Asleep (The Smiths Cover) – Stars

I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower at thirteen or fourteen or fifteen, and that’s how I learned about The Smiths. The next chance I got, I opened Napster over my family’s dial-up connection and searched for the song in question—“Asleep.” (I know I had to be thirteen or fourteen or fifteen because the book came out in 1999, and, according to Wikipedia, Napster was only active beween June 1999 and July 2001.) 

My search returned a lone file by an artist cryptically listed as “Benjamin B.” I downloaded the track (slowly!), listened to it, and listened to it again; almost every mix CD I made for the next few years included that song as its final track. But somehow, I persisted in believing that it was really The Smiths. Maybe I thought the metadata was messed up; maybe I thought one of the band’s members was named Benjamin B. I don’t really know what I thought, but I do know I was very surprised when I heard the studio version for the first time. For me, “Asleep” had always been a quiet, intimate track; when I eventually heard the original by The Smiths, it struck me as too spacious.

When this cover by Stars came on at the end of their new EP last night, these memories flooded me. I was listening after dark, and it was quiet.