It’s always exciting to see a band like Rubblebucket – an eight member (sometimes more) psychedelic indie/dance rock band, anchored by a trumpet and featuring a slew of random instruments — take on a Beatles track. But “Michelle,” the McCartney-penned (okay, he had a little help from Lennon in the middle) fingerpicking love ballad that lives on 1965’s Rubber Soul is an unexpected choice for this Brooklyn-based troupe. Although to be fair, the band has boundless ambition, having released an album a year from 2008 to 2012.
The track starts with quick claps that are soon accompanied by front lady Kalmia Traver’s charming voice, which sounds exquisite when she shifts into the song’s French verses. Telling a tale in two languages made the original Beatles’ tracks far more whimsical, and although McCartney’s earnest croon is hard to beat, the modern feminine touch adds a certain spark here.
The delicate cover serves as a welcome slow-motion button among Rubblebucket’s catalog, which begs to be danced to from top to bottom. The band’s take on “Michelle” successfully differentiates itself from the original while remaining recognizable, as any good Beatles cover should.