Cover Me, Cover You

I was thinking a while back about how much I’ve enjoyed those few times I’ve heard other people singing songs that I wrote. That train of thought prompted me to kick off a discussion on the WeAreTheMusicMakers (WATMM) subreddit, where it became clear there would be interest in an initiative where songwriters would agree to cover each other’s songs.

I tried to get something off the ground, creating a new subreddit where songwriters could find others with whom to exchange cover versions. It didn’t take off, with only one other reddit user signing up when I posted about it in WATMM. (I still think it’s a good idea – if I were a developer I might try to create a dedicated platform that could facilitate this kind of exchange…)

The Electronic Night Before

Actually, I say it didn’t take off, but looking at it another way, CoverMeCoverYou has a 100% success rate. You see, that one other person that signed up, a Santa Cruz-based musician called Eric Taxxon, agreed to cover one of my songs, and I in turn covered one of his.

Below you can play Eric’s version of my song The Night Before. I really like it. It’s fair to say that he’s taken the song somewhere I would never have imagined.

 

I chose to cover Small Virtues, from Eric’s album The Anthill. You can hear the original version here. I recorded my version one evening last week using my Zoom H4 recorder (with a pair of stereo tracks used for the main guitar and vocal track, the lead guitar line on a single track, and some harmony vocals and tambourine on another track). It was a quick’n’dirty effort, but I think it works quite well. It’s a quirky little song and I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to pull off an acoustic version of it.

 

Those two tracks will probably be the sum total output of the CoverMeCoverYou project. Even so, I’m really pleased to have done this. There’s something amazing about amateur musicians on opposite sides of the globe covering each other’s songs without having met or spoken to each other.

Me as Bon Iver

While I’m on the subject of cover versions of my songs, I’m going to go ahead and post below a cover of my song Half-Hearted Love Affair. I’m sure my friend Richie will not be pleased with me making this available, as it wasn’t intended for public consumption. It was a project for an audio production course he was doing in Amsterdam, where he deliberately tried to replicate the style of Bon Iver. He wasn’t, as I recall, that pleased with the result. But I like it. And it’s my song!

 

(Sorry Richie. And thanks.)

Roughly Covered: Close Encounters – Lake Montgomery

Last week on Facebook my friend Max Vanremmerden posted a challenge to members of the Amsterdam Songwriters Guild: “Cover and record a song you like from one of the members of the ASG and post the link to audio or video on this events page.” Challenge accepted!

One of the ASG artists that impresses me the most is Lake Montgomery. Originally from Paris, Texas she can be heard playing in various venues around Amsterdam and elsewhere in Europe. She has a great voice, plays guitar brilliantly, and writes really excellent songs with smart lyrics. With the right wind at her back she could be a really successful artist.

For this challenge I decided to sing her song, Close Encounters. It’s a quick and dirty single-take recording and is far from perfect, but hopefully it fulfils the challenge:

Close Encounters
Song by Lake Montgomery, performed by Eoghan O’Sullivan

But why listen to me when you can hear it from the woman herself? Here’s a video of her singing Close Encounters. You can find lots more on YouTube – just search for Lake Montgomery.

Roughly Covered: Run – Snow Patrol

My buddy Marc asked me to record myself playing Snow Patrol’s Run, so, being an obliging chap, I did. It’s a one-take recording, warts and all. Just me, my guitar and the mic. (I tried to make it sound a little better using Adobe Audition, but I’m very much a novice in that regard.)

I may do more of these Rougly Covered things. Or I may not. Let’s wait and see.

Run by Snow Patrol performed by Eoghan O’Sullivan