Every band dreams of doing a cover album. Performing other people’s songs in your own personal style is not only good practice for affluent bands, but just plain fun. While this might typically seem like a fruitless endeavor for a band in their beginnings, you don’t hesitate to put your unique style on display when you have a line-up that resembles that of Leftover Cuties – Shirli McAllen with sultry vocals, Austin Nicholsen on ukulele, Stuart Johnson on drums, Ryan Feves with Upright Bass, and Mike Bolger plays piano, trumpet, and accordion.
Their new album is Departures and it drops May 15th. The album starts off with Regina Spector’s hit, “Fidelity”, done in a warming island style (heavy ukulele) that gives the feeling of having your feet in the beach sands. Leaping genres, the following track is a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”. Having never found the original version of this song listenable, Leftover Cuties do a great job in creating a palatable soundscape here with their slow and powerful signature. A personal favorite is “You Are My Sunshine”. The slow, jazzy elegance of this song gives it a burlesque veneer, turning this classic into an entirely new song. Other songs include Coldplay’s “Trouble”, Etta James’ “At Last”, and Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”, which is given even more emotion than Dylan himself could muster.
Cover albums might be typically laughable, but you’ll find it hard to laugh when listening to Departures. In fact, you just might find yourself a little choked up at times. Fans of the originals will absolutely want to pick this up from their website. Still not convinced? Read our interview with Leftover Cuties singer and all around sweetheart, Shirli McAllen.