Gavage Vol. 1: Queen of Hearts
Paul K’s originals are sturdy and effective, but Gavage Vol. 1: Queen of Hearts really springs to life on “Afternoon Tea” and “Running for Our Lives,” covers of songs by two very distinctly British artists (the Kinks and Marianne Faithfull, respectively) that provide an intriguing counterpoint to the group’s relaxed Americana. Strangely, Queen of Hearts is presented as a nine-track album with four bonus tracks, and while for the most part this is just as well (they’re sleepier and less distinguished than the formal album tracks), yet another English cover — this time a hushed acoustic reading of the evergreen “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” — manages to salvage the album’s postscript. Unassuming and unpretentious, Queen of Hearts works a comfortable, unhurried groove that doesn’t offer many surprises, but nonetheless makes for an enjoyable listen.