Half the fun of having The Kills ever hovering in our orbit, is knowing what excellent taste they have. So while we can always count on them for a wicked riff or some really natty threads, we also fully expect them to turn us on to some really cool shit.
To wit, their new single “List of Demands,” a cover of the particularly elucidating song by rapper-poet Saul Williams. The latter has built a cult following on 20 years of illuminating, confrontational hip-hop and fervent activism. The Kills’ version rocks it up, but the message is the same: “I ain’t afraid of you / I’m just a victim of your fears / You cower in your tower praying that I’ll disappear,” Alison Mosshart snarls with absolutely chilling conviction.
The accompanying video depicts an eerie “interrogation” session between her and Jamie Hince. A company of dancers then appears hooded and bound with handcuffs – certainly an incisive statement for our worrying times. Fittingly, the cover art for the 7″ edition is by Shepard Fairey.
“It’s a song of strength and empowerment, rooted in the idea of rising above,” Mosshart most enlighteningly explains. “It was one of those songs you’re almost scared to cover, because it carries so much respect. It wasn’t a straight up love song or a drug song. It was defined, serious, and perfect already. With certain songs, you feel like an intruder trying to sing them, but this one felt like my own.”
If you’ve been missing Jamie and Alison, fear not – they’ll be hitting the road again this spring, starting with a gig at D.C.’ Lincoln Theater on May 14. Williams will share the stage with them August 13 in Los Angeles.