Everyone likes an Easter present and what better than a real curates egg of an EP from Ward Thomas. A collection of covers born out of their Snug Sessions, hand picked specially for our delectation by Catherine and Lizzie themselves.
The EP opens, with a Damien Rice cover, “The Blowers Daughter” from his 2002 album “O”, and used in the film “Closer”. The original, in truth is a little dull so it comes as no surprise that Ward Thomas are able to breathe some life into it, with their delightful harmonies though the subject matter is a little bleak. Instrumentation in line with the Snug Session ethos, is pretty minimal. The song also contains the line that gives the EP its title.
The second track takes us to another track, that can only sound better than the original, which was a Justin Timberlake song, that came with a fairly, robotic lifeless backing track, “What Goes Around Comes Around”. The subject matter is curiously similar to the opener, another relationship coming to an end.
“Shine” by Years & Years is another song that on the face of it would need little to improve on the original. The WT version, initially based around the most basic of instrumentation manages to make a decent fist of not very much.
The next track “Walls”, a Kings Of Leon cover is an interesting choice, in that the original is pretty flawless, so there is little to be gained by covering this. Having said that with some neatly picked guitar, this version offers something a little different though not sure it quite carries the angst of the original.
Possibly in readiness for their recent Antipodean trip, WT have raided the Neil Finns songbook and have eschewed the major Crowded House hits for a cover of a lesser known song “Better Be Home Soon”. The guitar led perhaps slightly overproduced original version is replaced by a piano led attempt that accentuates the lyrics. Needless to say, the vocals are what make this special and in contrast to the previous song this version carries a little more feeling and emotion than the original which makes it special. Top marks to the girls for uncovering a little gem.
It sets things up nicely for the forthcoming tour across the UK.