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Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

The last week has just been painful to endure. In fact, 2016 has been an emotionally exhausting and difficult year on the whole with the loss of so many amazing artists who have touched the lives of millions generally and the dark-alt community specifically. And then Tuesday happened.

But it wasn't announced until Thursday that on Monday we had lost yet another: Leonard Cohen. This Canadian folk musician, who has inspired so many people across every conceivable genre and lifestyle, had a profound impact on a great number of goth-centric artists. Those who have covered his music include Martin Gore of Depeche Mode, Ian McCulloch of Echo & the Bunnymen, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Concrete Blonde, Sisters of Mercy (whose very name may have been inspired by the Cohen song), and Nick Cave (who has done multiple Cohen tributes). Earlier this year, a new group from the Netherlands was so inspired by his talent that they produced a nine-track album of classic disco songs covered in his signature style.

I'm not as personally connected to this loss as many. In truth, before this news I had heard far more covers of his music (Martin Gore's version of Coming Back To You being one of my favorites) than any of his recordings. However, for today's Second Sunday Slowly feature, one song, and an enchanting darkwave cover of it, struck me as an extraordinarily appropriate sentiment many of us can relate to during our recent days of grief and disappointment:

Cindergarden - Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen)

Leonard Cohen, between the late 60's and mid-80's, released eight books of poetry, two novels, and seven studio albums of folk music. In 1988, he released his eighth studio album, I'm Your Man, described by some as "synthpop," distinctive as a departure from his previous style. Strange as it is to imagine his music characterized as such, the album was none the less the source of many of his most popular works. He wrote the melancholy song Everybody Knows with long time collaborator and vocalist, Sharon Robinson. The track was included on the soundtrack to the 1990 film, Pump Up the Volume, where it acted as the theme song for the main character's pirate radio station. (The soundtrack also includes Concrete Blonde's cover of the song.) It has since been included in many other film and television soundtracks and has been covered 18 times, though probably more. In a Rolling Stone article listing their readers' top ten Cohen tracks, they describe Everybody Knows as "the most pessimistic song in Cohen's vast catalog." As I am not acquainted with the entirety of his catalog well enough to judge, I can only agree that it is, indeed, lyrically dire in its mournful acknowledgement of some of the harshest of our realities.

Cindergarden is the working alias for multi-faceted solo-artist, Jaymie Valentine. In late December 2012 she released her three-track E.P., Lunar Phases - Winter Solstice. It features one original song (the title track) and two covers: Black Hole Sun, originally by Soundgarden, and Everybody Knows. Valentine has made it evident that Cohen is one of her greatest influences. She has also covered his classic, Hallelujah, which can be found on her limited edition 2015 release, Angel. In response to his death she praised Cohen, thanking him for all he has inspired in others and herself, calling him, "a true musical prophet delivering such brilliantly truth seeking and poignant lyrics." Her version of Everybody Knows is a danceable downtempo mix of darkwave and trip hop elements with a hypnotic rhythm and a hint of Dead Can Dance threaded throughout. Where Cohen's vocals are rich, deep, and perhaps more spoken than sung, Valentine's are expressive, sweetly tempered gossamer with a beautiful hauntingly sensual effect.
Leonard Cohen released his fourteenth and final album, You Want It Darker, just three weeks before his death. All due respect to Our Man Mr. Cohen... but things seem to be adequately dark now. Why? "Everybody knows..."

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Third Sunday Throwback. I have something stomp-worthy and aggressive in mind for our look back into 20th century covers.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

My next night out spinning will be Black Friday. If you're in or near Western Mass and need a break from family or just want to dance, go to my schedule for info. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies
Nov 06 - Simi Nah - You Spin Me Round [Like A Record] (Dead or Alive)
Oct 30 - Autopsie D'Une Ombre - Little 15 (Depeche Mode)
Oct 23 - Marilyn Manson - This Is Halloween (Danny Elfman/The Citizens of Halloween Town)
Oct 16 - Lydia Lunch - Spooky (Mike Sharpe)
Oct 09 - Blutengel - Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
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seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
DJ Xero, Operative of SeeDarkly™

July 2017

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