We’re so excited to finally announce the latest release in our SOUNDS DELICIOUS cover album series. This time up, we have Portland, Oregon-based Dave Depper‘s take on Air’s 1998 masterpiece Moon Safari.
Dave is widely known both for his work as the guitarist, keyboardist, and backing vocalist for Death Cab For Cutie and as the mastermind behind a pair of gorgeous, lush solo albums: this year’s ambient electro album Europa and 2017’s upbeat synth-pop LP Emotional Freedom Technique.
Like most good covers, Depper succeeds in making his take on Moon Safari revealing and unique by staying true to his own sensibilities and style, hanging his own flag to the mast. Specifically, he blends the sunny disco pop of Emotional Freedom Technique with the ornate, ambient electro of Europa, to offer a uniquely interesting take on Moon Safari.
For example, his take on “La Femme d’argent” is every bit as dense and bright as the original, but it’s arguably got more ‘pop’ particularly thanks to some fiery, spaced-out guitar riffs filling out the back end – all without fundamentally altering the original.
Likewise, Dave’s version of “Kelly Watch The Stars” (which you can listen to below) is both reverential and transformative, opening up with some strummed out, acoustic campfire licks before Depper takes a Giganto-ray to the tune’s middle section. The result sounds absolutely HUGE yet undeniably familiar.
This could be said of so many tracks in the collection: “Sexy Boy,” “All I Need” (featuring Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin/Sleater-Kinney), “You Make It Easy,” and so on. What’s more, Depper’s versions are often revelatory – particularly on tracks like the understated “New Star In The Sky” or slick album closer “Le Voyage de Pénélope” both of which feel visceral and lively here when compared to the originals.
Here’s what Dave had to say about choosing to cover this album for SOUNDS DELICIOUS:
I didn’t have to do much thinking on it before deciding upon Air’s “Moon Safari”, a record as formative in my musical development as any Beatles album. It also provided a fun challenge: how do you “cover” a record that’s nearly half instrumental? I enjoyed tweaking the sound palette quite a bit from the gauzy 60s to a more sleek 80s-flavored patina. Loops of lounge drums were replaced by a vintage Roland 707 drum machine. The ubiquitous vocoders had to go. Baroque acoustic pop grew some disco beats, and fuzz guitars roam the landscape here and there like predatory dinosaurs. Did I improve upon one of the greatest albums ever made? Of course not. But boy did I have a great time taking a swing at it.
Dave Depper’s version of Moon Safari is only available by subscribing to our SOUNDS DELICIOUS vinyl record club. In addition to a deluxe edition for members who have been with us for at least 12 months, it’s available on coke bottle green vinyl for members and gift orders of 6-months or more (while supplies last) and on black vinyl for all other orders. As always, each copy comes packaged with an MP3 digital download of the album. It’s also limited edition – so act fast!