The folk trio Mountain Man has become as synonymous with covers as they are with daring avant-garde dreamscapes and friendship. At its recent three-night series, Cosmic Prom at the Fruit, the trio reimagined Shania Twain. Previously, they’ve turned caring attention to covers of John Denver, Wilco, and “White Christmas.” And on Aquarium Drunkard’s last Lagniappe Session, Molly Sarlé, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and Amelia Meath offered covers of Fiona Apple’s “Hot Knife,” Kasey Musgrave’s “Slow Burn,” and Neil Young’s “Through my Sails.” 

On a second Lagniappe Session released yesterday, Mountain Man’s Molly Sarlé strikes out solo, offering shimmery incantations of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gypsy,” Annie Lennox’s “Why”, and Big Star’s “13.”

I’ve written before about my deep appreciation for good covers, and these don’t disappoint. Sarlé says that she was inspired by the demo version of “Gypsy,” and that inspiration shines through on a cover that feels stripped-down but expansive, radiating out in quiet waves of emotion. When she sings “I have no fear, only love,” you feel like the song has whittled out a tiny new pocket of air in the universe. Her rendition of “Why” is equally no-holds-barred: the line “this is how I feel” is a whispered testimonial suffused through a roar. 

“Thirteen,” “Gypsy” (demo version!), and “Why” are three of my favorite songs, they have all caught me in times of need,” Sarlé says. “Getting to cover them was super cathartic, I love inhabiting the ways other people express emotions.”

On February 7, Sarlé kicks off a global tour with Andy Shauf. The forty-four stop tour will conclude in London on April 8. 

Contact deputy arts and culture editor Sarah Edwards at

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