Luna – Feral Child covers 7″ x 2

Luna – Feral Child covers 7″ x 2

It’s testament to Luna’s heroic aptitude and adaptability for covers, spread across B-sides and other non-album avenues over the years, that the band’s studio comeback album A Sentimental Education – which is entirely made-up of other people’s material – didn’t seem like a lazy or disappointing cop-out to long-serving followers.  Not to confuse things with some kind of role reversal though, aside from the simultaneously released instrumental-only A Place Of Greater Safety EP this reunion LP’s outtakes are also pulled from the songbooks of other artists.

Thus, for those signed-up to the band’s Pledge Music portal, this has already led to the digital release of an amiable makeover of The Monochrome Set’s “Inside Your Heart” and an utterly gorgeous should-have-been-on-the-album Sean Eden-voiced take on Thunderclap Newman’s “Something In The Air”.  Now here comes even more, spread across two limited seven-inches on the still furtive Feral Child label.

The pick of the two 45s couples a reading of Roy Orbison’s “California Blue” and a rendering of George McCrea’s swooning “Rock Yr Baby”.  On the former, Luna lock into a laidback yet luscious Pavement-tinged jangle, whilst the latter finds bassist Britta Phillips balmily intertwining her vocals with Dean Wareham’s, as the quartet slip into an airily loose but nimble disco-funk groove.  With the group giving-over one side to Wareham’s friend and collaborator Cheval Sombre (AKA Christopher Porpora), the other 7″ is a more conceptual affair, which features both outfits presenting significantly different reconstructions of the Loaded-era Velvet Underground charmer “Lonesome Cowboy Bill”.  Luna’s version plays back with a quite faithful yet distinctive chug topped with a fuzz-tone guitar coda, which celebrates Doug Yule’s unheralded role in VU as much as their remoulding of the Squeeze extract “Friends” did on A Sentimental Education.  Cheval Sombre in contrast opts for a more radical rewiring, as a violin-framed acid-folk rambler that should please MV & EE and early-Devendra Banhart devotees alike.

Taken together, these two cuts of the plastic stuff might primarily be fan-centric curios but they’re far from being throwaway inessentials.  No discerning Luna aficionado should go without them in their collection.

Feral Child Records