Dean & Britta – “Don‘t Think Twice, It‘s Alright” b/w “Hey Paula” 7″

Dean & Britta - “Don‘t Think Twice, It‘s Alright” b/w “Hey Paula” 7"

Dean & Britta – “Don‘t Think Twice, It‘s Alright” b/w “Hey Paula” 7″

Having successfully toured as 50% of a reunited Luna and released an ear-catching soundtrack to Noah Baumbach’s charming Mistress America film in 2015, Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips return again already with another off-piste 7” for The Great Pop Supplement. Comfortably fitting in with their strong tradition, as a duo and with Luna, in diverting stray yet still critical non-album cuts on to singles, EPs and split-releases and contrarily wrapped in a sleeve of cartoonish NSFW erotica from artist Brian Calvin (with a self-censoring front-cover concealing insert no less), this coupling of cover songs is a nice warming way to thaw through the January blues.

As a partial-signpost to her long-awaited and now soon upcoming debut solo album (due on the twosome’s Double Feature label in April), Phillips takes the vocal and directorial lead on the alluring A-side reinterpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”. No slouch previously with the Zimmerman songbook (having fruitfully reframed “I’ll Keep It With Mine” for the 13 Most Beautiful Andy Warhol films project of a few years back), Phillips curls one of her most assured and sultry vocals around the original’s eternally transferable lyrics whilst languidly stretching its melody across a pedal steel-soaked cosmic country backdrop. In its wake, the AA-side rescues an outtake from Wareham’s ostensibly solo Emancipated Hearts mini-album sessions, with Papercuts’ Jason Quever on the production stool. Affectionately yet subtly remoulding Paul & Paula’s slightly kitsch 1962 teen-romance ballad “Hey Paula” as a balmy Grease-meets-Nancy & Lee duet, this second cut is the kind of thing that might not have sat so easily on a regular Dean and/or Britta album, but as a one-off side of a seven-inch it swoons and sways with soothing aplomb.

Whilst it’s increasingly uneconomical and logistically difficult for micro-labels to package up non-LP nuggets as low-volume vinyl artefacts such as this, we should be grateful that some still to fight to give corporeal contexts for homeless material that might otherwise just have been clicked-around in nebulous digital realms or languished unheard somewhere on a studio hard-drive.

The Great Pop Supplement

Comments

  1. Beautiful. Britta’s voice is so pure, and Dean’s guitars are a country dream. Thank you for this.