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Mark Seymour Covers Leonardo’s Bride for Mushroom 50

Seymour has taken on ‘Even When I’m Sleeping’, named by APRA as one of the top 30 Australian songs of all time

Mark Seymour Leonardo's Bride Mushroom 50 cover

Isamu Sawa

The latest Mushroom 50 cover has been revealed.

Mushroom Group recently announced it was celebrating its 50th birthday in a big way with a series of events and initiatives to be held throughout the year.

Formed by the late, great Michael Gudinski in 1972, Mushroom Group released its first album the following year, the iconic Sunbury 1973, The Great Australian Rock Festival. Very quickly Gudinski established Mushroom as one of Australia’s foremost and finest record labels; 50 years later, Mushroom now represents Australian culture around the world, as well as bringing the globe’s best talent to this country.

That’s why Mushroom decided to mark its five decades at the top in such style. Before a massive Mushroom 50 concert in November featuring a to-be-announced all-star lineup, some of Australia’s most iconic musicians will release stunning works throughout the year.

At the end of June, Budjerah and WILSN followed Dan Sultan, GordiPaul KellyThe Temper Trap, Missy Higgins, and Bliss n Eso with a stirring cover of Crowded House’s “Better Be Home Soon”.

And now Mark Seymour has shared his version of Leonardo’s Bride’s “Even When I’m Sleeping”. Seymour, whose band Hunters & Collectors signed to Mushroom Records’ specially-created White Label in 1981, has great respect for his covered song.

“When I first heard it, “Even When I’m Sleeping” was a benchmark for me,” he says. “Here was a love song with real gravity, that professed real events of great personal intimacy. A song that appealed to the most basic human need. The need for affection, comfort and intimacy.”

For his cover, Seymour knew that he had to differentiate his voice from Leonardo’s Bride singer Abby Dobson’s immense vocals. “The great difficulty for me was to get the tone right. Abby has a character voice. She brings everything to the table; what I call real soul. The crack, the quaver and the hurt.

“Initially, I tried to translate, to soften, to bring my voice to the same place. To try to sound like Abby. This was a mistake. To do a cover well, authenticity lies in the capacity to live inside your own condition as you sing someone else’s words, which isn’t something I often do. To own the song. To draw on my own inherent character. To sing proudly with truth.”

Released in 1997, “Even When I’m Sleeping” was a huge success for Leonardo’s Bride, earning the pop band Song of the Year at the 1998 APRA Music Awards. In 2001, the song was selected by APRA as one of the top 30 Australian songs of all time.

You can listen to Seymour’s cover below. The series will end with the release of a Mushroom 50 album containing all the songs, serving as the definitive compilation of reimagined Mushroom music.

Mark Seymour’s “Even When I’m Sleeping” (Leonardo’s Bride cover) is out now via Mushroom Group.