Black Kite Debuts Exclusive Cover of a Yaz Songblack kite. Photo: Alex Barber
It’s never lost on me how crazy talented Houston’s music scene is as of late. Last year while eating dinner with two members of dark electronica act black kite, I got to hear a song that sounded familiar and completely different at the same time. The three piece took a recreational trip to New York, or I thought it was recreational, to catch the immersive play, Sleep No More, which seemed cool and inspirational for anyone and I didn’t question it. What most people didn’t know was that they also stopped off at Red Bull Studios and decided to record a track. That song, a cover of the Yaz classic “Winter Kills,” is one of the most progressive things I’ve ever heard though someone’s iPhone speakers — and also one of the most beautiful at the same time.
Usually when a band covers a song they tend to make the exact same song with their singer’s vocals and that’s about it. Of course, like everything else the group does, black kite took the track into a new direction by reinterpreting the song while still keeping the core of it intact. What transpires is a song that sounds closer to a modern interpretation of an old electronica track more than anything else. For most of you, there’s a good chance that you have no clue who Yaz was, but for Vicki Tippit of black kite, the group has always been a source of inspiration. Aside from the fact that black kite chose a track that wasn’t a single and not even very popular, then completely re-imagined the track is a testament as to how the dark electronica band does things far and away from pretty much how everyone else would do things. The way in which the mix of Tippit’s vocals, birdmagic’s electronics, and James Templeton’s drums meld together to create a whole new way for the almost forty year old song to exist, is pretty magical.
The track, found exclusively here, is a great example of how future black kite is in their approach to everything they do. While they finish recording their sophomore release, due in late summer or early fall, check this song out and then look up the original version. I’m pretty sure you’ll realize that even while covering a song that’s older than most of you, black kite still finds a way to sound completely ahead of most acts in their genre, even when the song they’re performing isn’t one of their own.