Last month, Sylvan Esso announced a new label called Psychic Hotline. To kick things off, they had a single series planned with an impressive array of artists involved. The first installment was Amelia Meath and and Blake Mills teaming up for “Neon Blue.” Today, we get two more entries in the series.
The A-side of the new single is Bartees Strange, Eric Slick, and Ohmme collaborating on a cover of TV On The Radio’s “Province.” “I’ll never forget when I found TVOTR,” Strange said in a statement. “I saw their performance on Letterman while channel surfing. I jumped out of my bed. They gave me somebody to look up to. I don’t think I really knew what I wanted to do musically until I saw them. That was a big deal for me.” Slick added:
Bartees and I started talking earlier this year. I loved his album and there seemed to be some interest in working together. We talked about our admiration for TV On The Radio. I was driving around one day and thought about how much I listened to Return To Cookie Mountain in 2006, and how it was a formative record for me. It’s such a strange and simultaneously straightforward album. I made a basic acoustic cover of their song “Province” and from there Bartees added his vocal take. Then I reached out to Ohmme, one of my favorite bands from Chicago. Sima and Macie added some ethereal swells and tied the whole song together. Then I removed all of the rough tracks and built a more modern structure underneath with Mellotron, Moog, and MPC. I’m so excited about the way it came out, and I am deeply inspired by what Bartees and Ohmme brought to the table.
Check it out below.
The “Province” cover also comes with a B-side: Anjimile’s take on Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s “Ever New.” “‘Ever New’ is simply one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard,” Anjimile said in a press release. “As a black trans musician it is an honor to cover it.” You can hear that one below as well.