The songs of Elvis Costello will be the subject of a new compilation album that features such diverse artists as Fastball, Vic Chesnutt, Matt Pond PA, and the Posies’ Jon Auer. Due Jan. 21 from Austin, Texas-based independent label Glurp, “Almost You: The Songs of Elvis Costello” spans Costello’s 25-plus year output, but mostly focuses on work from his first decade.
Proclaiming itself as the first ever Costello tribute disc to be assembled from scratch, “Almost You” will house interpretations of such early Costello classics as “Alison” and “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes.” The tracks, originally appearing on the artist’s 1977 debut “My Aim Is True,” are respectively reworked by New York Americana outfit Hem and — in a collaborative effort — Chesnutt, Jack Logan, and Mr. And Mrs. Keneipp.
The project also features late ’70s Costello tunes such as “No Action” (covered by Austin bar rockers Grand Champeen), “Green Shirt” (from Philadelphia indie champs Matt Pond PA), and “Busy Bodies” (courtesy of power pop outfit Fastball).
Elsewhere, acts such as the Deathray Davies, Auer, and the Mendoza Line dabble in Costello’s 1980’s catalog, pulling material from sources such as “Get Happy,” “Imperial Bedroom” and “Blood & Chocolate.” Later material will be scarce on “Almost You,” however, with only the Damnations checking in with a country rock reading of “Still Too Soon To Know,” originally appearing on 1994’s “Brutal Youth.”