Light in the Attic to Release Covers Compilation for RSD Black Friday 2023
Contemporary Artists Cover Light in the Attic Heritage Performers
The Light in the Attic label has long ben a bastion of archival releases. For Record Store Day (Black Friday Edition) 2023, they will release a copliation featuring 20 songs taken from their 7" single series: Cover Series. That crop of releases feature contemporary artists covering songs by other artists who have ben featured on Light in the Attic releases. Over the years, there have been several of these releases, but additional tracks have been recorded to create, Light in the Attic and Friends.
The set includes recordings by Ethan & Maya Hawke covering Willie Nelson, Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band interpreting Sixto Rodriguez, Iggy Pop & Zig Zags performing a Betty Davis gem, Angel Olsen paying homage to Karen Dalton, Mac DeMarco performing a song by Haruomi Hosono, and Swamp Dogg, John C. Reilly, Jenny Lewis & Tim Heidecker covering a country classic.
The 2-LP set was mastered by GRAMMY®-nominated engineer John Baldwin. Light in the Attic & Friends will also be pressed on smash colored wax and will feature cover artwork by British artist Sophy Hollington. The package will also include a deluxe eight-page booklet, featuring in-depth track notes by North Carolina-based filmmaker and writer Lydia Hyslop, as well as artist photos.
Detailed track listing info from the label is below:
Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band – “I’ll Slip Away” (Sixto Rodriguez)
After releasing a pair of albums in 1970 and 1971, Detroit singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez (1942-2023) walked away from his musical career, unaware that his psychedelic folk was gaining a cult following in South Africa. After decades of speculation (including rumors of his death), Rodriguez enjoyed a career resurgence in his 70s, after being the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary Searching for Sugarman. Similarly, celebrated soul singer Charles Bradley (1948-2017) also found success later in life after years of obscurity, while his remarkable story was chronicled in the 2012 documentary, Soul of America, just one year after he released his debut on Dunham/Daptone Records. In 2011, the two artists shared the stage at New York’s Bowery Ballroom, playing to a sold-out crowd. A year later, Bradley – backed by the always phenomenal Menahan Street Band – recorded this stirring cover of Rodriguez’s 1967 debut, “I’ll Slip Away.”
Sweet Tea – “After Laughter (Comes Tears)” (Wendy Rene)
In the mid-60s, Memphis singer Wendy Rene (born Mary Frierson) signed to Stax Records with her vocal quartet, The Drapels. The group was short-lived, but Rene caught the ear of the soul label’s biggest star, Otis Redding, who championed her solo career. While Rene soon shifted her focus to motherhood, she found unexpected recognition when her 1964 debut, “After Laughter (Comes Tears),” was used in The Wu Tang Clan’s “Tearz.” Since then, it has been sampled by dozens of artists, including Alicia Keys and Ariana Grande. Rene, who passed away in 2014, lived to enjoy many of these tributes, including this one by Sweet Tea (featuring Erika Wennerstrom and Jesse Ebaugh of Heartless Bastards, Alex Maas of The Black Angels, and Robb Kidd of Golden Dawn Arkestra). Recorded in 2012, this moving rendition captures the essence of Rene’s original recording, including its soulful doo-wop flavor.
Vashti Bunyan & Devendra Banhart – “How Could You Let Me Go” (Madelynn Von Ritz aka Lynn Castle)
As Los Angeles’ first female barber, Madelynn Von Ritz (aka Lynn Castle) spent her days styling the biggest stars of the ‘60s. Behind the scenes, she was a songwriter, whose work caught the ears of industry heavyweights – including Lee Hazlewood, who produced her debut single in 1967. Amid debilitating stage fright, Castle soon retreated from the spotlight, but that didn’t stop her from writing and recording songs at home. Over the following decades, she built a vast catalog, spanning country, pop, rock, goth, and children’s music – none of which was released until 2017. Here, another singer-songwriter who achieved late-in-life recognition, Vashti Bunyan, pairs up with Devendra Banhart to pay homage to Castle through a dreamy cover of her haunting new wave track, “How Could You Let Me Go.”
Barbara Lynn – “We'll Understand” (The Supreme Jubilees)
Vocal group The Supreme Jubilees was formed in the ‘70s by cousins and brothers, who grew up singing together in their Fresno, CA church. In 1980, the septet released their sole album, It’ll All Be Over, which offered an enticing blend of gospel, R&B, soul, disco, and plenty of sweet harmonies. But, amid disappointing sales and financial struggles, they disbanded shortly after. Three decades later, one of 500 original copies of It’ll All Be Overwas re-discovered by a record store owner, leading to its eventual reissue by LITA. Among the album’s highlights is the super-smooth “We’ll Understand,” covered in 2022 by 81-year-old R&B singer, songwriter, and guitarist Barbara Lynn, who made her return to the studio after nearly a decade. Lynn, a 2018 National Heritage Fellowship recipient, is joined by her daughter and granddaughter on backing vocals, as well as rising soul star Akelee “Dove” with production by Tommy Brenneck.
BADBADNOTGOOD feat. Jonah Yano – “Key To Love Is Understanding” (The Majestics)
At the turn of the ‘80s, everyone was eager to jump on the new sounds of hip-hop, including Milwaukee businessman-turned-producer, Marvell Love. Hoping to make a quick profit, Love recruited a local R&B group, The Majestics, to record a rap track. While the long-running vocal act was more interested in classic funk, they would soon become known for releasing Milwaukee’s first hip-hop single, “Class A,” in 1982. Although The Majestics (who still perform today) never recorded another rap song, the 45 became a sought-after rarity. Yet, it was the ballad on its B-side, “Key to Love (Is Understanding),”that caught the ears of Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD. In 2019, the instrumental group partnered with Montreal singer-songwriter Jonah Yano to record their own rendition of the smooth-as-silk track, sharing “As lovers of old soul, funk, and rare recordings, ‘Key To Love’…has always…had an impact on our heart and ears.”
Iggy Pop & Zig Zags – “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up” (Betty Davis)
Queen of Funk Betty Davis (1944–2022) enraptured audiences with her raw and powerful vocals, her provocative lyrics, and her space-age blend of funk, R&B, and blues. During her all-too-brief career, Davis smashed several glass ceilings, including becoming the first Black woman to write, produce, and arrange her own albums. She was defiant, original, and far ahead of her time. It’s fitting then, that an equally fierce iconoclast, Iggy Pop, would cover Davis’ 1973 single, “If I’m In Luck, I Might Get Picked Up.” Backed by L.A. trio Zig Zags, the Godfather of Punk does Davis proud in this 2012 cover. As Hyslop notes, the band “discovered a secret heavy Sabbath vibe lurking just below the funk surface,” which adds even more oomph to lyrics like “Don’t you crush my velvet don’t you ruffle my feathers neither/I said I’m crazy I’m wild I said I’m nasty.”
Mozart Estate – “Low Life” (Public Image Ltd)
Johnny Rotten reinvented himself after The Sex Pistols broke up in 1978. Reverting to his birth name, Lydon established Public Image Ltd (PiL) and embarked on an experimental post-punk journey, incorporating elements of dub, avant-garde, prog-rock, and dance into the long-running group’s evolving sound. PiL’s 1978 debut, First Issue, offered a taste of what was to come, including through the raucous “Low Life,” covered here by British indie pop band, Mozart Estate. Hyslop explains that Mozart Estate’s mononymous frontman, Lawrence, founded the group “As a response to his other bands’ lack of commercial success, making him perhaps the perfect post–post–punk heir to carry the torch of antiestablishmentarianism that Lydon lit and beat ’em at their own game.” Recorded in 2021, the cover fleshes out PiL’s lo-fi track with pop-forward instrumentation and lush harmonies.
Leslie Winer & Maxwell Sterling – “Once I Was” (Tim Buckley)
One year after releasing his 1966 self-titled debut, singer-songwriter Tim Buckley (1947-1975) delivered his psychedelic-folk-rock masterpiece, Goodbye and Hello. A preview of the musical explorations that the artist would embark on during his tragically short career, the introspective album featured such highlights as “Once I Was.” The melancholic tune, which finds the singer reflecting on past loves, is covered here by another sonic explorer: visionary musician, poet, and author, Leslie Winer. Winer, whose multidimensional career includes such highlights as pioneering trip-hop and becoming the world’s first androgynous fashion model, reinvents the song alongside British composer and double bassist, Maxwell Sterling. Backed by Sterling’s cinematic arrangements, Winer transforms the song with her distinctive and mesmerizing vocals – delivering an utterly haunting performance.
Ethan & Maya Hawke – “We Don't Run” (Willie Nelson)
During his nearly seven-decade-long career, country icon Willie Nelson has written some of the genre’s most enduring standards – from “Crazy” to “On the Road Again.” From a discography that spans nearly 100 studio albums, one of Nelson’s lesser known, but most striking releases is 1996’s Spirit. A stylistic outlier, the understated concept album features stripped-down, Spanish-influenced instrumentation and emotionally raw songwriting, as Nelson delves into heartbreaking themes of love and loss. Among its tracks is the quietly reassuring “We Don’t Run,” in which Nelson sings “We don’t run, we don't compromise/We don’t quit, we never do.” Here, father-daughter collaboration Ethan and Maya Hawke reimagine the song as a sweet ode to love, strength, and loyalty. Recently recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York, the track features producer Christian Lee Hutson on a number of instruments including electric guitar and Wurlitzer.
Gold Leaves – “Won't You Tell Your Dreams” (Lee Hazlewood)
Singer, songwriter, and psychedelic cowboy Lee Hazlewood (1929-2007) has long been a cult favorite, revered for his vivid – often quirky – storytelling, his warm, orchestral pop arrangements, and his distinctive sing-speak baritone vocals. While best known for his collaborations with Nancy Sinatra, Hazlewood also had a robust solo catalog, including 1971’s Requiem for an Almost Lady, which the artist described as “a composite of all my memories of ladies.” Among the tracks is “Won’t You Tell Your Dreams,” which details the days immediately following a breakup, as mundane tasks are overshadowed by feelings of loss. Here, the song is covered lovingly by Gold Leaves (the project of singer-songwriter Grant Olsen). Emulating Hazlewood’s warm ‘60s production, Olsen enhances his recording with soft pedal steel guitars (courtesy of Bill Patton) and lilting, multi-layered vocals.
Swamp Dogg, John C. Reilly, Jenny Lewis & Tim Heidecker – “The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea” (The Louvin Brothers)
Written by the legendary Carter Family and famously recorded by Grand Ole Opry regulars Ira and Charlie Louvin for their 1959 gospel album, Satan Is Real, “The Kneeling Drunkard’s Plea” tells the tale of an inebriated man begging God for forgiveness. This all-star 2022 version (featuring indie sweetheart Jenny Lewis, actor/musician John C. Reilly, legendary R&B/soul artist Swamp Dogg, and comedian/actor/musician Tim Heidecker) pays homage to The Louvin Brothers’ signature tight-knit harmonies and bluegrass roots, as Lewis and Reilly share lead vocals. Swamp Dogg, meanwhile, brings the house down with a heartfelt spoken-word contribution, while Heidecker adds gospel flavors with a deftly-played organ accompaniment.
Silas Short – “You've Become A Habit” (Leo Nocentelli)
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Leo Nocentelli is best known for his foundational work with The Meters – including penning funk classics like “Cissy Strut” and “Hey Pocky A–Way” and backing the likes of Dr. John, Paul McCartney, and Labelle. But in between sessions with the pioneering New Orleans band, Nocentelli spent much of 1971 writing a stripped-down solo album, blending elements of folk and country with his funk roots. The long-lost album, which finally saw the light of day in 2021, features such reflective songs as “You’ve Become a Habit,” covered here by rising Chicago native and Stones Throw recording artist, Silas Short. Mirroring the intimate nature of the song, Short brings his sweet vocals to the front, while adding modern grooves through bluesy guitar and organ arrangements.
Mac DeMarco – “Honey Moon” (Haruomi Hosono)
One of Japanese pop music’s most influential figures, Haruomi “Harry” Hosono is a living legend, whose five-decade-long career has encompassed electronic music, funk, experimental, psychedelic rock, and folk, among other styles. A founding member of the pioneering acts Happy End and Yellow Magic Orchestra, Hosono has also enjoyed a prolific solo career – including video game and film soundtracks, star-studded collaborations, and over two dozen albums. Among his many fans is the offbeat singer, songwriter, and producer, Mac DeMarco, who puts his own touch on “Honey Moon,” a track off Hosono’s 1975 album, Tropical Dandy. The Canadian-born artist maintains the song’s dreamy, calypso vibe – and sings its original lyrics in Japanese. In 2019, a year after the cover was recorded, DeMarco joined his idol on stage in Los Angeles, where the two artists performed a duet of the song.
Cameron Bethany – “Send It On” (D'Angelo)
In 2000, singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist DeAngelo (born Michael Eugene Archer) secured his position as one of R&B’s biggest stars with his sophomore album, Voodoo. Inspired by the warm sounds of classic ‘60s and ‘70s soul, Voodoo was hailed as a neo-soul masterpiece, earning D’Angelo a spot at the top of the Billboard 200 and his first GRAMMY® Awards. While the single “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” – and its provocative video – became the album’s biggest hit, it was followed by the equally soulful ballad, “Send It On,” covered here by Memphis star and Unapologetic recording artist Cameron Bethany. Like D’Angelo, Bethany is the son of a Southern preacher, who trained his voice singing in church. He is also proving to be one of R&B’s most unique and promising talents – as heard here in this inspired, multi-layered performance.
Roedelius – “Le Chant des Fauves” (Tinariwen)
Tinariwen is a long-running collective of musicians from the nomadic Tuareg population of the Malian deserts. Formed in 1979, the group began performing at weddings, baptisms, and parties. But when they heard Western rock, everything changed. Since then, the GRAMMY®-winning group has gained an international audience through their “desert blues,” blending electric guitars with traditional Saharan music. While Tinariwen issued a series of cassettes over the years, their 2001 LP, The Radio Tisdas Sessions, marked their first wide release. Its opening track, “Le Chant des Fauves” is covered here by the pioneering German electronic composer, Roedelius. The 2022 recording found Roedelius, now 88, reimagining the song as a sparse instrumental which, Hyslop notes, “Evokes an eerily beautiful sense of desolation.”
Mark Lanegan – “Same Old Man” (Karen Dalton)
Karen Dalton (1937-1993) was a fixture in the ‘60s folk scene, earning the adulation of her peers through her world-weary vocals, her talents on the banjo or 12-stringed guitar, and her nuanced interpretations of traditional material, blues standards, and the songs of her contemporaries. While she would influence everyone from Nick Cave to Adele, Dalton remained relatively unknown during her lifetime, releasing only two albums. In 2012, Mark Lanegan (1964-2022) honored Dalton with a cover of the traditional “Same Old Man,” off her 1971 LP, In My Own Time. In contrast to the singer’s stripped-down rendition, Lanegan – who fronted the seminal band The Screaming Trees and collaborated with the likes of Isobel Campbell, Queens of the Stone Age, and Kurt Cobain – performs his version over a bed of lush instrumentation – including a mellotron, a fretless e–bow guitar, and banjos – all courtesy of musician and producer, Alain Johannes.
Angel Olsen – “Something On Your Mind” (Karen Dalton)
Among the artists that Karen Dalton influenced is singer-songwriter Angel Olsen. Olsen, who narrates Dalton’s personal journals in the 2020 documentary, Karen Dalton: In My Own Time, performs “Something on Your Mind.” Penned by Dino Valenti of Quicksilver Messenger Service, the tune originally appeared on Dalton’s 1971 album In My Own Time and has long been considered a signature song of hers. Of the poignant track, Olsen says, “‘Something On Your Mind’ is about letting yourself face something that keeps setting you back.” Accompanied only by her piano, Olsen’s moving rendition allows the song’s lyrics to take center stage.
Mary Lattimore – “Blink” (Hiroshi Yoshimura)
Japanese ambient music pioneer Hiroshi Yoshimura rose to prominence in the ‘70s, thanks to his beautifully minimal kankyō ongaku (environmental music). His acclaimed 1982 debut, Music For Nine Post Cards, was inspired by the stunning views of nature from the windows of Tokyo’s Hara Museum of Contemporary Art. Recorded at his home on a keyboard and Fender Rhodes, the album paints nine aural scenes, including “Blink,”covered here by harpist Mary Lattimore. In addition to her solo work, the classically trained musician has collaborated with Thurston Moore, Meg Baird, and Kurt Vile. Originally recorded for Aquarium Drunkard’s Lagniappe Sessions, Lattimore’s hypnotic cover of “Blink” beautifully translates to the harp.
Acetone – “Plain As Your Eyes Can See” (Jim Sullivan)
In the late ‘60s, singer-songwriter Jim Sullivan (b. 1940) moved to Los Angeles with dreams of stardom. He hung out with Hollywood hotshots like Harry Dean Stanton, made a cameo on Easy Rider, and hired members of the legendary Wrecking Crew to perform on his 1969 debut, U.F.O. But the album, and his self-titled follow-up, failed to find an audience. Then, in 1975, he disappeared in the New Mexico desert. Over the years, amid a myriad of conspiracy theories, Sullivan’s music developed a cult following. Among his fans are fellow Angelinos Steve Hadley and Mark Lightcap, both formerly of Acetone – a supremely talented ‘90s band that, similar to Sullivan, found little success on the national scene, despite local promise. Here, the artists pay tribute to Sullivan with a languid cover of his U.F.O. track, “Plain As Your Eyes Can See.”
Steve Gunn & Bridget St. John – “Rabbit Hills” (Michael Chapman)
A central figure in Britain’s folk and progressive scenes, singer, songwriter, and guitarist Michael Chapman (1941-2021) built a prolific catalog (over 50 albums) and a broad following during his five-decade-long career. Among his early highlights is 1970’s Fully Qualified Survivor, which Hyslop calls “the quintessential Chapman LP, from its layers of beautiful acoustic guitars to its deranged vocals to its floating conga drums.” Here, Brooklyn singer-songwriter and longtime Chapman devotee Steve Gunn offers a modern take on the album’s track “Rabbit Hills,” alongside singer, songwriter, and guitarist Bridget St. John (a British folk icon in her own right).
Tracklist - Light in the Attic & Friends:
1. Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band - Slip Away (Rodriguez)
2. Sweet Tea - After Laughter (Comes Tears) (Wendy Rene)
3. Vashti Bunyan & Devendra Banhart - How Could You Let Me Go (Madelynn Von Ritz aka Lynn Castle)*
4. Barbara Lynn - We'll Understand (The Supreme Jubilees)*
5. BADBADNOTGOOD feat. Jonah Yano - Key To Love Is Understanding (Majestics)
1. Iggy Pop & Zig Zags - If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up (Betty Davis)
2. Mozart Estate - Low Life (Public Image Limited)*
3. Leslie Winer & Maxwell Sterling - Once I Was (Tim Buckley)
4. Ethan & Maya Hawke - We Don't Run (Willie Nelson)*
5. Gold Leaves - Won't You Tell Your Dreams (Lee Hazlewood)
6. Swamp Dogg, John C. Reilly, Jenny Lewis & Tim Heidecker - The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea (The Louvin Brothers)*
1. Silas Short - You've Become A Habit (Leo Nocentelli)*
2. Mac DeMarco - Honey Moon (Haruomi Hosono)
3. Cameron Bethany - Send It On (D'Angelo)*
4. Roedelius - Le Chant des Fauves (Tinariwen)*
1. Mark Lanegan - Same Old Man (Karen Dalton)
2. Angel Olsen - Something On Your Mind (Karen Dalton)
3. Mary Lattimore - Blink (Hiroshi Yoshimura)*
4. Acetone - Plain As Your Eyes Can See (Jim Sullivan)*
5. Steve Gunn & Bridget St. John - Rabbit Hills (Michael Chapman)*