Flo Morrissey and Matthew E. White’s rendition of The Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” is no lullaby. Off their recently released covers album Gentlewoman, Ruby Man, their cut forgoes the minimal, sappy haze of the original instead opting for a fuller indie pop sound. Despite this new indie sound however, their cover still retains a sixties-esque low-fi production style as a slight layer of fuzz remains present throughout the entire track. One striking difference is that Morrissey takes lead with White providing backing vocals, flipping the male-female dynamic of the original. This is fitting as Morrissey and White present their take of the track in a completely opposite light to its forefather.
Indeed, while the original may sound like a lullaby, the connotations of heroin abuse make it anything but. Here, the connotations are gone, offering up the track in a new light and this new light appears to be a more joyous and happy one, supported by what sounds like the chirping of birds in the background. While Morrissey does deliver in a dead pan voice akin to Reed’s, White sounds ecstatic, overflowing with energy as he provides backing vocals. This overflowing of energy isn’t unique to White though as the instrumentation too sounds full to bursting with a similar ecstatic energy.
At points however, it sounds like Morrissey and White are desperate to prove they were correct in opting for this bigger and happier sound. This especially rings true when a set of aggressively cheerful bells chimes in as if urging the listener to get up and dance. Nonetheless, this cover does have a certain undeniable charm and I must profess to feeling that urge to move right along with the bells. Ultimately, while the track loses what made the original special, it still takes an interesting approach to a classic song that has been covered many times over.
Listen to the the track here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAKt9q2QB20