The Australian singer and songwriter Paul Kelly became a sort of under-the-radar critical favorite in the ’80s, writing shimmering and jangling pop songs that continue to hold up today. (The songs hold up a lot better than Kelly’s old band name: Paul Kelly And The Coloured Girls. This was a Lou Reed reference, but it’s amazing that anyone ever thought it was OK, even in the ’80s.) In more recent years, Kelly has recorded with fellow Aussie Courtney Barnett, and now another Australian songwriter has paid him tribute.
Cameron has recorded his own version of “Before Too Long,” the twinkling 1986 rocker that served as Kelly’s pop breakthrough in Australia. Where Kelly’s version of the song was a breezy, Byrds-influenced jam, Cameron has turned it into a dark and vaguely creepy synth-rocker, which is to say that he’s turned it into an Alex Cameron song. Cameron’s cover features his regular collaborator Roy Molloy on saxophone and Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait on guitar.
Of “Before Too Long,” Cameron says, “Paul Kelly’s songs have been with my my whole life. Always wished I wrote this one. Man. Feels good.” Listen to it below, via Noisey, and check out the video for the original.
Cameron’s “Before Too Long” cover is part of the forthcoming Amazon Music playlist Made In Australia.