ASK iAN * VAGRANT FOR THE WIN
New Release in the Year of the Imposters...
Alt-rock journeyman Mark Lanegan has signed to Vagrant Records following a decadeâ€™s worth of output for Beggers Banquet/4AD. (His final record on 4AD was last yearâ€™s Blues Funeral). On September 17th, Lanegan will release his first effort through Vagrant, a covers album entitled Imitations. Among the 12 tracks, Lanegan tackles Hall & Oatesâ€™ â€śSheâ€™s Goneâ€ť, Nancy Sinatraâ€™s â€śYou Only Live Twiceâ€ť, Nick Caveâ€™s â€śBrompton Oratoryâ€ť, and Bobby Darinâ€™s â€śMack the Knifeâ€ť.
In a statement, Lanegan described the projectâ€™s emotional significance:
When I was a kid in the late sixties and early seventies, my parents and their friends would play the records of Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, music with string arrangements and men singing songs that sounded sad whether they were or not. At home my folks were also listening to country music, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, George Jones and Vern Gosdin were some of our favorites. For a long time Iâ€™ve wanted to make a record that gave me the same feeling those old records did, using some of the same tunes I loved as a kid and some that Iâ€™ve loved as I have gotten older. This record is it. Imitations.
As a first listen, Laneganâ€™s unveiled his rendition of John Caleâ€™s â€śIâ€™m Not The Loving Kindâ€ť. True to the album title, Lanegan operates right in the originalâ€™s formula, only making the strings sound slightly more sweeping and melancholy. But where the track sets itself apart is the vocals, with Laneganâ€™s haggard pipes transforming the originalâ€™s inherent loneliness from something theatrical to a truly heartbreaking force.
01. Flatlands (Chelsea Wolfe)
02. Sheâ€™s Gone (Hall & Oates)
03. Deepest Shade
04. You Only Live Twice (Nancy Sinatra)
05. Pretty Colors (Frank Sinatra)
06. Brompton Oratory (Nick Cave)
08. Mack The Knife (Bobby Darin)
09. Iâ€™m Not The Loving Kind (John Cale)
10. Lonely Street (Patsy Cline)
11. ElĂ©gie FunĂ¨bre (GĂ©rard Manset)
12. Autumn Leaves
â€śFlatlandsâ€ť is a beautiful song I heard Chelsea Wolfe singing, â€śSheâ€™sÂ Goneâ€ť is by Vern Gosdin and the Gosdin brothers, â€śDeepest Shadeâ€ť is aÂ song my friend Greg Dulli wrote for the Twilight Singers and thenÂ graciously gave to me to sing, everyone knows Nancy Sinatra singingÂ â€ťYou Only Live Twiceâ€ť but I love â€śPretty Colorsâ€ť by father Frank just as
much. â€śBrompton Oratoryâ€ť is by the one and only Nick Cave and I heardÂ â€ťSolitaire,â€ť â€śLonely Streetâ€ť and â€śAutumn Leavesâ€ť all sung by Andy WilliamsÂ who I consider to be one of the all time greatest singers. I haveÂ always loved Dave Van Ronk and his sparse version of â€śMack the Knifeâ€ť IÂ copied note for note. I have been obsessed with the genius of GerardÂ Manset forever, hopefully I didnâ€™t butcher his tune too badly. I haveÂ tried to cover John Cale before and chickened out, its hard to coverÂ your hero but I managed to get through one this time. Imitations.â€ť