Some songs act as proof and of rite of passage. They’re a show of both good taste and lineage. And that well-chosen cover, though covered countless times, ties an act to a long line of others. But a much covered track is a danger… what more can be added or changed? Well here, Kick and Listrea provide us with some velvet answer.
There was an inclining of what to expect. Kick’s latest album, with its scratchy backroom indie that sounds one half witch-craft grunge and one half cute-noise shoegaze, is one that’s crept its way into rotation. ‘Light Figures’ is an album of stylistic dilatations that runs desert gothic rock into left-field electronics with a thick and thin chop-change throughout. Think Hugo Race V The Kills V Broadcast V (a very chilled but still savage) Savages. Now we’re close to its gambit of sounds.
So what of their ‘Some Velvet Morning’? Does it strip the song’s signature swap from its straight 4/4 beat to its slow 3/4 waltz like the disco infused Primal Scream version? Does it go full gothic bleak circus cartoon illustration like Lydia Lunch and Rowland S Howard’s? Other versions go full psychedelic, Vanilla Fudge take it 60’s prog rock. By now we get the idea that there’s a million ways to take this from the sweetness of Nancy & Lee.
The answer is it doesn’t break ground. There’s no dramatic reimagining or twist. But that’s in no way a bad thing. Kick’s desert-dirt guitars give their light dust and grit. The waltz interludes are kept, and within them, a washed out folktronica wants to reach out and stretch for a glisten too sand-burnt to see. Here it’s the vocals that carry the clean, with a duo detached and relaxed. All of Kick‘s gambit of sounds, from lo-fi synth to shoegaze, gets wrapped up in one single’s release.
This is a song that’s defined by its sections, by its structural switches and shifts. That idea has been picked up and built on. Each verse and breakdown brings in a little something new, a synth line, a texture, a swell. And as subtle as these changes might be, they all add to its fullness and charm. By the end we get thick with a big wash of sound that moves into something like Mo Tucker Velvets. Then it’s done…. that was their Velvet Morning.
How it stacks up with other renditions, I’m tempted to leave that to you. But let this be a showcase of the sounds and aesthetics Kick so pleasurably tangle together. Now go dig out their latest LP. It’ll creep slowly up on you too.