[16 May 2012]
PopMatters Editor & Publisher
Last year PopMatters’ Chris Conaton said of LA’s Leftover Cuties, “If you’re bored with Adele’s retro soul and Mumford and Sons’ take on Americana, Leftover Cuties may have the next throwback sound you’re looking for: 1930s vocal jazz. And like those acts, they do their thing quite well.” Well, I’m a sucker for ‘20s and ‘30s music and vocal jazz and, in fact, it might be just about my favorite era for popular music, so this band hits all my sweet spots. Lead singer Shirli McAllen captures that coy but sexy, sophisticated but a rather saucy style of the ‘20s/‘30s chanteuses, while contemporizing the approach enough to make her a possible indie poster girl.
Following last year’s Places to Go, Leftover Cuties have just released a covers EP, Departures featuring takes on tunes by Etta James, Coldplay, Lady Gaga and more. On the video, we are premiering today, the band performs Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”, which is also available on the EP.
McAllen says, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’ is one of my all-time favorite songs. Bob Dylan is a songwriting god in my book and I always wanted to sing one of his songs. There’s always a little bit of a doubt when you’re about to mess around with a classic song so I was worried about not doing it justice. But the recording process was really magical, and the result is something we are all very proud of. In fact, the song became our favorite track on the EP, so naturally we wanted to make a video for it. We made this beautiful, simple video which I think perfectly fits the tone of the song and lets the lyrics shine as they should.”