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Independents Day ID08

Independents Day ID08

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

RELEASED on July 4 to mark the first annual Independents Day celebration, Independents Day – ID08 is a unique compilation featuring some of the finest international artists recording for British independent labels today, covering the independently released tracks that influenced their careers.

A double CD for the price of a single, CD1 sees the likes of Tom Smith from Editors, Jack Peñate, The Prodigy and José González covering artists as varied as Joy Division, Oasis and Metallica, offering unique takes on some much loved classics. It includes several previously unreleased exclusive tracks.

CD2, meanwhile, gives us a glimpse of tomorrow’s stars as the first disc’s acts take the A&R reins and select some of their favourite bands.

Only available in shops for three days (and online for a month), Independents Day – ID08 is guaranteed to be a collectors item for years to come, and with the proceeds from the album benefitting C.A.L.M., the Musician’s Benevolent Fund and supporting independent music initiatives, it’s good for both your ears and the independent music community at large.

Highlights are plentiful… it’s good to say. And there are some really interesting cover versions. The Prodigy’s take on The Specials’ Ghost Town gets things off to a flyer and is surprisingly reverential to the original (only drawing on Prodigy trademarks late on), while Infadels cover The Raconteurs’ Steady As She Goes brilliantly.

Robyn’s pop classic With Every Heartbeat gets an interesting indie makeover from The Futureheads that, vocally at least, sounds like The Cure’s Robert Smith has suddenly assumed frontman responsibilities, while Jack Penate delivers the goods on Beats International’s classuc Dub Be Good To Me.

Not everything works as well as it might. Feeder’s take on PIL’s Public Image is one of several tracks that failed to convince, as did The Charlatans’ instrumenta take on New Order’s Murder. It felt a bit pointless not to have Tim Burgess contributing vocally.

And Devendra Banhart’s spaced out, kooky take on Oasis’ Don’t Look Back In Anger is just plain weird and doesn’t really work.

But worth adding to any collection are Jose Gonzalez’s cover of Joy Division’s seminal Love Will Tear Us Apart (surely confirming him as one of the cover artist kings of the moment), while Rodrigo Y Gabriela bring their mercurial guitar wizardry to a thrilling instrumental rendition of Metallica’s Orion.

Of the new artists who make an instant impression on CD2, Oceansize combine dream-like, ethereal beauty with thought-provoking lyricism on Savant, Cougar demonstrate some beguiling acoustic brilliance on the uplifting, tender Merit, and Little Dragon some kooky, leftfield warmth to Twice.

Keep an ear out, too, for Basia Bulat’s lively In The Night, Jose James & Flying Lotus’ supremely soulful Visions of Violet and Laura Groves heart-warming acoustic folk track I Am Leaving, which draws things to a supremely satsifying, summery close.

All in all, then, a cracking listen that capably celebrates all things established and emerging independent.

Download selections: Ghost Town, Steady As She Goes, Dub Be Good To Me, With Every Heartbeat, Orion, Love Will Tear Us Apart, Visions of Violet, I Am Leaving, Savant

Track listing:
CD1 Tracklist:

  1. The Prodigy – Ghost Town (originally recorded by The Specials)
  2. Infadels – Steady As She Goes (originally recorded by The Raconteurs)
  3. The Futureheads – With Every Heartbeat (originally recorded by Robyn)
  4. Jack Peñate – Dub Be Good To Me (originally recorded by Beats International)
  5. Tom Smith from Editors – Bonny (originally recorded by Prefab Sprout)
  6. British Sea Power – Tug Boat (originally recorded by Galaxie 500)
  7. The Charlatans – Murder (originally recorded by New Order)
  8. Feeder – Public Image (originally recorded by PIL)
  9. The Cribs – Bastards Of Young (originally recorded by The Replacements)
  10. Jarvis Cocker and Beth Ditto – Temptation (originally recorded by Heaven 17)
  11. Maxïmo Park – Was There Anything I Can Do? (Originally recorded by The Go-Betweens)
  12. José González – Love Will Tear Us Apart (originally recorded by Joy Division)
  13. Devendra Banhart – Don’t Look Back In Anger (originally recorded by Oasis)
  14. Rodrigo Y Gabriela – Orion (originally recorded by Metallica)

CD2:

  1. A.Human – Black Moon (recommended by Infadels)
  2. Thomas Tantrum – Swan Lake (recommended by The Futureheads)
  3. Shrag – Long Term Monster (recommended by The Cribs)
  4. Sixteen Layers – Torch (recommended by Embryonic Music)
  5. Bang Bangs – In Arms (recommended by Feeder)
  6. Oceansize – Savant (recommended by Rodrigo Y Gabriella)
  7. Cougar – Merit (recommended by Maxïmo Park)
  8. Electricity In Our Homes – We Thought It Was But It Wasn’t (recommended by The Charlatans)
  9. Mobius Band – Friends Like These (recommended by Tom Smith from Editors)
  10. The Tenderfoot – People Are The Problem

  1. New Order’s Murder is not a vocal track.

    Andy    Jul 5    #
  2. I think Jack meant why choose an instrumental track to cover? Speaking as a Charlatans fan, I’d prefer to have heard Tim’s voice on a song of his choosing. Jack has a point…

    Steve    Jul 6    #