Flora Reed and Philip Price, of the Northampton, Mass. band Winterpills, don't get hung up on the whole originals vs. covers thing.
“Aren’t all albums cover albums?” they write in the liner notes to “Echolalia,” which comes out on Oct. 14. “Aren’t our musical daydreams overflowing with versions and interpretations and echoes of songs — others and our own — that have woven themselves into our brains?”
Reed and Price conceived of the project as something to do while other band members were busy. It ballooned into something more weighty and involved: 12 unique reimaginings of songs by Buddy Holly, Nick Drake, the Beatles, Beck and others (full track listing below).
On each track, Reed and Price set out to do more than just play the song. “Simply because a song was great (and influential) was not enough to pass the Echolalia gauntlet,” they write, “it had to be transformable; we had to be successful Dr. Frankensteins and re-animate, and not worry if it was a monster or not, or afraid of fire.”
As Winterpills, they’ve written their fair share of terrific originals in the last decade-plus: “Take Away the Words,” from the 2008 album “Central Chambers,” or “A Benediction,” the first track on their 2005 debut. (“All My Lovely Goners,” their last album, had a stomper called “Rogue Highway” that stands with anything else I heard in 2012.)
Listen to Winterpills’ version of Sharon Van Etten’s “One Day,” from the singer-songwriter’s 2010 “Epic” album. It’s one of the more faithful covers on “Echolalia,” and a good place to start.
ECHOLALIA TRACK LIST
1. One Day (Sharon Van Etten)
2. Time Of No Reply (Nick Drake)
3. From A Shell (Lisa Germano)
4. Open Your Eyes (Jules Shear)
5. Learning the Game (Buddy Holly)
6. We’re The Same (Matthew Sweet)
7. Bye Bye Pride (The Go-Betweens)
8. Museum of Flight (Damien Jurado)
9. Train Running Low on Soul Coal (XTC)
10. A World Away From This One (Mark Mulcahy)
11. The Wolf is on the Hill (Beck)
12. Cry Baby Cry (The Beatles)