Always ones for surprises, Oklahoma psychedelic heroes, The Flaming Lips, have teamed up with a 13-year-old fan, Nell Smith to deliver us an album of Nick Cave covers. Entitled, Where the Viaduct Looms, it is set for release on October 25th, and as a teaser, they have given us a rendition of Cave’s 2016 track, ‘Girl in Amber’.
Smith is a massive fan of The Flaming Lips, and first got into their fantastical world of all things weird and wonderful when she attended a show of theirs three years ago. She soon became a regular, and as she managed to get front-row spots quite often, she swiftly caught the attention of frontman, Wayne Coyne.
Smith and her father exchanged numbers with Coyne and they stayed in touch. Before too long, the idea of a covers album was brewing. It was produced in the pandemic and recorded remotely.
In a statement, Coyne said, “It is always great to meet excited, young creative people. With Nell, we could see she is on a journey and thought it would be fun to join her for a while and see if we could get things going. It was a great way to connect with her and help harness her cool attitude to making music.”
Smith appended, “I still really can’t believe it, it was hard to get through all the songs but Wayne was so encouraging when I was struggling with a few of them that I kept going. It was a really steep learning curve. I hadn’t heard of Nick Cave but Wayne suggested that we should start with an album of his cover versions, and then look at recording some of my own songs later. It was cool to listen and learn about Nick Cave and pick the songs we wanted to record.”
‘Girl in Amber’, was actually the first track Smith and the Flaming Lips recorded, and on it, the teenager assumes the role of lead vocalist. Together they have changed the sold from its original ballad incarnation to a sugary pop jam, featuring the band’s classic echoing guitar sound.
In what is set to be a busy end of the year for The Flaming Lips, they are scheduled to pursue a mammoth world tour in November. Furthermore, Coyne has dipped his feet into the world of business again and has launched his own brand of cannabis.
Listen to ‘Girl in Amber’, below.