Dean Wareham writes about 'The Carnival is Over'
Dean Wareham has written a piece for Möistworks blog about the making of Dean & Britta’s beautiful cover of The Seekers’ The Carnival is Over that was released a couple of weeks back both digitally and as a limited one-sided lathe-cut single.
In the article he discusses the original song and how their cover took a while to come together:
In 2008, in Jersey City, Britta and I attempted to record the song. We had gone into the studio to try a few covers, including the Cure’s “It’s Friday, I’m in Love.” We finished the Cure song but gave up on “Carnival”—it was probably in the wrong key for Britta’s voice. But when the pandemic hit and the world ground to a halt, the titled popped back into my head and I urged Britta to try singing it again. We opened the old ProTools files and discovered we had the percussion (by Anthony LaMarca), electric 12-string guitar, and a mellotron by Britta—all ready to go. Still, it took Britta more than a couple of attempts to figure out how to sing it. Sometimes when tackling a cover it takes time to get the original singer out of your head and deliver it in your own voice. Sometimes you have to admit that you and the song are not suited to each other at all. But not this time. Britta hit the loud, high notes and as Kramer pointed out, sang the song like she had lived it.
He also discusses making the video:
The video I made myself in iMovie, which is a first for me, but it seems we are all learning how to do things at home. I had some clips of Britta dancing (which I ran through a particular iPhone app) and another of Anthony LaMarca playing the drums at St Pancras Church, in London. Meanwhile, I had sent the song to a friend and fellow Seekers fan in Australia, who told me the song made him think of the final scene from Paths of Glory where Christiane Kubrick (the director’s wife!) sings to French soldiers who at first jeer and laugh at her, but are soon moved to tears. I tried the song against that clip and it was immediately very affecting.