Recently, Patrick Stickles from Titus Andronicus was interviewed on Sirius XMU and performed this striking cover of The Weeknd’s “The Hills,” an impressively sexy single off his recent Beauty Behind the Madness, an impressively sexy album. Stickles’ version is less slick—over the lonely echo of the guitar, the singer’s voice is stripped and raw, his breath and plosive syllables harsh and torn, a rough, mournful take on the original. And it works. Really well.
This really is a solid cover, especially when you consider the distance between The Weeknd’s darkwave R&B-pop and Titus Andronicus’ manic indie-punk. It manages to make the song something new and yet entirely plausible—not so consciously tongue-in-cheek as Ben Folds’ ubiquitous “Bitches Ain’t Shit” cover.
Also, check out TA’s most excellent “Dimed Out,” because that’s how I’m feeling this weekend: