This project is really impressive, and a big pat on the back goes out to the WIAIWYA label for compiling such an amazing and huge album like this. “A Girl and a Gun” is a 34 track compilation of interpretations of the songs from James Bond-movies, made by lots of great artists and friends of the label. It sounds brilliant.
Of course, on an album the size of this, not every song will match your taste, but I must say that there are so many great ones here. Most of them are very different from the originals, and it is really interesting to hear the artists’ interpretations of such well known soundtrack classics. During my first listen, I have fallen in love with several already.
World of Fox has made an instrumental/orchestral version of “All Time High” from the movie Octopussy is stunning, led by a beautiful, twangy guitar playing the melody. Darren Hayman seems to be an unlikely artist to cover the big-sounding and powerful original of “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey, but he manages to make it “his own”. Citizen Helene stays true to Carly Simon’s original, and delivers a beautiful piano led version with a lovely, strong vocal performance.
Deerful has made a dreamy version of “Three Blind Mice” from Dr.No, with layers of gorgeous vocal-parts built on top of repetitive synths and a simple old-school drum machine-beat. Very, very nice. Papernut Cambridge goes big in their cover of “The Man With the Golden Gun”, with brass and gunshots on a reverbed and soulful indie version.
One of my absolute favourites comes from DJ Downfall feat. Theoretical Girl. They cover “Moonraker”, with Theoretical Girl’s amazing vocals and DJ Downfall’s calm and just perfect electronics. So beautiful! I could listen to this forever. Pam Berry (ex Black Tambourine ++) goes acoustic on her cover of “Underneath the Mango Tree”, and adds lovely harmonies on top of her lead vocals. It’s a very, very nice version of the song.
Another big favourite on the album comes from Charm Bracelet and Ramesh, who cover “For Your Eyes Only”, with only a piano and their lovely, reverbed vocals. The result is amazingly beautiful. Rory McVicar always amazes me, and his version of Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre is another instant favourite. It’s only his acoustic guitar and his voice, and I LOVE his voice…
And then you have the lovely “Thunderball” by Vatican Cellars, the almost unrecognizeable, fuzzed out, beautiful dream-version of “From Russia with Love” by The Leaf Library -and I could go on and on and on.
Listen through the full album below, and maybe you’ll find that the other songs are YOUR favourites. There are so many good ones here. The album is available as “Pay what you want” on Bandcamp now. I think you should get this one, and please pay instead of just downloading it for free. Even if you just pay a tiny bit, it sends an important signal to the artists and the label that you appreciated their hard work.