Good news for Ivy fans: no wait between albums this time. The New York-based trio spent four years following up 1997’s Apartment Life due to a fire at their recording studio and as bassist Adam Schlesinger spent time in his other band, Fountains Of Wayne. But it’s only been a year since Ivy released their third album Long Distance, and here they are back with a record of fun covers.
Former Parisian Dominique Durand, guitarist Andy Chase and Schlesinger work their way through ten of their favorite songs, some familiar, others not so. They offer a very different, trip-hoppy, danceable take on The Cure’s “Let’s Go to Bed,” emphasizing keyboards and the song’s familiar bassline. Durand turns in an engaging performance on another ’80s chestnut, the Blow Monkeys’ “Digging Your Scene.” You can really hear that French accent on “Too Sensitive,” a track by Edwyn Collins’ old band Orange Juice. “I guess I’m just a leetle too sensitive,” she sings. Serge Gainsbourg is a bit more of an obvious choice to cover but Durand croons his “L’Anamour” nicely as well.
Other tracks include a tranced-out take on The Ronnettes’ early ’60s classic “Be My Baby” which is nearly unrecognizable. There’s also “Streets of Your Town,” a very faithful version of a great Go-Betweens song. House Of Love’s late ’80s minor classic “I Don’t Know Why I Love You” gets a stripped down acoustic treatment. Ivy updates Papas Fritas’ early 70s sound to the ’80s with a synth-poppy arrangement of that band’s late 90’s tune “Say Goodbye.” Confused yet? Nice takes on tunes by Steely Dan and ex-Haircut One Hundred frontman Nick Heyward round out the disc.
It’s always a good thing to have a little more of Ivy’s sunny pop music in the world and this Guestroom is a nice place for a short stay. And more good news for fans of Schlesinger’s other band: a new Fountains Of Wayne record is also in the works.
Minty Fresh Records: http://www.mintyfresh.com