Today Reverb Recommends Downloading Mayer Hawthorne's Free Covers EP Impressions

The soul revivalism of Ann Arbor, Mich., native and Stones Throw Records representer Mayer Hawthorne has earned him plenty of praise--and his latest impromptu release, a six-track cover project called Impressions, is decidedly more of a good thing. The project opens with a slick rendition of the Isley Brothers' 1972 hit "Work to Do" before seamlessly transitioning to rework Chromeo's "Don't Turn the Lights On," proving that his signature croon is as fashionable for music made 40 years ago as it is for last year's jams.

On the Stones Throw website, Hawthorne also lays out a backstory for each of the selections. The best of the songs--aside from his cover of "Mr. Blue Sky" that was "recorded live, in one take, in a tiny makeshift tent, at a festival in Dour, Belgium" and which I'll eternally have a weakness for--also comes with the best history.

Fantasy Girl: This song was written and composed by an amazing man from Pasadena named Steve Salazar. He was born with a heart condition and passed away at the young age of 27. Before he died he recorded one incredible album of demos in the mid-70s with a band called Shorty's Portion. Peanut Butter Wolf found a copy of the album and I loved it so much that he gave it to me (thanks Wolf!). The vinyl had a handwritten note tucked in the sleeve that was addressed to anyone who could help the band with management, a record deal, radio airplay, etc.

You can read the rest of the track descriptions here. Hawthorne's also booked to play WaMu Theater on June 2 with Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae.

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