Various Yellow Bird Project: Good People Rock
Published Apr 14, 2015The fine people at Arts & Crafts know a thing or two about collaboration; the Toronto-based record company's mainstay act is none other than rotating-cast collective Broken Social Scene. It's no wonder, then, that the label's new imprint, Dan Mangan's Madic Records, is about to release a compilation LP, which features artists covering songs by other artists. Good People Rock isn't an album by an indie band, though; Yellow Bird Project is a charity organization that partners with musicians as a way to raise funds and uses its strategic pseudonym in order to stay hip (they're not calling themselves a "foundation," after all). And, since 2006, the pro-community group has certainly fit in the scene, working with the likes of Bloc Party, the Shins and Tegan and Sara.
Good People Rock spins 11 cover songs filled with good-natured indie songs. The most light-hearted of the bunch is Andrew Bird's playful, somewhat ironic, treatment of "The Fake Headlines" by the New Pornographers, in which he gives the rock song a delightful, maritime folk feel. His whistles and violin accompaniment re-contextualize A.C. Newman's sardonic views of the media and set them in an idyllic soundscape. Whispertown's rendition of Rilo Kiley's "Give a Little Love" is pleasant as well, but it isn't so different from its original. The cover song's lazy groove is not much more than a slowed down version that could have been modified in studio.
But, in addition to the things Yellow Bird Project and Madic Records have gotten right so far, they've picked an ideal time to drop their new LP. Music festival season is here, and everyone's thinking about car-pooling, hooking up and other community-based activities — not to mention that their sun-kissed heads will explode once they discover their favourite band is playing their other favourite band's song. (Madic)