Punk rockers Titus Andronicus and R&B sleazemeister The Weeknd both had new albums come out recently. Titus Andronicus’ The Most Lamentable Tragedy is a sprawling, ambitious concept album that includes a couple of cover songs on it. Patrick Stickles, the loquacious frontman of Titus Andronicus was on Sirius XMU recently, and he decided to turn his attention to covering another artist, in this case the aforementioned The Weeknd.
Stickles covered “The Hills” one of the singles off of The Weeknd’s recent album Beauty Behind the Madness. “The Hills” was a big hit, climbing as high as No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. It’s an unusual song to be a hit, as it is a weird, dark song, like a lot of what The Weeknd does, but weird, dark subject matter is not foreign to Stickles and Titus Andronicus. Of course they usually take a different, more condemning tack to such topics, but it also makes sense while this song might interest him for the sake of a cover.
He doesn’t merely toss it off, putting some real effort into the cover, and it sounds fairly impressive given that he was in the middle of a stripped down set on a radio program. It may not track as clearly as Titus Andronicus covering Daniel Johnston, but it still works.