Sunday, February 12, 2012

Neville Skelly

I dug out an old Mojo comp a few days ago, one of those song-by-song cover versions of a famous album -- in this case, Neil Young's Harvest. I suppose I decided to listen to it, finally, because of the artists I knew. Kelley Stoltz does the title track, the Smoke Fairies turn in a really lovely version of "Alabama", Phosphorescent an eerie take on "Are You Ready for the Country", and Sam Amidon strips "The Needle and the Damage Done" down to its essential core. It's a wonderful album, and none of these covers was in any way disappointing, but as usual, the best part was a surprise.

That would be Neville Skelly's profoundly spooky, electronically enhanced but, at its core, really minimal cover of "There's a World," which knocked me flat the first, second, third and fourth time I played it (it's going on now for the fifth time, and still pretty astonishing). Skelly is, apparently, from Liverpool. He has attracted the admiration of Mojo, the NME and Liam Gallagher, but you probably shouldn't hold that against him. He's got a hollow, cadaverous baritone that reminds me of Chris Isaak and also raises the hairs on the back of my neck.

He does a lot of covers, evidently. Here he is performing "Eleanor Rigby."

No comments: