Los Angeles-based indie band Draag have announced a series of song covers, offering up their unique take on tracks by artists as eclectic as Throbbing Gristle, Vinyl Williams and Pinback. Today we’re excited to premiere their cover of the early-era Pinback track “Loro.” The group stay true to the core structure of the laid-backed, rhythmic pop song while changing it up enough to make it their own.
“Loro,” which was released by Pinback on their 1999 self-titled debut, is defined by its complex, arpeggiated guitar riff. Draag don’t really mess with that part of the song, keeping the backbone intact. However, right from the get go there are new keyboard elements deep in the mix which provide a unique new texture that wasn’t present in the original’s relatively austere recording style.
Draag frontman Adrian Acosta gently sings the lyrics in a style similar to that of Rob Crow’s in the original, soothingly delivering the lyrics in almost a whisper. The instrumental breaks between verses is where the electronic flourishes stand out, giving the song a little bit of an uptempo momemtum boost.
“There was an usual period right after high school when this empty feeling would run through my body like a wave,” said Acosta. “I had never experienced anything like it. It would scare me – so in a panic, I would go for a drive and park underneath a street light in the middle of the night. I had a broken CD player and inside it was Pinback’s self titled album. I did not own a smartphone/iPod, so that album was forcefully on rotation. One specific night that numbing feeling was weighing heavy, so I went for a drive and parked at my usual spot. The second I got there, ‘Loro’ came on and a wave of emotion hit me while sitting there motionless looking into the neighborhood. A very similar feeling started to arise during quarantine when we had to cancel our tour / plans for the year due to covid. I felt it was an appropriate time to cover the song in hopes of escaping my empty body. It was quite a weird and chilling experience.”
In February Draag released an EP titled Clara Luz, which was produced by Torche’s Jon Nuñez. It followed their 2018 EP Nontoxic Process. Acosta is trained as a mariachi singer and his father is an established Norteño musician and has played shows with Reggie Watt, Vinyl Williams, Goon, Young Jesus and more. The band features members from a diverse range of musical influences, including jazz, no-wave and punk, creating a familiar but fresh sound.