The new LCD Soundsystem studio album is not really an LCD Soundsystem studio album in the proper sense. Today, the band releases Electric Lady Sessions, a sort of live album. Murphy recently explained the idea behind the LP in a note to fans: When LCD Soundsystem are tuning up for a new tour, they record themselves playing live in studio, trying out their own songs and occasional covers. This time, they did it at a legendary New York facility, and they’re letting us hear the results.
In that note to fans, Murphy writes, “it has some old songs and some new songs, and a couple of covers from sheffield bands (this wasn’t intentional, but it just worked out that way. we’re not moving to sheffield). nancy sings on one, and al and i do our best phil oakey impressions on another.” We already heard one of those songs, the band’s take on Heaven 17’s classic “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang.” And now that the album’s out, we get to hear the other one: LCD Soundsystem’s take on the Human League’s 1981 synthpop nugget “Seconds.”
“Seconds” comes from the Human League’s breakout album Dare. (That’s the one with “Don’t You Want Me?” on it.) But where Dare was the album where the Human League went full mass-appeal, “Seconds” brings the group back to its stark, chilly postpunk roots. LCD Soundsystem’s version is a faithful recreation, and Murphy really does sound a whole lot like Phil Oakey on it. But it’s a treat to hear this song performed with a monster rhythm section rather than with the primitive drum machines of the original. Listen to the LCD Soundsystem cover and check out the video for the original below.
And while you’re at it, you might as well stream all of Electric Lady Sessions:
Electric Lady Sessions is out now on Columbia.