The Flaming Lips emerged from COVID lockdown to play space bubble shows beginning in January, and that isn't all they've been up to. They also collaborated with a 13-year-old fan, Nell Smith, on an album of Nick Cave covers. CBC News reports that the collaboration began when Nell went to see the Lips for the first time almost three years ago, when she was 10. "I thought their shows were really cool, really interactive with the crowd, everyone sings along and it just makes it a different experience," she told CBC News.

After that, Nell begged her father, Jude Smith, to take her to see them again, and she became a regular at Lips shows, standing at the rail in a parrot costume, and finally catching the attention of Wayne Coyne. Jude and Coyne exchanged phone numbers, and Coyne and Nell eventually became friends. "I think he liked the fact Nell threw herself into it," Jude told CBC News.

Coyne invited Nell and her family to Oklahoma to record with them, but the trip wound up getting cancelled because of COVID. Instead, Coyne invited Nell to cover Nick Cave songs and email them to him, to have he and the band record the backing. Coyne told CBC News that he chose Cave because Nell wouldn't know or have preconceived notions about him. "I think Nell and I just wanted to start to make some music and see what would happen," he said. "Doing cover songs is a fun way to get things rolling along."

Nell wound up singing nine Nick Cave covers, and the Lips are working on producing an album of them now. You can watch a video of the first, "Girl in Amber," below.

Meanwhile, the Lips released their 16th album, American Head, last year, and they're scheduled to begin a non-space bubble tour supporting it in November.

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