Sylvan Esso’s label Psychic Hotline has released the second installment of their singles series, with a take on TV on the Radio’s “Province” by Bartees Strange, Eric Slick, and Ohmme, while side B features Anjimile’s cover of Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s “Ever New.”
Of the process assembling the single, Slick explains: “Bartees and I started talking earlier this year. I loved his album and there seemed to be some interest in working together. We talked about our admiration for TV On The Radio. I was driving around one day and thought about how much I listened to Return to Cookie Mountain in 2006, and how it was a formative record for me. It’s such a strange and simultaneously straightforward album. I made a basic acoustic cover of their song “Province” and from there Bartees added his vocal take. Then I reached out to Ohmme, one of my favorite bands from Chicago. Sima and Macie added some ethereal swells and tied the whole song together. Then I removed all of the rough tracks and built a more modern structure underneath with Mellotron, Moog, and MPC. I’m so excited about the way it came out, and I am deeply inspired by what Bartees and Ohmme brought to the table.”
The record was formative for Bartees, too — he explains the pivotal moment where he stumbled upon TV on the Radio: “I’ll never forget when I found TVOTR. I saw their performance on Letterman while channel surfing. I jumped out of my bed. They gave me somebody to look up to. I don’t think I really knew what I wanted to do musically until I saw them. That was a big deal for me.”
“’Ever New’ is simply one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, and it me on every level, and as a black trans musician it is an honor to cover it,” Anjimile adds.
“Province” b/w “Ever New” is available now on all streaming platforms. A physical 7-in. is forthcoming early 2022, and is available to pre-order now. Today’s release follows the inaugural singles series release of “Neon Blue,” by Amelia Meath and Blake Mills, paired with an instrumental cover of the same song by Sam Gendel.