Lucy Dacus has been rolling out her 2019 EP throughout the year, releasing an assortment of covers and originals centered around various holidays. She kicked the series off with a Valentine’s Day rendition of “La Vie En Rose,” celebrated Taurus season and the maternal bond with “My Mother and I,” rang in Independence Day with the ambivalently patriotic “Forever Half Mast” and, most recently, offered homage to Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” on his—and her Boss-superfan dad’s—birthday. Today (Oct. 8), she’s getting us ready for the spookiest season of the year with a cover of Phil Collins’s portentous debut single, “In the Air Tonight.”
Her new version is close to the original, featuring reverb, synths and heavy drums that are a first for a Dacus recording. Her vocals, tender and guileless as ever, only accentuate the track’s vengeful sentiments. The calm with which she delivers lines like “If you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand” is truly chilling. Dacus expounds on the line in a statement, calling “In the Air Tonight” “perhaps the best eerie bop of all time”:
The image in the first verse is so unsettling—watching someone watch someone drown without moving to save them. People have wondered if this is something Phil Collins really witnessed, but the song is actually just a manifestation of his anger and frustration about his divorce. It’s tense, dark, and so much fun, as a good Halloween should be. This was the most fun I’ve ever had in a studio.
The single’s cover art also comes as a surprise after the EP’s previous four, which are nearly identical depictions of Dacus, save for the color of the backdrop and her outfit. Taking inspiration from Collins’ shadowy visage in the original song’s video, this time Dacus is shrouded in darkness, looking quite sinister indeed.
On Twitter, Dacus shared that “In the Air Tonight” might be her “favorite recording” she’s released yet, and announced that preorders are now up for the 2019 EP, which will be available on vinyl Nov. 8:
Matador will also release a new limited-edition clear variant of the Historian vinyl on Nov. 8.
Listen to “In the Air Tonight” and Dacus’ 2016 Daytrotter session below, and check out the 2019 EP cover art and tracklist further down.
2019 EP Cover Art:
2019 EP Tracklist:
1. La Vie En Rose
2. My Mother & I
3. Forever Half Mast
4. Dancing In The Dark
5. In The Air Tonight
6. Last Christmas
7. Fool’s Gold