We count the evening stars
Hot on the heels of the Fruits de Mer retrospective An Introduction to Us and Them, the band has just released an EP of cover songs that did not make on their 2022 full length album ... and I Observed the Blue Sky. The four songs are covers of Nick Garrie's 1969 song "Can I Stay with You?," The Zombies' 1968 song "Beechwood Park," Thin Lizzy's 1973 song "Little Girl in Bloom," and The Trees' 1970 song "The Garden of Jane Delawney." This cover of "The Garden of Jane Delawney" was also on the recent Fruits de Mer lathe cut Folklore. Of the four songs, I am only familiar with "The Garden…". Nick Garrie is a British singer songwriter who recorded The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas in 1968 containing the song, which took another 30 years to gain recognition.
Us and Them have done an outstanding job of taking this lush song and creating a soothing love song with crystal clear vocals. For "Beechwood Park," they have taken this somewhat depressing song and morphed it into a reminiscent dreamy summer song, relaxing in the evening and gazing at the skies as the stars appear. To be fair, I was never into Thin Lizzy back in the day, so I was surprised to learn that Phil Lynott had penned this sensitive song about a young pregnant girl on the eve of her wedding. Us and Them took this rock ballad and transformed it into a beautiful and eerily romantic song that in my opinion is light years beyond Thin Lizzy's original. And as I've previously noted in my review of Folklore, Us and Them have produced a faithful, gentle, and beautiful cover of "The Garden of Jane Delawney."
What more can I say about this excellent Swedish duo of Britt Rönnholm and Anders Hakanson? The know-how to take songs from the 60s and 70s, and make them their own. If you have yet to experience their music, by all means start with We Count the Evening Stars.
Goldmine makes a double review for the album ..and I observed the blue sky" and this ep. Here is the part for the ep (you find the rest of the review under .. and I observed the blue sky):
.....and for a closer look into the album's recording sessions, an accompanying EP We Count the Evening Stars picks up four cover versions that were considered for inclusion, before the decision was made to keep the album self-composed.
Of course this is firm ground for anyone who knows Us and Them primarily from their work with the Fruits de Mer label, where they have indeed concentrated on other people's material. And, as always, Us and Them unearth dimensions to the song that… once you've heard them, you can't believe were never picked up by anyone else.
Nick Garrie's "Can I Stay With You," Trees' "Garden of Jane Delawney," the Zombies' "Beachwood Park" and - surprisingly? - Thin Lizzy's "Little Girl in Bloom" are not so much revisited as refreshed and recreated; and it is easy to see how each of them could have fit into the full album. We are grateful, however, that they didn't. It just makes the EP… andf the album before it… all the more special.
Writing about music
The Swedish Duo, Anders and Britt are back with a short Ep featuring 4 covers songs that the band really like. The band are in a very relaxed mood on this EP. The first is a quite underground track from 1968 by Nick Garrie. It is the only semi-uptempo track with a nice strummed guitar and accented with the Rhodes piano. Lovely sung. Beachwood Park by the Zombies is next. It is a very relaxed track with some nice layered vocals on this beautiful track. Little Girl in Bloom from the first Thin Lizzy record was an interesting choice for the band. It is also based on keyboards, drums and bass except the guitar solo section. The EP ends with The Garden of Jane Delawney by the TREEs. The addition of flute is quite nice. I do not know any of these songs except the Thin Lizzy song but they did very nice versions of all the songs. Beautiful music. Check them out!!