Tristan Prettyman Covers Barry Louis Polisar’s “All I Want Is You” Leave it to a children’s book author to come up with a simple yet catchy tune that will be stuck in your head for hours after you first hear the lyrics, which are childishly charming despite the allusions to floral reproduction: “If I was a flower growing wild and free/All I'd want is you to be my sweet honey bee.” Barry Louis Polisar’s memorable melody might be why acoustic singer-songwriter Tristan Prettyman covered his 1977 song - and why you might recognize the original from the intro to Jason Reitman's 2007 film “Juno.” Polisar’s cute and quirky lyrics are treated to Prettyman’s, well, pretty vocals that weave in and out of acoustic guitar and lyrics that don’t bend to the gender of their new singer: “All I want is you, will you be my bride/Take me by the hand and stand by my side.”
Meaghan Smith Covers Pixies’ “Here Comes Your Man” This smoothed-out, slowed-down version of “Here Comes Your Man” leaves the alt-rock edge of the late 80s behind, but keeps one of its electronic instruments – the Omnichord. The chiming timbre and kitsch appeal of the instrument is embodied well in one of the more playful and upbeat covers of a song about winos and hobos traveling on trains. Canadian indie pop songstress Meaghan Smith’s charismatic vocals and charm are brought to life in the accompanying lighthearted video, where she rides a bike in the sun while being chased by a boy (supposedly “her man”?). The Zooey Deschanel magnetism of the song fits perfectly in the movie soundtrack it was on, (500) Days of Summer.
Peter Gabriel Covers Vampire Weekend’s “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” The original song’s tropical frills and tribal beats made it an easy target for Peter Gabriel to cover – that, and the fact that the song’s lyrics mention him by name (“But this feels so unnatural / Peter Gabriel too”). When asked to do a cover of the song, Gabriel replaced one of the lines with "And it feels so unnatural to sing your own name" to rectify the situation. Gabriel’s animated voice is a funny yet fitting addition to the Hot Chip instrumental, as the cover combines music new and old.
The String Quartet Tribute to Peter Gabriel Available now at iTunes and Amazon