Monday, March 16, 2009

cover: Jessica Lea Mayfield "Words of Love"

"Hold Me Close & Tell Me How You Feel"
(Photo by Kaoru-h)
On foggy mornings of late Jessica Lea Mayfield has been a stereo go-to. While I've been enjoying her bitterly sad and introspective debut With Blasphemy So Heartfelt, her cover of Buddy Holly's "Words of Love" is the song I return to more often than not. The song appears on a Starbucks Valentines Day compilation, which, on paper, looks like it could OK (Dept. of Eagles, She & Him, Bed Bridwell from Band of Horses) but, in the end, falls short of mediocrity, the exceptions being A.C. Newman's un-ironic cover of A-Ha's "Take On Me" and Mayfield's woozy take on the Buddy Holly staple.

Mayfield sings "Words of Love" as if she's sang it a thousand times, usually alone, slow dancing in the mirror, romanticizing (dreaming) new love. Of course, there's an ominous, somewhat bittersweet undertone, courtesy of a reverberating whammy bar and accentuated by an eerie yet whistful xylophone line, which makes the song feel like it should be playing on the jukebox at a restaurant-bar in a '50s noir, right before you find out the femme fatale is into some deep shit. Take a listen below. Also, be sure to watch (listen) to Buddy Holly's super lo-fi demo of "Words of Love" from sometime around March 12th 1957. WAVVES ain't got shit on Holly's tape scuzz.

Jessica Lea Mayfield- Words of Love (Buddy Holly cover)

Buddy Holly "Words of Love" (demo 1957)