Every Tuesday, the A.V. Undercover series satisfies our insatiable hunger for cover songs by bringing all of the coolest bands on the block these days into their circular studios to drop something new on an eclectic mix of originals. Earlier this week we brought you Surfer Blood’s take on Pixies’ “Gigantic” and now it’s time for something completely different. …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead was not on the original list of invitees but since they were in the neighborhood, touring with their friends Surfer Blood, the A.V. Club allowed them a slot. Normally the bands choose from a list of songs that the A.V. Club crafted but in this case, due to some confusion over e-mail exchanges, Trail of Dead chose their own song for an Undercover bonus track. They dug deeper and decided on the Indigo Girls‘ “Fire and Blood.”
It’s been a long time since anyone cared about the Indigo Girls but that doesn’t mean they don’t still deserve a tip of the hat every now and then. Similar to many Amy Ray songs, “Blood and Fire” is an intense track about a chick in need. It’s raw and edgy, even when only played acoustically, and Ray sings it as if she has shards of glass stuck in her vocal chords. Trail of Dead’s, version communicates the same emotions but does so with a different formula. They use full instrumentation to make a soft point, and Keely’s vocals, though chalky, are more tender than Amy Ray’s. All in all it’s a sweeter version than the original that is still all about the heartbreak.
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – Blood and Fire (Indigo Girls cover)