I just got El Perro del Mar’s upcoming album in the mail which reminded me of how better her covers are than her original songs. The new one, Love Is Not Pop, is a lot like her last one, From The Valley To The Stars— not bad, but kinda forgettable. She relies way too much on cuteness (too many la-la-las) to push her songs along, and the music, normally pretty mellow, sounds thin and lacking overall. Her best work is probably her self-titled that came out in ’06. In light of a new album and tour, here’s a couple of those covers that first came to mind:
1) Her cover of The Isley Brothers’ “(At Your Best) You Are Love”, which was the b-side to Lykke Li’s “After Laughter (Comes Tears)” 45, released during Record Store Day earlier this year.
The Gaylettes were a female trio from Jamaica in the late ‘60s to early ‘70s made up of Beryl Lawson, Merle Clemonson, and Judy Mowatt. The group disbanded when Lawson and Clemonson left for America in the early ’70s. Mowatt remained, and went on to join Bob Marley’s famous backup troupe, The I Threes (below, left, alongside Bob). Mowatt continued to record for decades after, including a prolific spree of gospel albums between 1998-02.
Like a lot of pre-dub, rocksteady tunes of the era, The Gaylettes were minimal and have touches of soul, and even doo-wop at times. They have some real sly 45s on the Hour Glass label, including a nice cover of “Son Of A Preacher Man”, and this, one of their best songs, “Here Comes That Feeling”.