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I was introduced to Mike through a good friend of mine who had always told me what an amazing guitar player he was and that we should grab him for the Voice Project. Mike has played with Rilo Kiley, Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, Rachael Yamagata, and most recently has been touring in Julian Casablancas' band. I caught up with him recently when he played at Hotel Cafe, a venue where so many of the LA based artists we've shot call home, and we made a plan for me to come round to his place just up the road the following week with the camera.

So many lovely and incredibly talented people have been willing to be a part of the project over the last few years, it's really been heartening, and Mike is truly one of those. Mike's choice of Here We go Magic's "How Do I Know" made me think about something we used to talk about a lot in the early days of putting Voice Project together, about how cover songs are a great way that artists connect with each other, but also a wonderful show of love, respect and support; to pick up with your voice what another has said or sung in theirs. And there is an extra element of specialness if it's a new song, something released recently, like you're not waiting on the world to judge it a classic, you're ready to add your voice now. An old example Hunter and I would always throw around was Pixies covering The Jesus and Mary Chain's "Head On" on the Trompe le Monde album in 1991. It seemed so fast back then for a cover release but was actually two years after the original came out, which is still fairly quick in terms of an official, non-remix album release. Though it seems much slower looking back from the world today where covers and "Call Me Maybe" parodies hit the tubes within a few hours it seems, remixes and mashups within a few days. And for us as well, Dawes, in a great show of support for a songwriter and friend they love and respect covered Blake Mills' "Hey Lover" for the project before Blake had even released the song himself. HWGM's "How Do I Know" came out just about 5 month ago and I can say for sure, I have spent hours nicely escaped in its beautiful layers, but also I think that pace is part of it - that while speedy and driving, it has a gentle daydream quality in those layers that one can float on, escape on amid all the speed of everything around us. Likewise, sit back and take this version in as Mike takes that track and brilliantly converts its interlocking layers to one voice and one masterful piece of guitar work. — Anna

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