Words: Saam Das
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Strokes' debut LP, 'Is This It?', blog powerhouse Stereogum recruited a bunch of artists to record cover versions of each of the album's tracks. It's a mixed bag but Owen Pallett's orchestral cover of 'Hard To Explain' alone justifies the tribute album's existence. Download the track below.
As you may well know, Pallett has past form producing absolutely breathtaking covers - his versions of Joanna Newsom's 'Peach Plum Pear' and Bloc Party's 'This Modern Love' are lump-in-the-throat moments of brilliance. His take on 'Hard To Explain' isn't quite as emotional as those tracks but remains a wonderfully stirring, strings-led offering.
It's a shame Pallett decided to bury the vocals in the mix but as he implies in the liner notes at Stereogum, the decision echoed the original production - which you can hear in the embeddded video. Listen and download Pallett's version below, and be sure to check out the other covers - especially Wise Blood's and Austra's respective gifts.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Owen Pallett - 'Hard To Explain' (right click, save as)
Download the entire tribute album for free at Stereogum.com.