→ Mint Julep - Covers EP
The 1980s was a decade that started with an album called The Age of Plastic. The band that released the album, the Buggles, captured the spirit of the age by announcing “Video Killed The Radio Star” in a nod to the rise of MTV (Music Television). They had their fingers on the pulse of the American music scene that was springing up in the wake of disco and the long tail of the rise of punk. Plastic was an appropriate metaphor for an embrace of everything synthetic. Synthesizers captured the popular imagination and even stole some thunder from the guitar.
The Covers EP from Mint Julep features mostly reworkings of 80s tunes. There’s a startling principle at work here, though — that these tunes from the age of plastic simply didn’t have enough synths. Even the cover of aughts-era band Headphones “I Never Wanted You” layers more warbly synths than the original, and that band was created specifically as a synthesizer-based side project!
Though these were recorded a decade ago, the songs on the EP tread familiar territory with Angel Olsen's covers from her Aisles EP. Many of the tracks have slower tempos than that originals and walls of synths that are so dense as to be almost impenetrable. Whether a song is from Depeche Mode or When in Rome, Mint Julep bends the track to sound like it’s theirs, making this EP a cohesive listening experience.