We’re New Here

If you’d said to me, a while ago, that grizzled old soul poet Gil Scott-Heron would cover a Bill “Smog” Callahan song on an album of covers, named after said Smogsong, I’d have likely assumed you were pulling my plonker. If you’d followed that up by saying that Jamie Whatsisface – the beats component of The Xx (as opposed to the echoey guitar bit or the looping bass bit) – would then do a remix of said covers album, I’d tell you do verily go and do one and stop wasting my time.

But lo, the music world of 2011 is a strange and wonderful place, and such a thing has come to pass. The song is “I’m New Here”, from 2005’s “A River Ain’t Too Much To Love”, a record that’s up there with Bill’s finest, even if “I’m New Here” does fit comfortably into the “decent album track but nothing outstanding” category. Gil grumbled all over his original cover in quite an endearing manner, giving the lines “Met a woman in a bar\Told her I was hard to get to know\And near impossible to forget” a whole new poignancy. And making them significantly less ominous than when Bill sings them, frankly.

And the remix adds a whole new layer of shimmering noise and the now obligatory Dubstep Speeded-Up Female Vocals. The effect is certainly interesting. Whether I’d want to listen to it more than a few times or not I’m not so sure about. Still, from time to time you need to have those cobwebs in your brain blown away, eh? And I have to say, from what I’ve heard of the record, it’s a damn sight better than James Blake.

If you’re curious about Bill “Smog” Callahan, see the article I wrote ages ago here. Gosh, I had loads more time back then. *sigh*

MP3: I’m New Here by Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX

MP3: I’m New Here by Smog

Buy We’re New Here (CD)

Buy Smog’s “A River Ain’t Too Much to Love”