Under The Radar’s 20th anniversary compilation Covers Of Covers, which features various indie artists covering acts that have appeared on the magazine’s cover, is dropping at the end of this week. Thus far we’ve heard four selections from the comp, released in pairs: first Grandaddy covering Metric and EMA covering Modest Mouse, then Cassandra Jenkins covering Animal Collective and Peter Bjorn & John covering the Divine Comedy. Today, UTR is sharing two more tracks ahead of Friday’s release date.
Nation Of Language, longtime Stereogum favorites, have contributed a shuffling, synth-laden version of “Stars And Sons,” one of many highlights from Broken Social Scene’s 2002 breakthrough You Forgot It In People. In a press release, Nation Of Language’s Ian Devaney explains how the cover came about, with help from Holy Ghost!’s Nick Millhiser:
Once we settled on Broken Social Scene, and this song, we realized that loving “Stars And Sons” so much, if we didn’t transform it a fundamental way, we would end up just copying it straight up. Not wanting to do that, we decided to change the rhythm to turn it into a shuffle, which made it easier to get loose with the structure and have fun with it. We worked with Nick Millhiser of Holy Ghost!, who worked on parts of A Way Forward. On the album, we have a song called “Former Self” that’s also a shuffle, but in a much more reserved way, so we wanted to go all-out here, and turn it into a weirdo dance song.
Also on deck today is Cults’ cover of “Bourgeois” from Phoenix’s 2013 album Bankrupt! A note from Cults:
Under The Radar might have been our first time our music was ever printed about in a magazine. When we saw the list of bands that had been on the covers over the years, our initial thought was “Wow.” Our second thought was, “Let’s do that Phoenix song.” We’ve had “Bourgeois” on our tour playlist for two album cycles now, and it always stands out amongst all the other tunes. We love its lyrics as a critique of social structures that the French do better than anyone. We tried a few different ways of approaching the cover before we gave up and just dove in, playing the song as we would if it was a Cults song.
Hear both covers below.
Covers Of Covers is out 3/4 on American Laundromat. Pre-order it here.