In my book, an ideal covers album should contain fresh versions of familiar tunes (making the known unknown) while also introducing you to songs you never knew. Ethan Gold's inspired digital only release scores high on both counts.
I would have thought Talking Head's Born Under Puncheswas un-coverable but Gold inventively simplifies the layers of Byrne and Eno's pristine production job to make a neat Indie confection. (Check out the video to see how it's done).
Bauhaus' sublime Bela Lugosi's Dead is treated with due respect then playfully deconstructed for a cheesy karaoke style instrumental makeover and renamed as Bela Lugosi's FunMachine Is Undead.
There's an un-ironic nod towards classic soft rock with Walking On A Dream/Learning To Fly, a segue of hits by Empire of The Sun an Tom Petty respectively.
Synth pop is represented by The Knife's funky Forest Families and a nostalgic visit to New Order's Age Of Consent.
The raw grunginess of Floyd The Barber, a Nirvana rarity, is squeezed between a one minute industrialized re-imagining of The Byrd's God-fearing I Am A Pilgrim and a relatively straight take on Devo's nerdy Gut Feeling.
For me, the welcome discoveries were Ramases' Balloon and Of Montreal's The Past Is A Grotesque Animal.
This is an album that shows the breadth of Gold's influences. They are one-take solo performances hastily conceived and assembled while he was recovering from a head injury but no poorer for this.
It works well because he treats the songs like a true fan without feeling the need to be over reverent towards the originals.