Built to Spill Reveal New Daniel Johnston Tribute Album: Stream

The indie rock veterans served as the backing band on Johnston's final tour

Daniel Johnston (photo by Amy Price) and Built to Spill (photo by David Brendan Hall)

    Built to Spill have released their new covers album dedicated to Daniel Johnston. Stream Built to Spill Plays the Songs of Daniel Johnston in full below via Bandcamp.

    Out via Ernest Jenning Record Co., their tribute to the lo-fi songwriting legend spans 11 tracks. All the recordings — which include takes on “Tell Me Now”, “Life in Vain”, and “Impossible Love” — were taken from rehearsal sessions Built to Spill held in 2017 while serving as the backing band on Johnston’s final tour.

    “It was pretty special for us,” Built to Spill frontman Doug Martsch told Rolling Stone. “Basically we wanted to get good documentation of what our rehearsals were like. It was a lot heavier than what I thought it would be.” According to veteran indie rock outfit, the covers album was actually entering the final stages of production last fall, right around the time of Johnston’s tragic passing.

    In addition to a digital release, there is a yellow vinyl edition available for purchase, and it comes with a 32-page songbook. Built to Spill shared their renditions of “Bloody Rainbow” and “Life in Vain” in the lead-up to the new album.


    Since Johnston’s death September 2019, countless other artists have paid homage with their own cover songs, such as Nick Cave and Eddie Vedder.

    Built to Spill’s last problem album came back in 2015 with Untethered Moon.

    Built to Spill Plays the Songs of Daniel Johnston Artwork:


    Built to Spill Plays the Songs of Daniel Johnston Tracklist:
    01. Bloody Rainbow
    02. Tell Me Now
    03. Honey I Sure Miss You
    04. Good Morning You
    05. Heart, Mind and Soul
    06. Life in Vain
    07. Mountain Top
    08. Queenie the Dog
    09. Impossible Love
    10. Fake Records of Rock and Roll
    11. Fish