Song of the Day: Quit Draggin’ My Heart Around
Thanks to this NPR All Songs Considered blog post by Stephen Thompson, I learned about the AV Club’s “Undercover” series from 2012 in which bands covered pre-selected songs in a tiny round room. You can check out the series here (consider Remix to Ignition, Panama, and Rebellion). Thompson offered a link to this AV Club Undercover, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” written by Tom Petty as a duet for Stevie Nicks, covered by Shearwater and Sharon Van Etten.
“Van Etten and Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg clearly remain faithful to the original — they find the exact midpoint between their own voices and the singers they’re covering — but they still sound like themselves in the process.”
Holy badonks this is absolutely true. This cover is so catching. If this cover is a rainstorm, then I just ran out into the storm with no shoes, no jacket and spun around in circles, face upward tongue held out to catch the downpour. This song is a deluge and I am soaked. SOAKED.
I love Sharon Van Etten. This is a well-documented fact. I love every song she’s recorded. I love seeing her perform live. I also love Shearwater. I saw them open for Van Etten in Washington, DC on February 12, 2012 at the Black Cat. They basically dominated in a mild-mannered, “HEY MY BASS IS GOING TO MAKE YOUR ORGANS QUAKE AND MY VOICE IS GOING TO MAKE YOU WEAK AT THE KNEES BUT YOU WILL RESIST SWOONING BECAUSE I POSSESS DEPTH OF SOUL.” Suffice to say, this cover is amazeballs.
I think Tramp, her most recent record is the fullest expression to date of her as a song writer. Because I Was in Love contains just as excellent a knack for lyricism, and Epic takes this further with better sound but that same sparse quality. It is what I fell in love with, yet it is the very thing that leaves me longing for more, more, more. Much like when you fall head first for someone, “Oh! This is exquisite! And there’s so much potential! Shit, this must be love!”
Oh, Miss Van Etten, let me list the ways I love thee. Your hips, your long neck, your propensity for shirts and pants that shorten your torso, the shape of your nose and the way your right eye photographs slightly smaller than the left. You are timeless like the subject in Flemish painter’s portrait, yet so right now. I would happily be one in a long line of many.
Her voice the Oreo of cookies – solid timbre sandwiching a quivering middle. Composed but loose, solicitous of her audience. She seems to be both performer and participant at her own shows. In case you can’t tell, I am a super fan and I am picking up everything she is putting down. So check out this cover, because it is the song of the day, of the month, of the year.