Secretly Canadian’s held a special place in my heart since I first grew aware of indie music in 2000. They’ve always had an interesting and eclectic roster that spans many genres, but somehow their catalog has remains cohesive and engaging, which is more than can be said of many of their label contemporaries like Sub Pop or Matador. For their 100th release, the label decided to gather some of their premier acts and get them to cover other bands on the imprint. It’s a fitting choice for this lot and the tracks offered up are as abstract as expected. There’s much to marvel at here: Nikki Sudden’s glam lipstick kiss on June Panic’s “See(ing) Double,” Americana/slow-core greats The Early Day Miners being reduced to analogue growls on Suzanne Langille’s “The Escape,” Danielson folk-pop weirdness overpowering the electronic weirdness inherent in Dave Fischoff’s “Propaganda For a Comic Strip,” the skronky jazz swing Cornelius Boots puts on Racebannon’s gutter hardcore ode “Clubber Lang” and Jens Lekman’s breezy rendition of the ominous Scout Niblett-penned “Your Beat Kicks Like Death” are just a few. Of course, for these reworkings to register you’d have to be familiar with either the original song or the music stylings of the interpreter. Regardless of this foreknowledge SC100‘s winning experiments are entirely appropriate for a record label that’s main goal is to shine a spotlight on the fringes of popular music.
Secretly Canadian: www.secretlycanadian.com