Though The Bangles last released a full-length record in 2011, co-founder Susanna Hoffs has kept plenty busy with touring, solo records and some long-running work in the realm of covers. After collaborating with Mike Myers and singer-songwriter Matthew Sweet as psuedo-Mod band Ming Tea (the group had a number of hilariously spot-on features in the Austin Powers films), Hoffs and Sweet continued their collaboration in the ensuing years — putting aside the jokes and faux-stylings for a trio of all-covers albums, aptly titled Under the Covers (Vol. I – III). Now, Hoffs has returned with a covers record of her own, Bright Lights. The first track out of the gate from the new album is a version of Badfinger’s “Name Of the Game,” featuring Aimee Mann on additional vocals.
The Badfinger cover finds Hoffs in fine form, with a performance that as charged and romantic as her most iconic cuts with The Bangles. The arrangement hits a nice sweet spot of sounds, combining some of Mann’s keen pop sensibilities, modern folk and The Bangles’ earliest psychedelic influences — jangly guitars, crisp harmonies, well-honed choruses, Mellotron strings swirling lightly in the ether. From a look at the album’s full tracklist, too, Bright Lights seems like it’ll be following this lead with a similarly satisfying blend of genres; the record features folk luminaries (Richard & Linda Thompson, Nick Drake), psych icons (Syd Barrett, The Velvet Underground) and some mid-‘60s bubblegum pop for good measure (The Monkees, Paul Revere & The Raiders). Fingers crossed that Hoffs may offer us some Ming Tea covers of her own someday too.
Listen to Susanna Hoff’s Badfinger cover below, alongside the full tracklist for Bright Lights. The record, available for preorder here, will be released November 12.
Susanna Hoffs — Bright Lights Tracklist
1. “Time Will Show The Wiser” (The Merry-Go-Round)
2. “One Of These Things First” (Nick Drake)
3. “You And Your Sister” (Chris Bell)
4. “Name Of The Game” (Feat. Aimee Mann) (Badfinger)
5. “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight” (Richard & Linda Thompson)
6. “You Just May Be The Other” (The Monkees)
7. “Him Or Me — What’s It Gonna Be?” (Paul Revere & The Raiders)
8. “Femme Fatale” (The Velvet Underground)
9. “Take Me With U” (Prince)
10. “No Good Trying” (Syd Barrett)