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Lorde Unveils ‘Take Me to the River’ Cover for Talking Heads Tribute Album: Stream It Now

There may still be a couple days left until Easter, but the Lorde has been resurrected. The 27-year-old singer-songwriter finally returned Thursday (March 28), nearly three years after she dropped her last studio record, Solar Power, to release her version of Talking Heads‘ “Take Me to the River,” becoming the third artist to cover the rock band ahead of A24’s Stop Making Sense tribute album. 

The new track finds Lorde channeling the effortless coolness of David Byrne as she croons over a sauntering bass line and plucky percussion. “I don’t know why I love you like I do/ After all the things that you put me through,” she sings. “The 16 candles burning on my wall/ Turning me into the biggest fool of them all.” 

The “Green Light” artist also penned a nostalgic note to fans recalling the moment she first discovered Talking Heads in 2008, describing herself as “twelve years old, eyes painted black, jaw blasted with acne” watching an old video of Byrne and bassist Tina Weymouth performing “Take Me to the River” on TV. The group — which also consisted of Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison — reached No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979 with their version of the track, which was originally performed by Al Green. 

“I feel a portal open between me and the screen,” Lorde wrote, setting the scene. “Humour, lust, rhythm and ritual course through me. I don’t understand what I’m feeling, but I do understand that the band in the grainy video live with the same strangeness that I do. My palms tingle. My insides are replaced.” 

The Grammy winner also explained that she wanted her cover to invoke the same untamed youthfulness she felt in the moment she first watched Byrne perform. “We did it fast, I didn’t let myself tidy it up too much,” she wrote of the track. “It had to feel young and imperfect.” 

Lorde’s cover follows Paramore’s take on “Burning Down the House” and Teezo Touchdown’s rendition of “Making Flippy Floppy.” All three songs will be featured on A24’s upcoming Everyone’s Getting Involved: A Tribute to Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense music compilation, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the group’s iconic 1984 Stop Making Sense concert film.  

Listen to Lorde’s version of “Take Me to the River” below. 

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