DIVIDING his time between the UK and Canada – describing himself on his Facebook page as a “Canadian UK sandwich” – and previously a core member of the London Contemporary Voices choir, the capital’s leading non-traditional chorale – LGBTQ+ singer-songwriter Connor Roff is premiering his new single with us today, we’re proud to say; and that single is a cover of the yearning Jeff Buckley classic “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”.
One of the sadder tracks in the singer’s emotionally complex canon, it tells of a spurned protagonist looking out over a rainy funeral and wishing without end for that major someone he has lost, with one, final, tragic disconnect; that night they could’ve come round, rescued a love hanging by a thread.
Now, it takes a pretty large degree of talent and cojones to take on a cover of Jeff Buckley and bring it home – one of those artists, like perhaps Radiohead, certainly Cocteau Twins, maybe even Jeff’s dad, Tim – in which the emotional complexity of expression is difficult to pin down; easy to mimic, but hard to nail. But Connor more than proves he’s up the job, because he cannot only capture the expression and the melody, but the intensity of feeling, too. Anguish; sadness; loss, but also the strange stillness that can seize you in a moment of real devastation.
Connor says: “This song is so immense, just like all of Buckley’s tracks, and at first I found it very daunting to cover one of the greats.
“I originally sent James, the producer, a demo of me just singing and performing this in my room with my keyboard and straight away he suggested we turn this into an actual produced cover.
“As a result of Covid, James and I have been recording transatlantically and working together on a series of tracks, sending things back and forth from my home studio in Vancouver to his in London. This is the first of many to follow and we love how this song turned out.
“I think what really sets this version apart are the layers and layers of harmonies which we used to try and create this warm hug around the lead vocal and the listener.
“I think this song really struck a chord with me at the time because it felt appropriate given the quarantine circumstances and wishing and wanting to spend time with our loved ones, but feeling very limited within the scope of Covid – so it speaks to that a bit ironically right now!
“It’s a tough song to sing and really demonstrates Buckley’s incredible versatility with his voice, so I tried my best to stay true to that while still putting my own spin on things.
“I’ve always been a huge Jeff Buckley fan, so it’s very nerve-wracking to cover one of his masterpieces.”
Connor Roff’s “Lover, You Should Have Come Over” is out this Friday, May 28th, on all digital streaming platforms.