The L.A. band the Nerves helped develop the sound of American power-pop in the mid-’70s, and Blondie’s hit “Hanging On The Telephone” was originally a Nerves song. It might be a bit of a stretch to call the beautifully shambolic Real Estate “power-pop” in any way, but the band have covered the Nerves’ 1976 song “Paper Dolls,” as the B-side of their new “Had To Hear” 7″, and it turns out to be not that different from a Real Estate song. Real Estate’s version is a half-step slower than the original, with more of a lush guitar tone, but it’s otherwise a perfect match. Below, listen to the cover and read some words about it from Real Estate’s Alex Bleeker.
I’m drawn to the Nerves’ intricate guitar work. We’re interested in creating similar guitar parts for Real Estate, but the Nerves have a more aggressive sound so I thought it would be fun to wear that “musical costume” for a while. Blondie already did a pretty good job with “Hanging on the Telephone” so “Paper Dolls” seemed like the next logical choice.