Indie folk singer-songwriter Steve Gunn has a new record, The Unseen In Between, coming out on Friday, and Gunn has shared a pair of new tracks ahead of the album’s release. For Aquarium Drunkard‘s Lagniappe Sessions performance series, Gunn covered two classic tracks: English singer-songwriter Michael Chapman’s “Among The Trees” and The Misfits’ “Astro Zombies.”
Gunn has collaborated with Chapman before, but the Misfits cover might seem a bit surprising, since Gunn tends mellower than The Misfits’ brash punk. Gunn explained his selection on Aquarium Drunkard’s site, and his admiration for the band actually makes a lot of sense:
“Misfits were my first favorite band when I was a teenager. There’s a certain pop sensibility to their songs, and Glenn Dazing’s Elvis-like yodeling is actually quite melodic. For a punk band, I think he was one of the better singers. Their songs are also very catchy, which helped ingrain almost every lyric into my young mind. The ‘horror business’ aspect to their lyrics was a bit campy, which gave them some innocence to my little Catholic schoolboy ears, unlike some of the other punk and death metal coming through my little foam headphones. I decided to cover ‘Astro Zombies’ in a kind of ‘country blues’ style to make an attempt to lighten the lyrics a bit, but I think it did the opposite. It’s an apocalyptic anthem, with zombies coming to pillage the earth, etc. Focusing on the lyrics and singing the words slowly gave the song a new heaviness. Listening back to this slowed down version, I realized that it’s pretty damn relevant to our current times. It wasn’t really my intention in my homage to the Misfits, but after the fact, it makes sense.”
Steve Gunn’s new record, The Unseen In Between, is out this Friday, January 18 via Matador. Pre-order the album here. You can listen to Gunn’s Chapman and Misfits covers over on Aquarium Drunkard’s website.