Following his pretty great cover of Shane MacGowan’s “The Song With No Name” last week, Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen has released a similarly inspired take on a tune from another musical icon. This time it’s the Talking Heads latter-day hit “Road to Nowhere,” which he recorded for an Amazon-produced compilation of modern artists covering road trip songs.
Leithauser also gave a funny quote to Entertainment Weekly, which premiered the song, about his Talking Heads fandom:
“When I was doing this song, I realized there really isn’t any other band in the world that I’ve tried to rip off more than the Talking Heads in my career — and [have] had basically zero success,” the Walkmen singer tells EW of his connection to the Talking Heads. “There’s been more four-tracks in my life that have been called ‘Talking Heads Ripoff 1,’ ‘Talking Heads Ripoff 2,’ or ‘Talking Heads Guitar,’ ‘Talking Heads Drums,’ and it’s never worked out. I’ve never sounded a thing like them. But there’s no band I’ve tried to sound like more.”
It’s true! Great as they are, the Walkmen utterly failed at this very particular goal of ripping off the Talking Heads. They don’t sound a thing like them. And Leithauser’s version of “Road to Nowhere” continues this proud tradition, thoroughly reimagining the song as an emotive late-night singalong backed by honky-tonk piano. Hear it below.