A new discovery! The Replacements are one of my all-time favorite bands, and “Swingin Party” came up just now while I was listening on shuffle. I needed to confirm some lyrics, so I googled, and lo and behold: Lorde covered it. I love how rabbit holes work like that.
Anyway, I like this cover a lot. Lorde sings much more clearly than Paul Westerberg does. That’s a trend I’ve noticed in my years of doing Covers Corner: covers tend to articulate lyrics much more than the originals. I’m not sure why that is. I also think as an artist overall she fits. “Swingin Party” has the dismal, atmospheric tone that “Ribs” does, or even “Royals.” Those songs also talk about looking for a party somewhere, but maybe when you get there, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. The backing trip-hop is quieter than “Ribs,” and its sparseness makes her vocals stand out even more. Its gloominess is also poignant somehow; see also “Here Comes a Regular,” one of my other favorite Replacements songs.
God, I love this song. There’s a calling in the distance that pulls you in from the beginning. Brandon Flowers’s vocals are what really got me, though. They’re soft and settle into describing the song’s subject before scaling to the top: “Doesn’t like birthdays, they remind her of why/She can go straight from zero to the Fourth of July.”
An occasional series where I talk about my favorite bands & why I love them!
I discovered The Replacements in Fall 2013. I can’t remember how I discovered them, so there’s no good story there, unlike for two of my other favorite bands (JAMC and Brakesbrakesbrakes – I’ve shared those stories of discovery elsewhere on the blog).
So I didn’t find them through a random Google search or through a cover-of-a-cover. The Replacements just came into my life and it instantly felt like an inevitability. They’ve got a very similar sound to bands that I like: solid guitar lines that support clever and introspective lyrics.