“Wicked Game” is far and away Chris Isaak’s most famous song. It’s also his most covered, and we’ve, ahem, covered many of them here at Cover Me. At this point, it’s hard to stand out among all of them. But Lingua Ignota’s new version does.
Lingua Ignota is Kristin Hayter, an experimental musician known for incorporating noise and extreme forms of metal into her music but there’s virtually none of that here.
Hayter’s version is much slower than the original, with an almost funereal pace. It’s a quiet, haunting piano ballad that opens with eerie ambient noise but settles into a pretty straightforward version until the chorus, when guest vocalist Alexis Marshall mutters the “This world is only gonna break your heart” under Hayter’s soaring vocals.
“Wicked Game” is reframed: the romance and sex is completely gone, replaced by this vague feeling of unease and obsession. It’s a little creepy, a little mournful.