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Music

Bill Callahan and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy cover Scout Niblett

@SamWKemp

Bill Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy have just released their version of ‘Kidnapped By Neptune’ by veteran British indie rocker Scout Niblett. The new cover comes ahead of the release of Blind Date Party, a collection of 19 cover tracks recorded by Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy over the last 12 months.

Bill Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy started covering songs together over a year ago. Over the course of the pandemic, the old friends and Drag City labelmates joined forces to release a stream of covers – some of which are more obscure than others.

Their last offering was a version of John Prine song ‘She Is My Everything’ featuring Sir Richard Bishop, but it’s been some time since the duo have released any more material. ‘Kidnapped By Neptune’, however, marks their much-anticipated return and the beginning of a whole new chapter in the life of the Callahan/Oldham project.

Scout Niblett wrote ‘Kidnapped By Neptune’ for her 2005 album of the same name. For their cover, Callahan and Oldham teamed up with Hamerkop’s Annabel Alpers and Adam Cooke, a drummer and studio engineer duo who have worked the likes of Beach House and Wye Oak, and who released their own debut LP, Remote, via Drag City, back in 2019.

Like all the best cover songs, Callahan and Bonnie Prince Billie’s version of ‘Kidnapped By Neptune’, bears very little resemblance to the original. What’s more, it doesn’t sound like anything the duo has released before.

Whereas Niblett’s original is a minimalist, psych-infused war-cry, this new cover replaces Niblett’s fragmented vocals with pulsing analogue synths and bit-crusher drum machines, giving it the same warped avant-garde quality that has defined many of the songs the duo have released in the last year or so. We look forward to hearing Blind Date Party when it is released on December 10th.

You can listen to both versions of ‘Kidnapped By Neptune’ below and pre-order Blind Date Party here.