Nov 012022
Sister Ray

A deep cup from 1978 album Powerage, “Up to My Neck in You” is a pretty typical Bon Scott-era AC/DC uptempo hard rock song. Though some consider the song a highlight of that album, Powerage isn’t usually among the classic albums people think of when talking about that era of the band. So no surprise the song only has a few covers.

Métis singer-songwriter Sister Ray (nee Ella Coyes) just launched her career, releasing her debut album, Communion, this past May. It was long-listed for the Polaris Prize, Canada’s biggest indie music award. So there’s some buzz, at least north of the border.

For her cover of this unheralded AC/DC track, Sister Ray goes full on Lilith Fair. With more than a little bit of soul, the vibe is very much an early ’90s woman singer-songwriter: it’s just an electric guitar with a curious effect and Coyes’ lovely voice. And, of course, the tempo is drastically slowed down.

It’s a gorgeous, unique take on this song, a complete rethinking of it. There’s nothing in the original that suggests this is a likely path to take for a cover. (Also, there’s nothing in Coyes’ stage name – taken from a notorious Velvet Underground song – that would suggest this level of pretty.) Yet Coyes completely owns it and her performance makes you feel this is how “Up to My Neck in You” is supposed to sound.

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