Compass Records have announced details of a new album from Nashville based songwriter-guitarist Molly Tuttle, ‘…But I’d Rather Be with You’ which lands in the UK on August 28th. The album is a collection of 10 covers recorded during quarantine which includes songs by Grateful Dead, Cat Stevens and (wait for it..) Harry Styles. The opener is her own take on The National’s epic ‘Fake Empire’, the companion video for which “fiercely challenges the song’s fear of indifference and portrays a society that can no longer afford to be apathetic to the realities of our time.” You can watch it below.
“I am a huge fan of The National,” Tuttle says. “‘The Boxer’ is probably my favourite album by them. This song has a super cool four-over-three polyrhythm throughout. The piano part is super fun on guitar if you can train your thumb to play in three and your index and middle fingers to play in four!”
“We created the ‘Fake Empire’ video by projecting footage of activism in mid 20th century America onto me while I played the song,” Tuttle continues. “We contrasted that footage with forest fires, stars and dreamlike images. We wanted to leave the meaning of the video somewhat up to interpretation, just like the lyrics of the song. Matt Berninger commented that the song is about ‘where you can’t deal with the reality of what’s really going on, so let’s just pretend that the world’s full of bluebirds and ice skating.’ Right now a lot of people in our country are waking up to the realities of police brutality, racism, and bigotry all around us. I hope that people, like myself, who have the privilege to turn a blind eye to these injustices, can maintain this awareness and action to create a better society.”
In March Tuttle experienced the devastating tornado that tore through much of East Nashville, followed by the global pandemic. While sheltering at home, she found solace by revisiting favourite songs in an attempt to “remind myself why I love music.” An idea for an album emerged, to be recorded with Los Angeles-based producer Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Andrew Bird), despite being over two thousand miles apart.
Tuttle taught herself how to use Pro Tools and then recorded and engineered all of her parts alone at home before sending them to Berg in Los Angeles. The renowned producer enlisted a number of well-known session musicians – including drummer Matt Chamberlain and keyboardist Patrick Warren – to add instrumentation from their respective home studios, with guest vocals contributed by Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor. “This is how the astronauts do it!” Tuttle recalls Berg saying as they sent the files back and forth.
“I have been working on writing for another original album and am still planning to record that this year,” Tuttle says, “but in the meantime I wanted to share these covers that have lifted my spirits, in hopes that you’ll find some much-needed joy as well.”
Fake Empire (The National)
She’s A Rainbow (The Rolling Stones)
A Little Lost (Arthur Russell)
Something On Your Mind (Karen Dalton)
Mirrored Heart (FKA Twigs)
Olympia, WA (Rancid)
Standing On The Moon (Grateful Dead)
Zero (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
Sunflower, Vol. 6 (Harry Styles)
How Can I Tell You (Cat Stevens)