"Stop Breathin’" by Paws // Jam Kids: 20 Years Since “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” (Out 9.27.14 via Art is Hard Records)
In a couple of days, the British record label, Art is Hard, will be releasing a track for track cover of Pavement's brilliant Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, entitled Jam Kids. The release is a special event for Cassette Store Day. As it happens, my favorite Pavement song is on Crooked Rain, and of all of the stellar artists taking part in Jam Kids, my favorite the excellent band, Paws, is taking on the task of covering said song. Usually, that sort of pressure scares me and pushes me to not listen at all, but hearing Paws take on the stunning “Stop Breathin’”, I am comfortable is saying that the track is in good hands. Paws maintains the original’s melancholic slow burn, but instead of Malkmus’s drifting, somber delivery, Philip Taylor’s delivery comes as a cathartic sing along (side note: Taylor was only 4 years old when Crooked Rain came out so bonus points for Paws taking part at all) . Not that it hurts the song, it’s just a different vibe. All things said, it’s a great take on an underrated classic.