While Phil Collins’s current Still Not Dead Yet tour has been a mostly a celebratory affair, it also bears a tinge of bittersweetness. A variety of physical ailments have impaired Phil’s ability to move around, requiring him to be seated for the majority of the shows. But despite these challenges, there is a particular song Phil makes a point of standing up to deliver most nights. It’s not one of the perky sing-alongs like “Sussudio” or “Invisible Touch,” but his eternally haunting, bitter and thunderous “In The Air Tonight.”
Since 2016 Lucy Dacus has been on a bit of a roll to put it mildly. In that time she’s released 2 solo albums both of which were lauded for their superior melodicism, power and lyrical acumen. And in 2018 she joined forces with Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker to form the supergroup boygenius whose self-titled EP is anthemic perfection. This past year she’s been releasing one off singles every couple of months commemorating specific holidays from Valentine’s Day to Bruce Springsteen’s birthday (just too late to make our big Best Bruce Covers list). All are to be gathered on a forthcoming EP titled 2019.
The latest installment, this time in honor of Halloween, is Dacus’s take on the aforementioned Collin’s classic. Dacus is in unabashedly in love with the song, rightly declaring it to have “the greatest drum fill of all time” as well as stating that it “may be my favorite recording we’ve ever made” (and thanking Phil for the “terrifying bop”, which of course it is). Her version is similar to the original in terms of arrangement and overall sound but is set apart by Dacus’s beautiful, distant and weary vocal, a world away from Phil’s glorious, histrionic angst. It’s as gorgeous a take as you’re ever going to hear on this one.
Lucy Dacus’s forthcoming new EP is also set to feature that eternal piece of Christmas pop candy, Wham’s “Last Christmas”. And based on the quality of the covers released thus far will likely be one of the best versions of that chestnut too.