Originally released on Rough Trade Records in 2007, the Four Songs By Arthur Russell EP features excellent Arthur Russell covers by Jens Lekman, Vera November (aka Verity Sussman of Electrelane), Taken By Trees (aka Victoria Bergsman from the Concretes), and Joel Gibb (from the Hidden Cameras).
"I first met Arthur Russell's music when I was 19, on a vacation in the Mosel Valley with my walkman. A friend had made a tape with Another Thought and I switched between his songs and my own songs while the most beautiful landscapes opened themselves up ahead of me. It was a good first meeting and I burned my neck really bad. Four years later I was playing shows here and there and I often played Arthur's "A Little Lost" on my kalimba.
"I had suggested to Victoria Bergsman that maybe we should make a single or EP of Arthur's songs. She put me in touch with Verity Susman from Electrelane and I brought in Joel Gibb from the Hidden Cameras. At this point we felt there was a certain symmetry between us, we could've brought in a few more and made a tribute album but tribute albums are boring in my opinion and tend to lose focus halfway through. So we banged the little drum instead of the big one because the little drum is always finer.
"I've always heard something in Arthur Russell's music that I don't recognize in other music. Something that is beyond the disco beats and the avantgarde cello compositions. I think it's something that Joel, Verity and Victoria also heard and that's why the EP sounds like it does." - Jens Lekman