unknown mortal orchestra – swing lo magellan

I think Ruban Nielson manages the impossible in his recordings, or at least comes close to doing so. His acoustic cover of “Swing Lo Magellan”, a song from the recent Dirty Projectors song of the same name, easily achieves the same, sounding closer to an old folk standard than the original could ever hope to be. Dirty Projectors bandleader Dave Longstreth makes no qualms about his obvious love of Dylan, especially that John Wesley Harding-era (his band covered two tracks from this album around the time they released the acclaimed Bitte Orca) yet Nielson seemingly so effortlessly brings a kind of homespun, naturalistic quality that’s hard to replicate. It’s a tough call on which cut is better.