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Cover Story: Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library Covers Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

MJEML publicity photo %233If you want to add shadows to your album, you can’t go wrong with a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds cover. Baroque indie pop group, The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, have chosen well, with the inclusion of the haunting “Weeping Song” on their debut album Volume One. “I was very concerned that people might listen to the album as a whole and kind of categorize it as innocuous folk without really giving a good listen to some of the lyrics and ideas in the songs,” says Michael J Epstein. “So, I wanted to select a cover of a song that had a little darkness in it.” The song features Epstein and Tanya K. Palit singing their own harmonies in this conversation between father and son. Epstein says of his stylistic choices on the track, “I chose to have Tanya play the father and I played the son, which also toys a little with gender. I also wanted to build up the contrast between her vocals and mine. I wanted the ‘wise’ father to have a beautiful, harmonized voice in contrast to the disconcerting octaved voice of the son. So, we each sang our own two parts to achieve this.” The result, while recognizable, is a nuanced version that will linger in the listener’s ears. “Weeping Song” is available for download now. 

“This is my favorite duet, and it is performed by two of my favorite singers, Nick Cave and Blixa Bargeld. It is also one of the only male-male duets that I can think of. The best part was deciding how to transform this dark father-son conversation into something suitable for the acoustic, and mostly female, Library." Says Epstein of the cover. "I decided to take on the role of the son and add a sonic element indicating that the son was the sinister harbinger of gloom. In order to achieve this, I had Tanya Palit sing a nice harmony with herself for the father's parts while I sang a disconcerting octave harmony for the son."

Listen to music on Michael J Epstein Memorial Library’s Radio

Cover Story delivers you a fresh cover song and the story behind why a band chose to cover the song they did.

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Janelle is the owner of Green Light Go. When she's not spreading the word on her favorite bands she can usually be found riding her road bike through Michigan, designing super hip clothes or analyzing people much to their dismay.
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