What could be better than a double disc compilation of new music and covers from the who’s who of indie acts? One whose profits benefit the international charity, Red Hot Organisation which is dedicated to raising funds and awareness of HIV Aids.
Released in late February, the Dark Was The Night compilation has already reached best-seller lists around the world. With artists such as José Gonzales, Feist, Bon Iver, The Decemberists, Arcade Fire, Beirut, Bob Dylan, My Morning Jacket, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power and Conor Oberst contributing their talents, it’s not hard to see why indie fans have snapped up the collection on CD, Vinyl or digital release.
Growing up with a jazz musician as a father, my favourite track is the cover of an old classic, ‘Felling Good’ which I’ve heard done by everyone from Nina Simone to Michael Bublé. This version, reworked by New York band My Brightest Diamond is actually one of the best versions I’ve heard. It’s sultry yet modern and singer Shara Worden has a voice I could only dream of.
Another of my favourites is Cat Power’s version of ‘Amazing Grace’. Her unique, husky voice gives the church hymn a relaxed, southern-gospel feel. Other stand out tracks are many and varied and include ‘Lenin’, the original track by Arcade Fire, the Bon Iver track ‘Bracket’ and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, always uplifting, ‘Inspiration Information’ which has been featured heavily on independent radio since Dark Was The Night’s release.
If you’re looking for a CD to get you through the winter, Dark Was The Night is jam packed with over two hours of tracks to make you happy, tracks to calm you down, tracks to drive to, tracks to croon to and one track that makes me feel a bit like a weird hippy in some sort of psychedelic nightmare. Plus, there’s nothing like knowing that the proceeds of your consumerism are going to those more needy.