Indie rock outfit Yo La Tengo have announced a new EP Sleepless Night, which will be released on October 9 via Matador Records. This upcoming project will predominantly feature covers of The Byrds, The Delmore Brothers, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Lane, and The Flying Machine, alongside one new original track “Bleeding.”
Their first new cover is of The Byrd’s “Wasn’t Born To Follow,” which was originally featured on their 1968 studio album The Notorious Byrd Brothers. This take on the song captures the twangy country presence of the original, before going into a bluesy guitar solo for a brief moment, before it goes back to its rustic instrumental.
“‘Wasn’t Born to Follow’ was recorded by Gene Holder as part of the sessions that resulted in Stuff Like That There. Dave Schramm on lead guitar,” the band’s Ira Kaplan explained. “I’m sure I heard the Byrds’ song for the first time when my mom took me and a bunch of my friends to see Easy Rider.”
These tracks were originally featured as part of one side of an LP included within a limited-edition catalog, for the LACMA exhibition, Yoshitomo Nara. This exhibition was a retrospective on the titular Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, a longtime Yo La Tengo fan, who collaborated with the group for the exhibit.
The band is set to release a new compilation album We Have Amnesia Sometimes on vinyl on October 15. This project combines 5 songs that the group released back in July. The group also recently held a couple of shows at the Massachusetts MoCA. Their last album There’s A Riot Going On came out in 2018.
Sleepless Nights track list
1. Blues Stay Away
2. Wasn’t Born to Follow
3. Roll On Babe
4. It Takes a Lot to Laugh
6. Smile a Little Smile for Me
Photo Credit: Nathan Edge