It shouldn't be a surprise that Other People's Songs is an album composed entirely of covers, or that Damien Jurado and Richard Swift are working together — Swift has produced several of Jurado's previous releases. What's surprising is that Jurado and Swift manage to strip down these nine songs and reinvent them as something entirely original.
The songs chosen by Jurado and Swift is what makes Other People's Songs stand out. It's representative of the duo as aficionados of their trade, and reflects the gamut of their musical taste. Through mastery of their craft, Jurado and Swift pay homage to cult icons like Bill Fay and John Denver, and also more popular acts such as Yes, Chubby Checker and even Kraftwerk. The motif in these choices is definitely demonstrative of a passion for '50s, '60s and (mostly) '70s-era rock'n'roll, soul and pop that's catchy, upbeat and, mostly, groovy.
Other People's Songs is ultimately a passion project, the sound of two music-loving friends pulling out some antiquated recording equipment and just jamming songs out. The warmth these lo-fi recordings emit, though, is felt through and through; hopefully, Volume One is the beginning of what could be an incredible series. (Secretly Canadian)