Well isn’t this nice. Similar to when his band Steel Train re-released their 2010 album using the vocal talents of Scarlett Johansson, Tegan and Sara, and Amanda Palmer, Jack Antonoff has corralled a murderer’s row of vocalists to help him cover the entirety of his new Bleachers album, Strange Desire. Called Terrible Thrills Vol. 2, the new drop features some NYLON faves including Sia, Tinashe, Carly Rae Jepsen, Charli XCX, and even Antonoff’s designer sister, Rachel Antonoff. Solid!
Want an explanation? Okay. Let’s let Jack take care of that.
“I love female voices. I wish I had one. When I write songs, I typically hear things in a female voice and then match it an octave lower so I can hit the notes. That’s why so many Bleachers songs are sung so low. I could change the key, but I like things sounding like a male version of what in my head was a female-sung song. I’ve always written this way. So with that in mind, I wanted to release a version of my record that spoke to how it was written and the ways I originally heard it in my head before I recorded and sang it. I think it’s important for people to know where the songs come from and why the songs come out sounding the way they do. I hear my music as my interpretation of a song I’m writing as a female in my head, so I wanted to make that a reality with the artists who inspire me to write in the first place.
“I first had this specific idea six years ago when I was making the third Steel Train album. That’s why this is Volume 2—because Volume One [was] the self-titled Steel Train album. The Terrible Thrills concept is something I see being a thread through different bands and projects I do. It’s non-specific to any band or record—it just speaks to the way I hear music. I think every record I make should have a female companion record to go with it.
“The process making this was all over the place. Some artists fully recorded and recreated the versions, some I worked with them on. The collection is a completely bizarre thing for me to listen to, because it feels so personal to how I write. It feels like the part of my process that I’m supposed to keep to myself or something, and hearing it in headphones is utterly strange and wonderful.
“One more note on TT is that this is and was always meant to be free for everyone to hear. This project took a year and tons of recording sessions, and through that, we all felt very proud that something as intense as a full album could be given to the people who bought the original work as a further look into it. I’ve loved how the Strange Desire record cycle has grown and changed constantly over the past year and a half. As I write this from the studio where I’m making the second Bleachers album, I see Terrible Thrills as the final chapter for Strange Desire. Okay—enjoy it!! Talk soon.”