You are about to listen to my greatest discovery so far in 2015. Finding things like these is this blog's raison d'être.
After James Vincent McMorrow's cover of Wicked Games I had not heard another cover that moved me in such a way. Before I tell you why CLAWS is so great and what is behind their great sound, press play on this one. 9 months ago, to little fanfare, they released this cover you are about to hear of Chris Isaak's classic. It is very much unlike any other cover you have heard before.
CLAWS is a duo from Atlanta. It is comprised of the sultry vocalist Amber Renee and four-time Grammy winning producer Graham Marsh—this explains a lot. I mean, the dude worked with Bruno Mars, T.I, Cee Lo Green among others. But it was only after he quit being Cee Lo Green's right-hand man that he embarked on this new project.
Not long after making that call, during one of those raw-emotion-infested nights that Atlanta has to offer, Graham found himself at Eddie's Attic or Smith's Old Bar (doesn't matter) when he heard Amber Renee singing. The rest is history. In the Summer of 2013 they started writing after realizing this was the pairing they had been looking for. A year later they wrote their debut album Feel It All. And then that sick cover and a couple singles I have included below.
But first, check out the amazing Rae Sremmurd Cover of No Type. It pierces your brain by way of your ears and calls your head home with no intent of even leaving.
But if you started to think they were only a great cover band you would be wrong, so wrong. My evidence is embedded inside this next track I'm including. Their original, Gold. To say the production is solid gold *no pun intended* is an understatement. That brass and that xylophone that sounds glittering yet does not reek of Coppertone.
They possess the edge of The Black Keys with the accessibility of Purity Ring and the magnetic force of The xx.
A song about finally seeing the value in someone that you could play on the radio and at the same time belong in the most obscure parts of a hipster's playlist. That is Gold and that is the type of precious metal that you will find in this rich mixture of influences, taste, stories and talent that is CLAWS.
In Body Parts, their most recent work, Amber Renee reminds me so much of Morcheeba circa 2010 that I can't help but fall in love with her voice and the groovy beats and melodies beneath it. The third time I heard it I found myself clapping rhythmically 3/4 into the song. The sweet spot in this song? The ad-libs that act as the would-be hooks of a pop song.
For the life of me I cannot understand why the world doesn't know about them. That's why I'm inviting you to follow them on Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter and spread the word about them. To know about this band and not share it is as selfish as one can ever be. And I truly hope other influential blogs on Hype Machine pick this one up.