In a Manner of Speaking

Sweety and I have a friend we met through another, longtime friend, but have only seen a handful of times over the years.

We have connected on social media and come to know her better in the past year or so, much of this through the pandemic where online conversation was one of the few ways to connect in the absence of in-person contact at parties and such. She shares many interesting posts in such areas as music, philosophy, education, pop culture, social justice and many others, and her wit added much-needed cheer in the time of lockdown. This friend frequently responds to Facebook posts I make on my daily song selections, and has told me about a few musical acts I didn’t know.

She recently commented on my post about a 1980s song, telling me about an album by Nouvelle Vague, which features bossa nova covers of 80s tunes. I responded that I had not heard of the band. But today, when looking up the group, I found one of the songs from their 2004 debut album of the same name, was one I’ve had in my Apple Music library since January 2019. (I don’t even have a vague idea where I first heard it.)

Another funny thing about this is, the song “In a Manner of Speaking” is one that has sat for months on a list of songs I’ve been thinking about posting. I had no idea back then that it is a cover, of a song by the English synth-rock band Depeche Mode’s main writer and front person, Martin L. Gore from his 1989 solo EP, Counterfeit. (Please see my post on “Enjoy the Silence” for a sample of the full band’s music.)

I’m posting both artists’ versions today. By now, if you follow this blog, you will know I like a good cover, often more than the original but always with a sense of gratitude to the composer, because it’s only right, isn’t it? I think Nouvelle Vague’s rendition captures this song brilliantly, and I find it more compelling to listen to than the original. I suppose I assumed it was an original, and think their version always appealed to me in almost a film noir kind of way, with the haunting vocal punctuated by the drum rim-shots. It almost makes me feel like I’m back walking through rain-soaked streets of Montmartre in Paris with my sweety!

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the audio for the Nouvelle Vague cover of the song from the Kwaidan Records YouTube channel

And here’s the original by Martin L. Gore:

Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!

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