For as unique and interesting of a person as I try to be, I sure am predictable. For instance, if I'm reading a book and the cover's obscured, it's safe for you to assume it's a graphic novel, probably about the X-Men. If I'm about to put on a record, chances are it's gonna be folk music. And if I suggest a movie, it'll either have superheroes or zombies in a featured role. What can I say? I like Hellboy and I like Marvel and I love Elliott Smith.
My predictability, as a human, stretches through all walks of my life. My clothes (Minidress and leggings, all day, every day), my hair (Brown with bangs, in varying degrees of bob), and my sleeping patterns (Did the sunrise yet? No? Well, I'll still be awake.). So it's only natural that the same types of songs get spun over and over at RFC HQ. To assist you with understanding, I've made a handy pie chart for you.
You may notice that there's a lot of folk music there, a bit of indie pop, a healthy does of rock n roll, some French pop (Who can resist Francoise Hardy?), and... Novelty covers.
Nothing pumps me up like a band I love doing a song I love, be it a song I genuinely adore or a guilty pleasure track, ala Miniature Tigers' tackling Abba's "Mama Mia" or Lissie's gorgeous rendition of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance". When an artist I love tackles a guilty pleasure song of mine, I feel it's easier for them to come out ahead than when an artist I love covers a song I love by an artist I simply adore.
I don't even need to talk about Dawes and what that song means to me because you can already guess based upon my many blogs lavishing praise upon the Goldmiths. Yes, I love them, I think they're incredibly wise, incredibly charismatic, and cute as buttons. Every track on their debut, North Hills, holds a special place for me, from the heartbreaking "Bedside Manner" to the seething "My Girl To Me" to the somber, depressed "Peace In The Valley".
Of course, part of what makes each of these songs so incredibly powerful is Taylor Goldsmith's voice so when I saw that Delta Spirit had covered "Peace In The Valley", I was apprehensive to say the least. '
"Peace In the Valley" played an imporant role in my life, earlier this year. I was displaced. Lost my job. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with my life, let alone where I was going to live. So I returned to my homestate of Michigan to suss things out. Dawes was - and still is - a staple in my daily listening and during this time, when I was helping my stepmom move into her new house, "Peace In The Valley" caught my ear. In particular, the following lines - "Our actor ends his love song as all these lovers sit and stare - If I don't find peace in the valley, it's because there wasn't any there."
First hearing Delta Spirit's version of the song was jarring to say the least but after a fair few repeated listen, I realized I loved it - It's not who sings the song that matters in this case. Rather, what's important is that they understand the meaning behind the song, that they feel what Goldsmith feels when he sings it. I believe that Delta Spirit get it. And it shows. The band manages to leave all of the beauty of the original intact and let each lyric hit with the impact Goldsmith had intended.
It took a while for Delta Spirit's "Peace In the Valley" to grow on me but now that it has, dare I say it's surpassed my love for the originality?
I must say that whether it has or it hasn't, it's dang close.