New Rufus Wainwright – “Katonah (The Death Of The Firstborn)”

This track comes from Plague Songs, an album commissioned by the arts organization Artangel and comprising contributions from stalwarts and Stereogum faves including Stephin Merritt, Brian Eno (and Robert Wyatt), and Rufus Wainwright. Each artist was asked to pen a song inspired by one of the ten biblical plagues in the Book of Exodus as part of a film and a larger, public art project in the British city of Margate. Getting flamboyantly-gay Rufus on board may have drawn ire from the faithful, but maybe they’ll forgive him after a listen to his velvety vibrato.

Rufus Wainwright – “Katonah (The Death Of The Firstborn)” (MP3 link removed)

It’s vintage Wainwright, sounding much like the half-time, guitar-based tunes he penned while in rehab that appeared on the awesome Want One. But instead of being about boys, his father, and Britney Spears, it’s about the Bible. Where else do you go after covering Judy Garland?

Plague Songs is out 10/2 in the UK, 11/7 in the States.