Back in 2003, English indie rockers British Sea Power were asked to contribute a cover of their choice to a commemorative Rough Trade compilation. “We all love The Smiths and The Fall and Mazzy Star,” says lead guitarist Jan Scott Wilkinson, “but we thought something by them or ARE Weapons might be too obvious.” Instead, the band turned in a pair of Galaxie 500 tunes, “Tugboat” and “Strange.”
Only “Tugboat” made the cut in 2003, but for the new reissue of their acclaimed debut The Decline of British Sea Power — and the accompanying “Decline-era Rare and Live disc” — the band have finally shared their version of “Strange” (originally from On Fire, one of SPIN‘s 300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years). The cover doesn’t stray too far from the original arrangement, but it’s a bit faster, a bit tighter, and features a subtle underscoring of keys and hushed backup vocals.
Stream BSP’s version of “Strange” right here, and pick up the deluxe reissue of The Decline of British Sea Power — along with various booklets and B-sides — at the band’s website.