Toronto’s arty guitar-pop four-piece Weaves are crazy good, and their new cover of “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” from Arcade Fire’s debut album Funeral is a bop. Recording for Canada’s Polaris Prize Cover Session series, our 2016 Band To Watch Weaves continue bursting with electric energy as on last year’s sophomore album Wide Open.
The cover begins with an air wave that zooms back and forth, then at you. Playing with your head, the track is full and disjointed, exploring more remote nooks of sound than Arcade Fire ventured into. Morgan Waters’ guitar steadily colors outside of the lines, scribbling behind frontwoman Jasmyn Burke’s shaking, echoing voice. She is distorted and playful, adding a dark, deceptive energy to the cover’s playfulness.
It’s not all wild, though. The moments where they strip the chaos down only make the song’s funky peaks more gratifying. Ending in this jazzy, experimental breakdown, Burke slowly spits out a new dimension of the lyrics, “And there’s something wrong in the heart of man/ Take it from your heart/ Put it in your hand.”
Burke shared some background on Weaves’ choice of material in a press release:
The Polaris Music Prize had asked us if we were interested in covering a song from their Heritage Albums list and I saw that Arcade Fire’s Funeral was included on the list. I guess I immediately gravitated towards wanting to cover one of their songs because I grew up listening to them — seeing them for the first time just opened the gates as far as live music for me. I think “Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)” seems more pertinent than ever, so in typical Weaves fashion we spent a weekend working on it and then just went into the studio and recorded it pretty freely. I think this song keeps breathing and growing over time and I guess that’s the magic of revisiting one’s favourite albums.
Weaves makes Arcade Fire’s original sound a lot different than it did from the back of my dad’s car in 2004. Listen below, where you can also watch a video of Weaves performing the song.