Black Country, New Road released their exciting debut album For the first time last week. Now, they’ve turned in one of the most emotional performances of their young careers with a raw cover of MGMT’s “Time to Pretend”.
The BCNR septet have earned their buzz through a commitment to musical contrast. They like to start out softly and build to a roar, and they often combine free jazz frenzies with spoken word vocals and furious, punk-inflected guitars. Those attempting to categorize their sound have turned to a wide variety of genres and references, but one thing they haven’t been called is pop. By meeting indie poppers MGMT halfway, their new cover of “Time to Pretend” instantly becomes one of the band’s most accessible songs.
Black Country, New Road filmed the cover in a socially-distanced studio setting. The performance begins with a quiet guitar and slowly accumulates complexity, with BCNR’s brass section tracing the synths of the original. Frontman Isaac Wood starts out with his customary restrained rumble, but he approaches the chorus with a full-throated emotionality, allowing his voice to quiver and break, screaming, “We’re fated to pretend!” Check out their take on “Time to Pretend” below.
Last week, Black Country, New Road broke down For the first time as part of our ongoing series Track by Track.