24 Jun 2015
Tashaki Miyaki "Under Cover Vol. II"
Reviewed by Nathan Ford
L.A trio Tashaki Miyaki write some very fine originals, but they're also dab hands (does that even work as a plural?) at reinterpreting the work of others, and making it their own. 2012's "Under Cover" (available here as a free download) had some great moments, with classic tracks by the likes of Sam Cooke, Father John Misty, Bob Dylan, and Inxs passing through the distinctive Tashaki Miyaki filter, and emerging on the other side as lovely slabs of dream-pop bliss. Yum.
"More!" we demanded, and more we got. "Under Cover Vol. II" continues the trend, and is every bit as good as its predecessor. TM have an innate ability to choose material that translates perfectly to their sound, and the choices are inspired, and not the odd bedfellows they would seem to be on paper. Made up predominantly of classic rock/pop, soul gems and eighties epics, anything it would seem, is game.
The term dream-pop tends to be a bit oversubscribed these days, but TM well and truly do it justice. The two best tracks here both dial the tempo back to a snail's pace, allowing Lucy's vocals all the time in the world to cast their sleepy spell. "I Only Have Eyes For You" is the aural equivalent of a steaming hot bubblebath, while their reinvention of Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" unabashedly replaces bombast with the sultry, to great effect.
Elsewhere, "I Can't Stand The Rain", and Prince's "The Beautiful Ones" prove that they have the depth to tackle more soulful material without stumbling, and Ray Davies' "This Time Tomorrow" is always a joy.
"Under Cover Vol. II" is a rare thing - a covers collection which noticeably highlights the strengths of the performers, rather than the writers. And it's available through the link below as a free/name your price download. And while you're there, check out some of their own material. Big things are on the way for these three, I'm sure.