With our Lana Del Rey issue just about still on shelves – if you’re yet to pick up a copy, do, as issue 97 of Clash magazine is waiting in the wings – we thought it’d be a fine way to round off the run with this: an entrancing cover of Lana’s ‘Pretty When You Cry’.
One of the better cuts on Del Rey’s recent ‘Ultraviolence’ LP (review), in the hands of (new to us) Los Angeles electro-noir pair Vow the song takes on a darker edge while retaining the shaded vulnerability of the original.
Julia Blake isn’t imitating Lana’s breathy tones; rather, her delivery is more upfront, more confident, more defiant. It twists the emotional heart of the song slightly – more aggressive than before, a snap of violence from a spell of stillness. Still bruised, but unafraid. The reworked arrangement from multi-instrumentalist Andrew Thomas puts us in mind of the Drive soundtrack – it’s easy to imagine this cover appearing alongside some slow-motion Winding Refn cinematography, a la something by Oregon’s own Chromatics.
Inspired to check out more? Vow’s new five-track EP, ‘Make Me Yours’, is released on August 12th through The Native Sound – click here for more information and to pick it up on limited-run 12” vinyl, and here for iTunes. Follow the band on Twitter or Facebook.