Audio Autopsy, 2021: Scouting For Girls "Easy Cover" Album: Selected Covers + The Originals
💥London indie-popper trio deflects "cover-band" label to simply (and impressively) record tunes they grew up loving: ABC, Tears for Fears, Cyndi, R.E.M., Whitney, and Phils Bailey & Collins!🤯
Scouting For Girls Scouting For Endearing 21st-Century Pop Bands
Scouting For Girls (‘cause there was a 1908 Scouting For Boys handbook) was formed in 2005 by three childhood friends from London: Roy Stride on piano (jazz keyboard fans will know that Roy plays “Stride piano,” because of course he does) plus lead guitar and vocals, Greg Churchouse on bass, and Pete Ellard on drums.
They signed to Epic/CBS/Sony Records/UK in 2007 (thus stripping the band of any lasting hint of “indie”), and released their self-titled debut that September. It reached the top spot on the UK Albums Chart in 2008.
In April 2021, Scouting for Girls released their 6th album, Easy Cover (on Near Wild Records/UK), consisting of 8 cover songs, with 3 new tracks. For our purposes here, we’ll ignore the originals, and zero in on just six of the covers, because this writer was moved and influenced by those, in particular.
Scouting For Girls: Letter Rock…or Don’t
For digging on your own, the Scouting covers we won’t be covering are “The Whole of the Moon” by The Waterboys (1985), and 1990’s “Put the Message in the Box” by World Party (this writer has a thing about bands whose names begin with “W”.…apparently).
The Easy Cover album was conceived and recorded during the pandemic months. Scouting For Girls reinterpreted their early-childhood favorite tracks as a means to escape the boredom of lockdown.
Stride’s favorite song on the album is “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” He elaborated to VinylChapters.com in May ‘21: “That was actually one of the first songs I ever remember hearing as a kid and the original version still gives me goosebumps.
“It takes me back to my childhood bedroom, and it was actually the last band I saw before lockdown, Tears for Fears [at their Brighton show]. A bit of a circle there, so I really enjoy that song.”
“What Was Phil Collins Doing in Your Boxer Shorts?”
“It was a very drunken night on a tour bus coming back from a tour in Ireland where we were all dancing around to Phil Collins in our boxer shorts,” Stride confided to VinylChapters.
“It was four in the morning and somebody suggested that an album of eighties covers featuring “Easy Lover” that should be called Easy Cover. At four in the morning that seemed like the best idea of all time.
“We did wake up and think that was the stupidest idea of all time,” Stride continued, “but then lockdown happened and I sort of thought, well, sod it, let’s do it. That tour bus ride was ten years ago and now, ten years on, if it wasn’t for lockdown I doubt we would have done it. I needed something to cheer me up and that’s what it did!”
For Stride’s reservations about Easy Cover, it should be noted that the album endured several torturous title tries, including Scouting For Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Cover Chameleon, and perhaps others best left clouded by drunken stupors.
“In terms of the production, the sound, the playing, it’s so good, but this is the album we were listening to when we came up with the idea for Easy Cover ten years ago.” Stride was still waxing on about Serious Hits Live, the album by the longtime Genesis drummer turned lead singer and solo artist.
“I’m a big vinyl obsessive (so’s FR&B’s good friend, Andy and his new Substack entry, The Vinyl Room), and everything about this is so good. It’s a great live album – if you like a bit of Phil Collins you’ll love that.” Stride might enjoy swinging through the trees with our recent “Salute to Simians” post, which features the Genesis track, “Wot Gorilla”:
An interview with Scouting For Girls’ Roy Stride, focusing on Easy Cover:
Scouting For Girls also tackled Whitney’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” To see how selflessly fan-friendly the lads are, check out this music video of their cover that started on the band’s Instagram account, and a fan’s unique wedding day request:
And, for an adventurous guitar-forward Canadian band who ripped it to shreds, big time, check out These Kids Wear Crowns:
“I think, without trying to be, we’ve become a band that people know they’re going to come away feeling better. They’re going to have a good time, and I think maybe it’s because we just have such a good time whilst we’re playing. The songs are very happy and positive and upbeat.”—Roy Stride, Scouting For Girls, 2021