Listen, I’m as sick of “haunting covers” as the next guy. But sometimes they’re good, and on this past Sunday’s episode of Watchmen, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross made a formidable contribution to the genre with a take on David Bowie‘s “Life on Mars?” While most of Reznor and Ross’ work for the show has dealt in heavy, serrated electronics, the “Life on Mars?” cover is lucid and piano-forward. It was also a perfect ending to the episode, for reasons that are too spoiler-adjacent to reveal here, but which you might be able to guess if you’ve read the comic.
Two volumes of Reznor and Ross’ music for Damon Lindelof’s TV adaption of Watchmen have already been released. A third and final volume, which will include the “Life on Mars?” cover, is due out on December 16. The duo also scored the recent film Waves, from A24. In other Reznor news, the Nine Inch Nails frontman picked up a CMA Award last month for his having lent a sample to Lil Nas X‘s inescapable “Old Town Road;” in an interview with Rolling Stone, Reznor called the track “undeniably hooky.”
Stream Reznor and Ross’ cover of “Life on Mars?” below, and revisit SPIN’s 2010 Q&A with Watchmen creator Alan Moore.