07.16.13 — “Fade Into You” as covered by Thrushes


If you only listen to one cover song tonight, make it “Fade Into You”, as covered by Thrushes (2010, from the “Trees” single). The song was originally done by Mazzy Star on their 1993 album So Tonight That I Might See).

Thrushes was a shoegaze band from Baltimore. Between 2006 and 2010, they released two very good albums that harkened back to the magnificent east coast US shoegaze/indie jangle-pop sounds of the early 1990s. Specifically, their way of finding a way to combine jangly guitars with walls of distortion, fuzz, and feedback reminded me a lot of Velocity Girl.

After the excellent 2010 album Night Falls, Thrushes took a break. Careers and families started to become the main priority in their lives, and they haven’t made a record since then. They still play shows in Baltimore from time to time, so I don’t think they’ve pulled the plug on Thrushes. I certainly hope not, anyway.

There’s been a lot of Mazzy Star buzz in the last couple of days. Yesterday, J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr released a cover of “Fade Into You”. Today, they announced that they’ll release a new album this year, their first since 1996. A friend told me about the J Mascis cover at a time when it would be hours before I would get a chance to listen. I told him that I “lurved it, without even having heard it”. When I finally got a chance to listen to the song, I was a little disappointed. I like J Mascis, and as everybody knows, I have a very special place in my heart for “Fade Into You”.

I was expecting J to do something wacky with it. I was expecting lots of noise. Or something. It’s not noisy. He didn’t do anything to disgrace the song or anything like that, but I just don’t like his cover of it. Never mind that the only way to get the song is to buy a ridiculous pair of sneakers. The money from the $75 sale goes to a charity, but I still can’t justify any of it.

Hearing it, though, reminded me that I already had a brilliant cover of that song in my catalog. Tonight’s song was a b-side to a digital only single for “Trees”, taken from the Thrushes album Night Falls.

“Fade Into You” as covered by Thrushes

As much as I love the noise that Thrushes usually made, it was a little bit awesome that they shed most of the effects pedals for this one. I like the dreamy wash on the lead guitar and the keys. In the Mazzy Star original album version, everything is big and easy to distinguish in the mix. The snare drum, the tambourine, the piano, the acoustic guitar, the slide guitar, and mostly Hope’s voice. In live versions, the bass guitar is pretty big, but in the album version, it’s the only thing that’s pretty low in the mix. Everything is clean, crisp.

In the Thrushes version, everything is covered in gossamer and placed in a hazy cloud. There’s not a piano bit. Completely separate from that, there’s an organ playing a different part. The slide guitar is much less prevalent. There are at least two, and probably three vocal harmonies going on, and all of the vocals are fed through some clouding effect. That aspect is lovely. The slide guitar that sort of defines the Mazzy Star original is significantly toned down in the Thrushes version. Strangely, I don’t miss it.

For comparison’s sake, here’s the original:
“Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star

and again, the Thrushes cover:
“Fade Into You” as covered by Thrushes

And in case you missed it the first couple of times I’ve shared this video in the past, here again is a really lovely version of Mazzy Star playing “Fade Into You” live

The Thrushes cover of “Fade Into You” was part of a digital-only single. It used to be in all of the digital marketplaces, but it looks like the only way to get it legally is to buy it from iTunes.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

One response to “07.16.13 — “Fade Into You” as covered by Thrushes

  • phil

    thanks for sharing this cover… i quite enjoy it, particularly after listening to the j mascis cover this morning. like you, i was expecting i’d like it — i love the song and i really liked his last solo album — but i was disappointed… it just fell flat for me. this one is much better. and that’s exciting news about a new mazzy star album!

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