The appealing, DIY-ish brother/sister duo Eux Autres have discovered an unexpected lo-fi core in the middle of this Bruce Springsteen rave-up. A fan-favorited cast-off from the Born in the USA sessions, “My Love Will Not Let You Down” is exuberant fun when Bruce does it but to my ears can’t help sounding like a bit of a retread; it’s almost too Bruce-y for its own good. Here, Heather and Nick Latimer strip out the brash “No Surrender” echoes and find a different kind of beating heart. The song still rushes along, but minus the well-oiled E Street guitar orchestra (note how the song fades rather than barges in); here we get a piano, an off-kilter, rumbly drum, and probably just one kind of guitar. And in place of Bruce’s throaty rasp we have Heather’s attractive but decidedly unschooled voice, which I urge you to listen to carefully. It’s not just that she aches rather than roars—the shift from male to female “narrator” is significant—but her tone is almost a miracle of reverbed, lo-fi sweetness, offering a shifting stream of heart-melting nuance that can’t possibly be thought out but boy does she have it going here from beginning to end.
Springsteen by the way is nearly alone among his classic-rock peers in combining three 21st-century accomplishments: 1) He continues to have active high school- and college-aged fans; 2) He has seriously influenced a number of important current bands; and 3) He still puts out meaningful records himself. It is just about a unique trifecta for someone of his generation here in 2010, but I guess they don’t call the guy The Boss for nothing. While there have been no shortage of indie bands covering his songs in concert, I haven’t heard too many noteworthy free and legal MP3 covers before this goodie caught my ear last month, via the Philadelphia-centric culture site Philebrity. It’s been out since 2009, actually, but any song is new if you haven’t heard it before, right?
Eux Autres was featured in Fingertips back in 2005, and have released two albums to date. Their next full-length release, Broken Bow, is due in November. The band’s name, as you might have been wondering, is pronounced “ooz oh-tra,” with the “oo” as in “good.”