Lydia Lunch is both a prodigious collaborator (Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, Rowland S. Howard et al) and remarkable interpreter of other people's work. It may therefore come as a surprise to learn that "Under The Covers" is her first album to consist entirely of songs by other artists. As you might expect, the choice of songs on this collection is a disconcerting array of material ranging from the hugely popular to the wildly obscure; from Jon Bon Jovi to Nashville troubadour Aaron Lee Tasjan, Doors and many others. The roster also includes a harrowing reworking of Bobbie Gentry's Southern Gothic classic "Ode To Billie Joe" - a thematically obscure tale of love, death, abortion and suicide.
In a typically oblique move, Lunch also decided to cover one of her own compositions. "Won't Leave You Alone" is a song she co-wrote with James Johnston (Gallon Drunk / PJ Harvey / Bad Seeds). Here we see the song mutate from blues rock prophecy to haunting folk lament.
This album also marks her third collaborative effort with British guitarist Cypress Grove, building on the success of their previous albums, "A Fistful Of Desert Blues" and "Twin Horses". Grove is also something of a serial collaborator, having worked with Nick Cave, Mark Lanegan and Jeffrey Lee Pierce, to name but a few.
Whether it be original songs penned together or the masterful interpretation of classic material on "Under the Covers", Lydia Lunch and Cypress Grove continue to delight with the warped beauty of their unconventional coupling.
LP: Limited edition of 300 copies on coloured vinyl
1- Ode to Billie Joe (Bobbie Gentry)
2 - Breakdown (Tom Petty)
3 - A Thousand Miles Of Bad Road (Aaron Lee Tasjan)
4 - Blaze Of Glory (John Bon Jovi)
5 - Red, White And Pink Slip Blues (Mark Stephen Jones/Bud Tower)
6 - Midnight Rider (Gregg Allman/Robert Payne)
7 - The Spy (Jim Morrison)
8 - I Want You (Elvis Costello)
9 - Won't Leave You Alone (Lydia Lunch/James Johnston)
10 - Do It Again (Walter Becker/Donald Fagen)
11 - Low (David Lowery/Johnny Hickman/David Faragher)