Will Oldham (a.k.a. Bonnie “Prince” Billy) trained as an actor, and approaches singing songs as if he’s taking on roles, so it’s no surprise he plays a lot of covers—of Scottish ballads, of R. Kelly, and, notoriously, of Will Oldham. Recorded with Dawn McCarthy (Faun Fables), his most recent album is What the Brothers Sang (Drag City), a collection of songs by country-pop harmonists the Everly Brothers. Like any flexible actor, Oldham is an attuned interpreter, and here, he and McCarthy recast the Everlys’ boyish, pining charm while hewing close to the original songs—the trick being that the originals were mostly oddities to begin with.
WHAT THE BROTHERS SANG COMES OUT TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18.