Canadian duo Orson Wilds cover Phoebe Bridgers’ “Kyoto” (listen)
Canadian duo Orson Wilds (Brianna Bordihn and Eric Reid) make festival-sized poppy indie with a slight emo/punk edge (think somewhere between Manchester Orchestra, Silversun Pickups, Grouplove, etc), and they're signed to producer Will Yip's Black Cement Records, which launched in 2017 with the release of Tigers Jaw's spin and later put out Citizen frontman Mat Kerekes' solo album Ruby. So far they've released two songs ("Stand Up" and "Mothers Daughters") and they're expected to release their debut album later this year. While you wait for more details on that, they've released a third song, a cover of Phoebe Bridgers' instant-classic "Kyoto" off last year's Punisher.
"Phoebe Bridgers is the ultimate apocalypse music," Eric says. "It feels deeply personal and introspective but there’s also a level of nihilism and despair, which is frankly, everything I look for in an artist. Punisher was such a perfect soundtrack for the last year and it helped both Brianna and myself get through some weird shit. 'Kyoto’ feels like the outlier on the album and felt the least voyeuristic to cover in terms of subject matter. It’s like a rock song, but super nuanced and not necessarily mixed the way you’d expect a rock song to be mixed, which is a huge part of what makes it so affecting. We approached it from a different angle and tried to keep it as live feeling as we could. We kept our takes to a minimum and sped it up a bit, I think it took like 4 hours to record."
Orson Wilds' cover does indeed have a bit more of a live rock band approach than the original, but they mostly stay pretty faithful to Phoebe's version and they sound genuinely great doing it. The song and its performance video premiere in this post, and you can check that out below.
Phoebe also just released her own new version of "Kyoto" (featuring Jackson Browne) yesterday.