I haven’t mentioned San Francisco-based alt country rock outfit Or, the Whale nearly as much as I should on this site. Their hit “Call and Response” was #7 on my Favorite Tracks of 2009 list and their second album, Or, the Whale received solid reviews on sites like allmusic and Pop Shifter.
Their most recent claim to fame is a slowed down, countrified cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic”. The steel guitar and eerie background vocals cascade lead vocalist Alex Robbins in dramatic fashion. This reworking emits just enough emotion to make this pop hit feel poignant. For some reason, it kinda reminds me of Stone Temple Pilots’ “Big Empty” (that was a great MTV Unplugged btw).
Or, the Whale – Toxic (Britney Spears cover)
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out “Datura” and “Rusty Gold” from Or, the Whale. Both are great tunes that I’m not sure why didn’t they make it on to a mixtape.
Or, the Whale – Datura
Or, the Whale – Rusty Gold