Tuk Smith, of Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts was due to be on the road with Mötley Crüe as I write this review. Like every other aspect of life as we know it, it has been put on hold and postponed until 2021. In an effort to keep up the spirits of rock lovers everywhere, Tuk has released, Covers From The Quarantine, an EP of covers to clear away those covid blues.
TUK SMITH – Covers From The Quarantine (Better Noise Music)
Words: Erik Damian
Discussing the EP, Tuk comments, “I decided to record some acoustic cover songs in my attic home studio to keep sane during the covid-19 lockdown. These songs and EP are not a representation of who I am as an artist, I just felt like I should try and contribute with something creative and positive in such uncertain times. Also, with all my tours being cancelled or postponed and my album pushed back I feel like it’s important to stay connected with fans.
“When picking the track list I chose them based off my moods during the quarantine. I recorded this EP without electric guitars and just used acoustic, keys, and some drum samples to make up my one-man band. It definitely gives the body of songs a vibe of its own.”
The result is a light and airy EP, sure to put a smile on the face of anyone who listens to it. Opening with a stellar cover of INXS’ ‘Don’t Change’, it really sets the mood with lovely layered vocals, crystal clear guitar, and ambient keys. Tuk said he had “been wanting to cover ‘Don’t Change’ for a few years now with a live band and just never got around to it.”
Well we’re glad you finally got the chance Tuk!
Up next is David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’, which Tuk admits was a bit of a challenge to translate, explaining, “The chord structure and arrangement are pretty unconventional once you open the hood. It’s always good to push yourself so I enjoyed it. Bowie has continued to be a staple of inspiration for years, so I thought I’d take a swing at it.” He certainly does it justice, and it is one of the stand-out tracks on the EP.
As with ‘Life on Mars’ before it, Tuk’s treatment of Kiss’ ‘Hard Luck Woman’ is brilliant and serves as an excellent transition into Lana Del Ray’s ‘Summertime Sadness’ which Tuk explains took a little tinkering, “I had to change a few words out to be sang from my perspective. Listen close and you’ll hear me mention a Rod Stewart hairdo and my Cuban heel boots.
“This song was way out of my comfort zone and wheelhouse. I still struggle whether or not I should have done it. Oh well! Once again, I wanted to challenge myself and see what would happen. At the end of the day, a good tune is a good tune. The lyric and feeling of it seem appropriate for the times.”
Tuk needn’t have worried. The result is sublime, and it just shows off another facet of this talented singer-song-writer. Closing Covers From The Quarantine, is The Who’s epic ‘Behind Blue Eyes’, which brings the EP to a spectacular finish.
Covers From The Quarantine, is the perfect appetiser to hold fans over until the release of Tuk’s debut solo release, ‘Looking For Love, Ready For War’, with his band The Restless Hearts.
The first two singles have dropped from the album and I can assure you, it’s some arse-kicking good old rock n’ roll!
In the meantime, to help ease the stress and anxiety of our current world, this EP will help chill you out and give you comfort as you get lost in the music.