The former Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser has carried over the lightly-drunk lounge-lizard soulfulness of his old band over into his solo career, and he has a great way of making his covers sound like barroom singalongs. In recent months, he’s shared covers of canonical figures like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Shane MacGowan. And now, for the forthcoming Amazon Open Road playlist, he’s taken on “Road To Nowhere,” a song that was a big hit for the Talking Heads in 1985. Leithauser’s version has a whole lot of piano and very little David Byrne-style twitchiness. Check it out below, via Entertainment Weekly.
On his “Road To Nowhere” cover, Leithauser tells Entertainment Weekly:
When I was doing this song, I realized there really isn’t any other band in the world that I’ve tried to rip off more than the Talking Heads in my career — and [have] had basically zero success. There’s been more four-tracks in my life that have been called “Talking Heads Ripoff 1,” “Talking Heads Ripoff 2,” or “Talking Heads Guitar,” “Talking Heads Drums,” and it’s never worked out. I’ve never sounded a thing like them. But there’s no band I’ve tried to sound like more…
They’ve got such a great way of repeating their lyrics and their little music parts in a way that’s so deceptively simple. I had to restructure the order of the [song’s] parts because it sounded ridiculous. I originally tried out their order and I wasn’t getting the mileage that they get.
The Open Road playlist will be streaming on Amazon Music 8/4.