Alt-rock lifers Local H have shared another new cover from their forthcoming compilation, Local H’s Awesome Quarantine Mix-Tape #3. The latest release is a poignant, powerful take on Fountains of Wayne’s “Hackensack.”
In an essay for Talkhouse that accompanies the track’s release, singer-guitarist Scott Lucas writes about the song’s personal resonance. With a raw vocal take and a distilled acoustic arrangement, Lucas transforms “Hackensack” into a melancholic tribute to Adam Schlesinger — the producer/Fountains of Wayne member (and the song’s author) who passed away in 2020 from complications of COVID-19. Lucas writes:
Fountains Of Wayne’s “Hackensack” has always been famous for being the song with the lyric about Christopher Walken in it, but in the wake of Adam’s death it was the lyrics to the chorus that took on a new heartbreaking depth:
But I will wait for you
As long as I need to
And if you ever get back to Hackensack
I’ll be here for you
It no longer felt like a song about a guy who carries a torch for an old high school crush. Suddenly, it was a hymn to the people we’d lost. An almost Poe-like cry to the great beyond (or from the beyond!), a longing for some mutual communion between the living and the dead. Wait for me and I will wait for you. Kinda creepy, sure — but also kinda beautiful. Like all great songwriters, Schlesinger had written his own tribute and epitaph with “Hackensack.” Something that could live on.
Before their version of “Hackensack,” Local H shared a take on the yacht rock staple “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” last month. Both tracks, as well as the full Quarantine Mix-Tape #3 record, will have their official release on October 8th. In the meanwhile, check out the Fountains of Wayne cover below.