Now if you had been frequenting this site towards the end of last year, you might remember that I wrote about the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter BETS, who quickly came to attention with the release of her critically applauded debut effort Days Hours Night. In the blogosphere age, artists have to strike quickly and while the iron is hot — and building upon the buzz she had received, the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and producer initially planned to write and record new, original material when the two collaborators discovered that they shared a mutual fondness of Violent Femmes‘ 1983 self-titled, breakthrough debut. And reportedly, within a few minutes, BETS along with her producer decided that the album of original material should be put on hold for a bit, to allow them some time to write and record an her soon-to-be released Violent Femmes tribute album, in which she re-imagined and reworked the original material into haunting and dreamy shoegaze.
BETS’ Violent Femmes album’s first single was a slow-burning rework of “Blister in the Sun“in which guitars were fed through layers of distortion, fuzz and feedback paired with gently padded drumming and BETS’ dreamily distracted vocals to craft a version of the song that slowly pulls apart the song’s familiar melody and chorus in a way that’s both ethereal and moody. The album’s latest single is a radically different rendition of “Gone Daddy Gone”/”I Just Want to Make Love to You” that nods at David Lynch and 60s bubblegum pop as twinkling percussion, shuffling drumming and dramatic bursts of guitar are paired with BETS’ coquettish and bratty vocals. Whereas the original possessed a neurotic and urgent need, BETS’ rendition sounds how I would imagine someone like Nancy Sinatra doing it — swinging and sensual as hell.