Listen to New Tracks by Cults and Nation of Language From Our “Covers of Covers” Album | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, July 5th, 2022  

Listen to New Tracks by Cults and Nation of Language From Our “Covers of Covers” Album

Cults Cover Phoenix’s “Bourgeois” and Nation of Language Cover Broken Social Scene’s “Stars and Sons”; Covers of Covers Due Out This Friday via American Laundromat

Feb 28, 2022 Photography by Andreia Lemos (Nation of Language) and ​Maxwell Kamin (Cults)
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Covers of Covers, our first album, is due out this Friday via American Laundromat (preorder it here). Today we are sharing two last pre-release singles from it: Cults’ cover of Phoenix’s “Bourgeois” and Nation of Language’s cover of Broken Social Scene’s “Stars and Sons.” Listen to both below.

In honor of our 20th anniversary we approached some of our favorite musicians and asked them to cover any song by any artist who had been on the front or back cover of our print issue over the years. In December we announced the album shared its first two singles: Grandaddy’s cover of Metric’s “Blindness” and EMA’s cover of Modest Mouse’s “Trailer Trash.” Then in January we shared two more singles from it: Cassandra Jenkins’ cover of Animal Collective’s “It’s You” and Peter Bjorn and John’s cover of The Divine Comedy’s “Songs of Love.”

The album also features Alex Lahey, Hatchie, Kevin Drew, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Sondre Lerche, Girl Ray, Piroshka, Strand of Oaks, Oceanator, C Duncan, NZCA LINES, Ora the Molecule, James Yorkston, and Water From Your Eyes.

Covers of Covers will be available on CD and digitally, with cassette tape and vinyl releases in the works too. We are also donating $1.00 from every physical album sold and every full album download purchased to Sweet Relief Musicians Fund (www.sweetrelief.org), which “provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians and music industry workers who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems.”

Cults are releasing a 10th anniversary reissue of their self-titled debut album and recently shared the bonus track “Valentine” (fittingly released on Valentine’s Day). Phoenix were on the cover of Issue 45 in 2013, in honor of their album Bankrupt! (which featured “Bourgeois”).

Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion of Cults collectively had this to say about their cover in a statement to Under the Radar: “We’re very happy to be included in celebrating Under the Radar magazine as we’ve been big fans for over a decade now. I’m looking back, UTR might have been our first time our music was ever printed about in a magazine, which was an amazing and bizarre out of body moment.

“When we saw the list of bands that had been on the covers over the years our first thought was, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of great bands.’ Our second thought was, ‘Let’s do that Phoenix song.’

“We’ve had ‘Bourgeois’ on our tour playlist for two album cycles now, meaning we’ve heard it in clubs hundreds of times. It always stands out amongst all the other tunes with its extended intro, mellow verses, and bright and punchy instrumentation. We also 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. We hope you enjoy!”

Nation of Language is a Brooklyn-based synth-pop trio that consists of Ian Devaney (vocals, guitar, and percussion), Aidan Noell (synth and vocals), and Michael Sue-Poi (bass). Their second album, A Way Forward, came out last November via PIAS. Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew was one of several musicians to appear on the fold out cover of our O Canada Issue in 2005 (Issue 11), appearing alongside members of fellow north of the border artists Metric, Tegan and Sara, The Dears, The New Pornographers, Stars, and others. Drew is also on Covers of Covers, covering Stars’ “The Loose Ends Will Make Knots.”

Devaney had this to say about their cover in a statement to Under the Radar: “It was tough choosing who to cover from the list—so many of these bands have been really important to us through the years. 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 in 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 (think ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ by Tears for Fears, ‘Reelin’ in the Years’ by Steely Dan, ‘Higher Ground’ by Stevie Wonder). Once we made that change it was easier to get loose with the structure and have fun with it. We worked with Nick Millhiser (of Holy Ghost!), who also produced half of our album A Way Forward. We have a song on the record 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.”

Read our new interview with Nation of Language on A Way Forward.

When hatching plans to celebrate Under the Radar’s 20th anniversary I knew I wanted to go beyond just producing a special 20th anniversary issue. Despite two decades of writing about albums, one thing we’d never done is actually put one out ourselves. Thus I came upon the idea for Covers of Covers.

To pull all this off we have partnered with Joe Spadaro and his Connecticut-based record label American Laundromat. As well as releasing albums by Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly, American Laundromat have a long history of producing amazing covers albums, including their tributes to Elliott Smith, The Cure, Neil Young, The Smiths, and the music of Wes Anderson films. They even put together a track-by-track tribute to the soundtrack to Alex Cox’s cult classic 1984 movie Repo Man. Without Joe’s help, Covers of Covers would still just be an idea in my head. He has the know-how to get an album mastered and manufactured, not to mention how to handle all the legal stuff. My Co-Publisher/wife Wendy Lynch Redfern then photographed and designed the album cover, which features a tower of all our print issues.

Purchase a copy of our 20th Anniversary Issue, our new double print issue, for an article on the making of Covers of Covers, including quotes from all 20 artists who recorded tracks for the album. The issue’s downloadable MP3 sampler also includes Piroshka’s cover of Grandaddy’s “The Crystal Lake.”

And once again, you can preorder Covers of Covers here from American Laundromat and here from Bandcamp.

Covers of Covers Tracklist:

1. Grandaddy: “Blindness” (Metric)
2. Piroshka: “The Crystal Lake” (Grandaddy)
3. Peter Bjorn and John: “Songs of Love” (The Divine Comedy)
4. Cults: “Bourgeois” (Phoenix)
5. Nation of Language: “Stars and Sons” (Broken Social Scene)
6. Kevin Drew: “The Loose Ends Will Make Knots” (Stars)
7. Hatchie: “FUBT” (HAIM)
8. Sondre Lerche: “Townie” (Mitski)
9. C Duncan: “Acrobat” (Angel Olsen)
10. Cassandra Jenkins: “It’s You” (Animal Collective)
11. NZCA LINES: “Debra” (Beck)
12. Oceanator: “The Biggest Lie” (Elliott Smith)
13. Black Belt Eagle Scout: “Calculation Theme” (Metric)
14. Strand of Oaks: “’81” (Joanna Newsom)
15. Ora the Molecule: “The Fox in the Snow” (Belle and Sebastian)
16. Girl Ray: “Another Try” (HAIM)
17. James Yorkston: “Smoke Signals” (Phoebe Bridgers)
18. EMA: “Trailer Trash” (Modest Mouse)
19. Alex Lahey: “New York” (St. Vincent)
20. Water From Your Eyes: “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” (R.E.M.)

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