Yesterday I released the latest Death Cab For Cutie cover in my Death Bus For Blondie project with the brand new single “Roman Candles” off their upcoming Asphalt Meadows.
Listen to Death Cab For Cutie’s original version here:
Now check out my cover:
Admittedly I wasn’t in any way planning on including this track in my own upcoming album – a small compilation EP of these covers I’ve been recording in my bedroom.
But it was kind of funny. The same week the band sprung this new track on us, I was working through a short list of other bands and older songs that I’d continue my acoustic cover song series with (working my way to 100 acoustic covers, and sitting around 85 right now). While I genuinely enjoy all the songs on my short list just as I have many of the others I’ve previously covered, I was struggling a lot to both choose the next couple and get myself sitting down to actually learn them. They’re great songs, but lyrically in particularly they don’t move me the same way they did when I first heard them.
Whereas the acoustic cover song series has been a fun sort of experiment in revisiting my personal “old classics”, my Death Bus For Blondie and Jaimee Eat World projects are really much more about celebrating the great songwriting that was not only impactful when they were originally released, but still today so many years later I find myself still taking from them, learning about myself in new ways and contemplating life’s ever-growing complications with them. In that sense they act like a much more familiar friend than they do an old, fond acquaintance.
So through this frustrating predicament I found myself in while flipping through songs, Roman Candles was released. And I’ll preface this next part by admitting, I have a bit of a terrible time keeping up with and exploring new music. It’s not at all like it was when I was younger, hyper-compulsively downloading records off Limewire and Kazaa late into the night to consume through the week. Now it’s like, “Shit, Rise Against released something in 2021? I had no idea”. And a lot of what finds it way to my ears on sheer popularity, the radio hits of 2022 if you will, just don’t do anything for me. I feel remarkably removed from what a lot of todays artists are speaking to and I don’t find a lot of it particularly captivating (production wise I hate the current trends) or lyrically all that insightful. *cue Bink 182’s “Dammit” reminding me this is growing up*
But I obviously have a fondness for Death Cab’s songwriting in particular (I don’t do these full-band covers for just anyone after all) and this one is really no exception. Roman Candles has arrived at exactly the time I personally needed it to, to remind me that I’m not the only one who feels like they’ve spent the greater part of the last 2 years just standing still while everything and everyone else moved around them.
As always I tried to take a couple different approaches to this cover to really differentiate it from the original while keeping the skeleton of the song as in tact as possible. I went with a standard 4-piece band set-up and leaned a bit more into the punk-rock/power-pop side of things.
If you wanna hear how it started before all the additional parts, here’s the acoustic track I played around with before hand:
I was actually going to keep running with the more folk-rock style for it, but once I cranked up the distortion for the rhythm guitars I knew I had to axe the acoustic entirely.
Anyways, there’s probably more I could ay about the decision making process for this one but, you get it. Hope ya enjoy it and keep an eye out for my next Death Bus For Blondie song and the EP which should be released in full this summer. It won’t be a physical press of course, but I’ll have it sitting all nice and neat in some sort of playlist.
Til next time!