Popular Music as a phrase has become so difficult to define that it’s almost obsolete, a catch-all term that seems to incorporate almost every genre and trend, and stretches from the biggest artists in the world, to people who almost nobody has heard of. Thankfully Popular Music, the band, are a much more definite prospect, the Canaan-based duo consisting of Zac Pennington, the only constant in the ever evolving Parenthetical Girls line-up before they split, and Prudence Rees-Lee. The duo are currently building towards the release of their ambitious new project, Popular Music Plays In Darkness, a twelve-track reimagining of songs from 20th Century cinema. Today we’re sharing the latest offering from it, the band’s version of Willow’s Song.
The idea for Popular Music Plays In Darkness came about when Zac and Prudence first met in Los Angeles, and took shape when they convened in a turn-of-the-century barn the pair purchased in upstate New York. The pairs love of cinematic music has previously manifested in everything from their version of The Kinks’ The Way Love Used To Be, lifted from the 1970’s sex-farce Percy, through to Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out For A Hero from Footloose. This latest offering, Willow’s Song, sees them take on a genuine cult-classic, The Wickerman, through a track originally, sort of, performed by a naked Britt Ekland, although who actually did the singing is a source of some debate.
Popular Music’s take on Willow’s Song seeks to re-imagine it’s folkish origins bringing a meandering keyboard arpeggio to the fore, alongside dramatic slashes of strings and the intense rumbling of almost prehistoric sounding drums. Despite being led by a spacy electronic lead-line the whole track has a distinctly natural feel, as if it’s channeling into the same pagan energy that made the original film so striking.
Willow’s Song is in its own way a musical history lesson, a track that’s previously been covered by artists as diverse as Isobel Campbell, The Go Team! and Doves, been sampled by Pulp and inspired a raft of artists and musicians to create something weird and wonderful. Willow’s Song is the ultimate link between popular music’s past, and Popular Music’s very exciting future.
Popular Music Plays In Darkness is out later this year. Click HERE for more information on Popular Music.