The Bird And The Bee is a duo comprising singer Inara George and multi-instrumentalist and pop super-producer Greg Kurstin, who produced Adele’s “Hello,” Sia’s “Chandelier,” and dozens of other hit songs. They’ve already shared two singles from their upcoming covers album Interpreting The Masters: A Tribute To Van Halen, starting with a rework of “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love,” from Van Halen’s 1978 self-titled debut. That was followed by their cover of “Panama” from 1984.
The full album is expected at the beginning of August, but first, they’re sharing another cover, the iconically wild “Hot For Teacher,” with a spoken word performance from Beck. (Kurstin was in Beck’s band during the Sea Change era, and he produced Beck’s most recent album, the Grammy-winning Colors.)
The Bird And The Bee’s take on “Hot For Teacher” is more synth-heavy, plinking keys rather than slinging guitar. George’s vocals are sweet and jazzy as the keys scale heights and quick runs that the guitar on the original track did.
Here’s what Beck had to say about working with the duo:
The Bird and The Bee bring unforeseen angles to the Van Halen song book. Makes sense because, like Eddie Van Halen, Greg is a kind of musical wunderkind in his own right and Inara’s vocals bring a cool counterpart to Diamond Dave’s pyrotechnics. Making a cameo on their version of “Hot For Teacher” felt like an extension of the kind of riffing and fooling around we do in the studio on a normal session.
The duo is playing a special one-off show at Los Angeles’ John Anson Ford Amphitheater. The performance will feature Justin Meldal-Johnsen on bass and drumming by Dave Grohl, who joined Beck and the Bird And The Bee back in October at a benefit show in LA. (Kurstin also produced the most recent Foo Fighters album.)
Check out the Bird And The Bee’s cover of “Hot For Teacher” below.
01 “Runnin’ With The Devil”
03 “Hot For Teacher”
06 “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love”
07 “Jamie’s Cryin'”
09 “You Really Got Me”
10 “Diamond Dave”
11 “Everybody Wants Some” (Vinyl Only)
Interpreting The Masters: A Tribute to Van Halen is out 8/2 on No Expectations / Release Me Records.