Chris Isaak’s haunted 1989 sex-jam “Wicked Game” must be one of the most-covered songs ever recorded. Over the years, virtually anyone with any interest in Lynchian romanticism has tried out “Wicked Game,” to the point where it’s almost a cliché. In recent years, we’ve run an essay about all those “Wicked Game” covers, and we’ve also spoken with Isaak himself about the phenomenon. Last year, Lana Del Rey sang “Wicked Game” with Isaak at the Hollywood Bowl. That’s a hard spectacle to top, but then we might never have had a “Wicked Game” quite as heavy as the one that we get today.
Kristin M. Hayter, the heavy experimentalist who records as Lingua Ignota, has made some truly dark and entrancing music in the past few years. Most recently, she released the monster track “O Ruthless Great Divine Director” back in March. Today, Lingua Ignota has dropped her “Wicked Game” cover as part of the latest Bandcamp Friday.
There’s no metal in Lingua Ignota’s “Wicked Game” cover. Instead, she’s built it around a soft flourish of piano and a distant, discordant sample of Krzysztof Penderecki’s 1960 work Threnody For The Victims Of Hiroshima. Daughters frontman Alexis Marshall adds deep, portentous backing vocals, while Lingua Ignota turns “Wicked Game” into operatic, miasmic darkness. It’s a really fucking cool cover. Listen below.
You can buy Lingua Ignota’s version of “Wicked Game” at Bandcamp.