07.02.2014 — “Love is a Battlefield” as covered by Wrongchilde (featuring Morgan Kibby)

Wrongchilde (Mat Devine)

If you only listen to one cover song tonight (and it is still “tonight” where I live), make it “Love is a Battlefield” as covered by Wrongchilde featuring Morgan Kibby (2014, from the forthcoming album Gold Blooded).

Wrongchilde is a synth rock recording project for Mat Devine, who is also in a band called Kill Hannah. I don’t know anything about that band, and I know very little about this project. I got two things in the mail bag about this yesterday. Devine collaborated with a bunch of musicians to make this new record, and on tonight’s song, he got a bunch of help from Morgan Kibby, who is also in M83 and a solo project called White Sea. I’m not a big fan of M83, and that White Sea record doesn’t do much for me if I’m honest, but Kibby is an amazing vocalist, and that’s certainly highlighted here.

These two collaborated on a magical cover of the classic 1983 song by Pat Benatar. The original was synth-y and new wave-y and there is absolutely no mistaking that it’s from the early 1980s. This version, although shorter in length, is much slower and darker. It’s also really synth-y, but in a different way. And it’s punctuated by dense, human drumming and fuzzy bass. Whereas the original Pat Benatar version could just as easily have been The Fixx, this version makes me think of Besnard Lakes. Perhaps it’s because the video looks like something that would happen if a Besnard Lakes video and a New Pornographers video had a baby video. There are kids in karate costumes, espionage, a mysterious Spanish-speaking woman (Kibby) placing a hit on a star of film and screen (Devine), who is in the middle of a photo shoot when the karate kids attack him. The hit goes awry, and in the end, they all eat cupcakes.

If you don’t feel like watching the video, here’s the audio:

“Love is a Battlefield” as covered by Wrongchilde (featuring Morgan Kibby)

Seriously, though… Watch the video. You’ll be glad.

It’s totally fun, right?

Aside from the cinematic aspects of the video, I think the song is astonishing. It’s so gloomy and dark and mysterious and a little dreamy and a lot sexy. This cover focuses mainly on the choruses, and I love Kibby’s slow, beautiful take. Oh sure, this is Devine’s vehicle and he harmonizes wonderfully, but this is all about Morgan Kibby. And the drumming.

The whole vibe of this is just incredible. I like this way more than I like the original version. And I like the original version a lot.

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

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