly mediocre Tarantino movie Inglourious Basterds.

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