Unknown singer records album of songs by unknown songwriters
Not the best business plan for an album. That's the reason albums shouldn't have business plans.
Slaid Cleaves is an Austin songwriter with solid sales, some regional praise, and one of the best songs ('Broke Down') exported from Texas in last decade. His latest album, entitled Unsung, features covers of lesser known artists. The results, listen for yourself. I think, wow. Provided in italics are Cleaves words about each performer.
"Flowered Dresses" (written by Karen Poston)
"Here's yet another poignant picture of loss and longing from the pen of Karen Poston. In the studio, I kept choking up on the line about 'hugging my knees, holding my breath.' "
"Call It Sleep" (written by Chris Montgomery)
"Chris had a band in Austin with his girlfriend, Karen Poston, called Aunt Beanie's First Prize Beets. Right about the time they were breaking up (both band and couple) he played this for me and a few friends backstage after a poorly attended gig of mine at Jovita's in South Austin. We all knew he had just written his best song."
"Fairest of Them All" (written by Ana Egge)
"I first heard Ana when she was playing open mics and I was doing sound. Still in her teens, she was making a big impression on people all over town. I was intrigued but not quite convinced until I heard this one. It's one of those great songs, cinematic and mysterious, where you find yourself asking -- wait a minute. What just happened there? " (Two things to listen for: a great use of the word 'bitch'; Mary Gauthier singing backup.)
To prove my point, here's a link to Slaid Cleaves' "Broke Down." If you can't download this, raise a middle finger to iTunes and then seek it out on the Web.