Fruit Bats releasing full-album cover of Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Siamese Dream’ (stream “Today”)
Eric D. Johnson is having a busy year. Not only is he part of the excellent new indie folk supergroup Bonny Light Horseman, he just announced that his long-running Fruit Bats project is releasing a full-album cover of The Smashing Pumpkins' classic Siamese Dream. EDJ says:
In 1993, I was the prime age to be swept up in alternative radio. But truth be told, while I loved Nirvana and Jane’s Addiction, in my heart I was still secretly wearing a hole in my cassette copy of Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits (1974–78). Somehow, Smashing Pumpkins spoke to all sides of me—angsty on the surface but really filled with a kind of Midwest mysticism that spoke directly to my 17-year-old-kid-from-Illinois brain. It’s also the first tape I ever listened to while driving a long distance alone. I’m pretty sure my version of this album is based on subconscious memories of that drive. I played all the instruments on this. And no, of course I’m not going to be able to recreate Billy Corgan’s crushing, epic guitar tone. Nor could I dream of touching Jimmy Chamberlin’s floaty (yet ever-shredding) drumming. This version is all about hazy memories for me, and how Corgan’s brilliant pop hooks can travel through time and exist in any possible instrumental configuration.
It comes out exclusively on vinyl on August 21 via Turntable Kitchen’s SOUNDS DELICIOUS subscription series, and the first cover he released it from it is "Today." He reinvents the song to fit his own melancholic folk style, while keeping the charm of the original intact, and it's pretty great. Listen below.
In other Bonny Light Horseman-related news, BLH's Josh Kaufman contributes to the surprise Taylor Swift album that features co-writing/production by The National's Aaron Dessner and guest vocals by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and arrives at midnight.