Music

Amanda Shires Covers Genesis' 'That's All' as a Commentary on 2020

Amanda Shires is closing out 2020 with a danceable cover of the 1983 Genesis hit “That’s All,” released on Wednesday.

Describing the song as a “true Covid anthem,” Shires constructs her version around a thumping kick drum and a syncopated piano part lifted from the Phil Collins-led original. Shires sings the verses in her lower range, then jumps several steps up to hit the higher chorus, giving the song an eerie feel when she doubles herself in two octaves. When the beat hits, it’s a programmed groove of stuttering hi-hats and hand claps that provides a propulsive low end.

With lyrics like “You could say day, and I would say night/Tell me it’s black, when I know that it’s white,” “That’s All” also speaks to the bitter discord of 2020 and the feeling of being stuck no matter what one does. An animated lyric video tries to capture the intensity of 2020, referencing Covid, murder hornets, Black Lives Matter, Tiger King, and the deaths of Billy Joe Shaver, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and John Prine.

Shires hasn’t announced any formal plans for the follow-up to her 2018 album To the Sunset, but she’s kept working during quarantine, particularly with her streaming series I So Lounging. She also released “The Problem,” a duet with husband Jason Isbell, in support of abortion rights.

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