Back Track looks back at an old cover that deserves a new spotlight.
The Pixies released their last studio album, Trompe le Monde, in 1991. With an album cover of eyeballs, and several songs exploring the world of sci-fi, it seems an unlikely place to hear a Jesus and Mary Chain song, but nestled within the tracks is an explosive cover of “Head On.”
In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!
In 1984 a band from Glasgow released a song that sounded like the inside of a jet engine factory, only you could hum it. The song was “Upside Down,” and it stayed on the UK indie charts for almost a year and a half. The band was The Jesus and Mary Chain, less content to push the envelope than to blow a hole through it with feedback and distortion. With their first album, Psychocandy, they made it official: here was a group that combined the squall of The Velvet Underground and the tunefulness of The Beach Boys to make torture chamber pop, producing a wall of sound that surely had Phil Spector nodding approvingly.
Two free new cover EPs to direct you to today. The first comes from Roberts & Lord, a duo that met by trolling Myspace. Ex-Simian singer Simon Lord (the voice of that “We Are You Friends” song) stumbled across California producer Rafter Roberts while looking for a collaborator online and they decided to work together. The electronic experimenters soon found themselves a home on Asthmatic Kitty – aka Sufjan Stevens’ record label – and released full-lengthy debut Eponymous and this free COVERS EP. Download two tracks below (including a must-hear “Because”), then grab the full thing here.
Dum Dum Girls already released a cover of the year contender with “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” but frontwoman Dee Dee Penny has returned with a new cover. This one comes as the debut single of Les Demoniaques, her new group with San Francisco singer Tamaryn. The cover is Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Teenage Lust” and you can stream it below.