Devendra Banhart released a wistful cover of T. Rex’s “Scenesof,” off the upcoming tribute compilation Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T. Rex, out September 4th on BMG.
“Scenesof” was originally released off T. Rex’s 1968 debut My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair… But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows, produced by Tony Visconti. Banhart offers a serene interpretation of the track, complete with synthesizers and the trippy production of the late Hal Willner, who died last month due to complications from COVID-19.
“I was completely in love with Marc Bolan, from John’s Children to Dandy in the Underworld and everything in between,” Banhart said in a statement. “I remember the feeling of freedom I got from ‘Scenescof’: ‘I don’t need anyone to dictate all my fun smile your smile and then run.’ That line gave me the courage to carve out a little bit of fantasy in my life back in my late teens.”
“But now, the song will be inextricably linked with mourning; it was the last time I was in a studio with my dear dear friend Hal Willner,” he continued. “I haven’t even begun to process the heartbreak of that loss…we were just texting about Jerry Lewis and sending each other links to funny videos and weird songs and two weeks later he was gone. Hal had the coolest, calmest demeanor, the kind that comes from having had really been through some shit and come out of it still caring about life, the world and art. I will miss him terribly.”
“Scenesof” follows Nick Cave’s cover of “Cosmic Dancer” from 1971’s Electric Warrior. Angelheaded Hipster also features U2 and Elton John’s take on “Bang a Gong (Get It On),” Joan Jett’s cover of “Jeepster,” Father John Misty on “Main Man” and Kesha’s cover of “Children of the Revolution.”
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