Ducks Ltd. – “Head On” (Jesus & Mary Chain Cover) (Feat. Illuminati Hotties)

Ducks Ltd. – “Head On” (Jesus & Mary Chain Cover) (Feat. Illuminati Hotties)

Last year, Ducks Ltd. — jangle-pop connoisseurs and Stereogum comment section faves — released their debut album Modern Fiction, and the Toronto duo are about to head out on tour. Today, they’re announcing a new covers series that they’re calling The Sincerest Form of Flattery, which will come out throughout the rest of the year. First up is a cover of Jesus And Mary Chain’s Automatic track “Head On,” which they recruited Illuminati Hotties’ Sarah Tudzin to sing on.

The band’s Tom McGreevy expanded on his love for covers and their decision to take “Head On” head on in a statement:

I really like covers! If memory serves the first time we did one as a band was when Evan’s parents came to visit Toronto from Australia and we had a show while they were in town so we learned a song called “Before Too Long” by Australia’s poet laureate Paul Kelly (who for those who don’t know him is sort of like Australia’s Bob Dylan/Bruce Springsteen/Elvis Costello all rolled into one very beloved guy). We’ve kept doing them live, both sincerely (The Go-Between’s “That Way”) and as something of a goof (Tom Petty’s “American Girl”), ever since and every time we do one we feel like we learn something about songwriting and arranging that makes us better at making our own music. This project is kind of an extension of that exercise, and as a band who obviously wear our influences on our sleeve a bit, it’s a fun way to share some stuff we’re into.

The original “Head On” is total a classic. The lyrics are just so brilliant in an understated kind of way, but I actually started thinking about covering it after listening to the Pixies’ cover of it on Trompe le Monde (which is the best Pixies album, don’t @ me). They really kick the shit out of it, in a totally different way than The Jesus and Mary Chain do, and it made me desperate for a chance to sing it, and also got me thinking about ways you could adapt the vibe of it to make it fit into our world a bit. Sarah Tudzin has an immense and powerful production/mixing mind and one of my favourite singing voices of anyone doing stuff right now, so we asked her if she’d be down to work on it with us and she helped us figure out how to make all the pieces fit together. Truly a high honour! She also persuaded us to record our guitars through actual amplifiers for the first time ever, rather than going straight into the box like we normally do which feels momentous! Amplifiers! Who knew!

Listen below.

03/22 Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall
03/24 Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
03/23 27 Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Festival
03/29 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater*
03/30 Kansas City, MO @ recordBar*
03/31 Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line*
04/01 Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall*
04/02 St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway*
04/03 Indianapolis, IN @ Hi Fi*
04/06 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups*
04/07 Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace*
04/08 Montreal, ON @ Bar Le Ritz *
05/04 London, UK @ Moth Club~
05/05 Manchester, UK @ Yes~
05/06 Leeds, UK @ Headrow House~
05/09 Birmingham, UK @ Hare & Hounds~
05/10 Southampton, UK @ The Joiners~
05/11 Oxford, UK @ The Jericho Tavern~
05/14 Cardiff, UK @ Clwb For Bach~
05/15 Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade~
05/16 London, UK @ Moth Club~
05/18 Paris, FR @ Supersonic~
05/19 Brugge, BE @ Villa Bota
05/20 Amsterdam, NL @ London Calling
05/22 Luxembourg, LU @ Rotondes
09/07 Dublin, IE @ Workman’s Cellar
09/08 Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast
09/10 Edinburgh, UK @ Sneaky Petes
09/11 Leeds, UK @ Headrow House
09/13 Manchester, UK @ YES
09/14 Birmingham, UK @ Dark Horse
09/15 London, UK @ Windmill Brixton
09/16 Brighton, UK @ The Green Door Store
09/17 Bristol, UK @ The Crofters Rights
09/20 Cardiff, UK @ Clwb Ifor Bach

*with Nation of Language
~with illuminati hotties

Ducks Ltd.’s “Head On” cover is out now.

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