Friday, July 21, 2017

I've Got This Covered: Tegan and Sara: The Con

I've Got This Covered is the article series in which I go over an album and pick the artists I think should cover it either in the present day or as a theoretical in the past. This week marks the 10th anniversary of Tegan and Sara's breakthrough album The Con. Tegan and Sara have moved on to an electronic, '80s-inspired sound since the initial release of the album, and as such, I've imagined what it would have been like if '80s, female-centric acts could have covered Tegan and Sara tracks. Enjoy.

1) I Was Married - Siouxsie and the Banshees
In my heart, I would actually love to hear this song covered by Florence + the Machine, but since I had to pick a central theme for this premise to work, and everything about Siouxsie Sioux makes me think she'd be totally into singing a dreamy alternative song about gay marriage. Apart from having a sound that I can imagine the band taking on, Sioux herself seems to have come out as pansexual (although she doesn't identify it as such, but who needs labels, right?), so I'm sure she can appreciate and vy for all kinds of love.

2) Relief Next To Me - The Pretenders
I have trouble not focusing on the Jason McGerr drum part on this song, so I guess I'd be interested to hear Martin Chambers' take on it. Beyond that though, I would love to hear Chrissie Hynde's voice applied to this one. Hynde has a long history of often personal lyrics, so I'm sure this veiled, yet deeply meaningful tune would see new life with a Hynde rendition.

3) The Con - Lene Lovich
The title track is one of my absolute favorite songs on the album. It's a little manic, and has a lower range verse and a higher-pitched chorus. Perfect for Lene Lovich! Should it remain a duet? Maybe! But wouldn't it also be cool to just see what Ms Lovich could do with the vocal arrangements on her own?

4) Knife Going In - Kate Bush
I do have a bias toward the notion of Kate Bush covering anything and creating her own take on it. However, the vocals and the strange and haunting feel created by the Kaki King lap steel as well as the (albeit metaphorical) violence seem like something Bush could totally sink her teeth (albeit metaphorically) into.

5) Are You Ten Years Ago? - The Eurythmics
Let's give the most '80s-sounding song on The Con to The Eurythmics, a band with a strong female front-person who also mastered using electronic drums in a pretty organic way (sort of like the blended electronic beat and drums on this song). I would be very interested to hear what Annie Lennox's voice would sound like on this one.

6) Back in Your Head - Altered Images
Oddly, it's simply the rhythm of this song that brings to mind Altered Images for me. Still, I think Clare Grogan's floating voice would blanket this song well, as the rest of the band's electronic sounds provide an interesting spin on one of Tegan and Sara's most popular songs.

7) Hop a Plane - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
The pop-punk energy could be perfectly played upon by Jett. Jett has the edge of anger in her music necessary for this track, and the Blackhearts could give it a great sound that is both an homage to the original and something totally new.

8) Soil, Soil - The Bangles
Yes, this choice goes more full-on pop than most of the others, for a somewhat sombre tune. But I can't help imagining something in the vein of "Hero Takes the Fall."

9) Burn Your Life Down - The Go-Go's
Another pure pop cover would come from these lovely ladies. I can just imagine Belinda Carlisle belting this one out with Jane Wiedlin joining in for the chorus. I'm sure the tempo would be changed just a little bit, and the song probably would have been a bit too dark for the '80s mainstream, but it could be a great pairing (I think).

10) Nineteen - Blondie
Who better to cover a fan favorite Tegan and Sara song than a band with a huge fanbase that is still considered outside of the mainstream? Think "Hanging on the Telephone."

11) Floorplan - The B-52's
So obviously most people think of Fred Schneider when they think of this band, but I would love to hear Kate Pierson or Cindy Wilson provide their take on this song which, like many B-52's songs, centers around a pretty strange metaphor. "Floorplan" also has some pretty exaggerated sentiments ("I want your lungs to stop working without me") that Wilson could definitely do justice to.

12) Like O, Like H - The Waitresses
My artist choice is probably a little polarizing, as I realize post-punk, early rap isn't everyone's cup of tea. But I feel that the application of Patty Donahue's monotone rapping would really enable the band to give this song an alternative life as an 80s track.

13) Dark Come Soon - Martha and the Muffins
Martha Johnson has a very brash tone to her voice that would well suit this pleading and (ill)advisory song. She can be "dark" if you will.

14) Call it Off - 'Til Tuesday 
There's an incredible dichotomy of strength and fragility in Aimee Mann's voice that would work perfectly for this track about ending a relationship despite feelings that it could have been a great one.

That's how I think it should go down. Questions? Better ideas? Drop me a comment. Or if you're one of the living artists listed above, feel free to make this happen.

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