Look out for the new album from Cowboy Junkies, due out on 25th March 2022. ‘Songs of the Recollection’ is something a little different from the revered Canadian quartet. Fans of the band have always enjoyed their well-chosen covers of other artists’ songs and the new record embraces this whole-heartedly; it consists of newly recorded covers and a selection taken from previous albums. Michael Timmins explains the inspiration behind the project: “Long before we were musicians, we were music fans. We didn’t grow up sitting around the kitchen table playing instruments and harmonising. We grew up sitting around the record player listening to each other’s record collections and having our minds blown. This was the passion that we shared. Our goal has always been to create music that took hold of the listener the way that this music took hold of us. These are some of the songs and some of the artists that found their way into our lives and eventually into our repertoire over the past fifty years.”
The latest single is a magnificent re-interpretation of David Bowie’s ‘Five Years’. There is an epic quality to this Cowboy Junkies’ version. Underpinned by Peter Timmins’ powerful drums, Margo Timmins’ vocal is ominous and absorbing. The song builds, grows and swells as we are swept along by the apocalyptic vision of a dying world. What tensions and frustrations would surface given such an announcement? What regrets would grip us and what attempts at redemption would define our final days? It’s a remarkable song, crafted beautifully and, thematically, it’s particularly well-chosen by the band in the circumstances we currently endure. The video features flashing images that reflect a series of contemporary crises, from protest marches and political discord to environmental catastrophe.
Other songs adapted by Cowboy Junkies for ‘Songs of the Recollection’ include favourites from the likes of Bob Dylan, The Cure, Neil Young and Gram Parsons. It’s an intriguing mix but what all the songs have in common is that the band make them their own, playing them through the filter of their distinctive style and inhabiting them like few bands can. Although they are covers, they’re immediately recognisable as Cowboy Junkies’ songs. Enjoy.