Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Us and Them — We Count the Evening Stars
(Bandcamp no#, 2023, CD / DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2023-07-13
Hot on the heels of the Fruits de Mer retrospective An Introduction to Us and Them, the band has just released an EP of cover songs that did not make on their 2022 full length album ... and I Observed the Blue Sky. The four songs are covers of Nick Garrie’s 1969 song “Can I Stay with You?,” The Zombies’ 1968 song “Beechwood Park,” Thin Lizzy’s 1973 song “Little Girl in Bloom,” and The Trees’ 1970 song “The Garden of Jane Delawney.” This cover of “The Garden of Jane Delawney” was also on the recent Fruits de Mer lathe cut Folklore. Of the four songs, I am only familiar with “The Garden…”. Nick Garrie is a British singer songwriter who recorded The Nightmare of J.B. Stanislas in 1968 containing the song, which took another 30 years to gain recognition. Us and Them have done an outstanding job of taking this lush song and creating a soothing love song with crystal clear vocals. For “Beechwood Park,” they have taken this somewhat depressing song and morphed it into a reminiscent dreamy summer song, relaxing in the evening and gazing at the skies as the stars appear. To be fair, I was never into Thin Lizzy back in the day, so I was surprised to learn that Phil Lynott had penned this sensitive song about a young pregnant girl on the eve of her wedding. Us and Them took this rock ballad and transformed it into a beautiful and eerily romantic song that in my opinion is light years beyond Thin Lizzy’s original. And as I’ve previously noted in my review of Folklore, Us and Them have produced a faithful, gentle, and beautiful cover of “The Garden of Jane Delawney.” What more can I say about this excellent Swedish duo of Britt Rönnholm and Anders Hakanson? The know-how to take songs from the 60s and 70s, and make them their own. If you have yet to experience their music, by all means start with We Count the Evening Stars.
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