Popular Music (Parenthetical Girls + Prudence) cover Neil Young to benefit black trans protesters
It's been a while since we've heard from Parenthetical Girls leader Zac Pennington, but he's now back with a new project, Popular Music, which is a duo with Prudence Rees-Lee (who also records simply as Prudence). Their first release will be Popular Music Plays In Darkness, "a 12-track reimagining of songs from 20th century cinema that was conceived when the pair met in Los Angeles, and was recorded in a turn-of-the-century barn in a secluded corner of upstate New York." The album's expected to come out this fall, and we're premiering the cover of Neil Young's "Philadelphia" from the soundtrack of the 1993, Jonathan Demme-directed, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington-starring drama Philadelphia, a film which fought against homophobia and has been considered Hollywood's first serious movie about AIDS.
"In the Summer of 2019, we drove out of Los Angeles en route to our new home — a 19th century barn in Nowheresville, New York," Zac says. "We'd been there once. The few people we've spoken with since tend to inquire about our motives in varying tones of confusion and concern, and since neither of us had a particularly good answer, we've since taken to telling people that we'd 'lost our son.' Suffice to say, we don't have many friends."
"We left Los Angeles with the better part of this album recorded, but after stumbling upon a long-coveted Optigan organ in the Berkshires, we decided to add one more song. It's probably sacrilege to say this, but 'Philadelphia' is my favorite Neil Young song. We both literally cried just working out the chords. This recording documents the sound of a mournful ghost trapped in an old wooden barn in the woods."
Popular Music's cover is even more haunting and bare-bones than the breathtaking original, and Zac's voice remains as unmistakable as ever. Listen to both the regular version and the instrumental version below. Proceeds from the song will benefit the Black Trans Protesters Emergency Fund "across all platforms for the foreseeable future."