Derek Sanders just released a five-song set of covers in his first foray into solo music. The EP is called My Rock and Roll Heart and it features Sanders covering music from Something Corporate, The Juliana Theory, Jimmy Eat World, and Saves the Day. The songs have Sanders' acoustic take on them and feature his distinctive vocal style as well. The product is something entirely unique and a short trip down memory lane with these songs and Sanders.
What's interesting about this EP is that Sanders didn't pick these songs at random. They were carefully selected based on songs he loved when he was in high school. That was the age when he got inspired to make the music that he’d make a career out of. You can tell that Sanders has a fondness for each of these songs too. Production was carefully done to make sure they sound great, of course, but the arrangements of these songs don't really stray that far away from the original versions. Really, he stays so true to the original songs that they don't feel like they're his - they just feel like acoustic versions.
Maybe it's because of all the time that's passed since the original versions of these songs came out, or maybe it's because of Sanders' ability to perform and produce the songs, but these feel like solid odes to a time in music that's not appreciated as much as it should be. By doing acoustic covers of songs that he loves, Sanders has shown a light on these songs and how good they are. Obviously, they do a good job of showcasing Sanders' talent too, but the songs are the stars of this EP - which is kind of the point of a covers release.