The Kills shared an old live cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ 1956 classic, “I Put A Spell On You,” just in time for Halloween. It will be released on an upcoming compilation called Little Bastards, due December 11 via Domino.
Their rendition of the rhythm & blues tune replaces the keys and horns of the original with a distorted guitar and machine gun-like glitch effects. Vocalist Alison Mosshart shouts the lyrics in a loose imitation of Hawkins’ infamously drunk performance, but the instrumental part of the cover differentiates it more from the original. Asides from the switch to electric guitar and effects, added live drums create a different kind of tension compared to Hawkins’ drumless version.
It was recorded during The Kills’ tour in May, 2009. A video edited by Mosshart compiles clips from three fan videos of them playing the song during their shows in Portland, San Francisco and Pamona. Tour lighting flashes over the dark stages and the cuts between clips set the atmosphere of the video.
“I Put A Spell On You” is the second song the duo have released in advance of Little Bastards. The first was “Raise Me (Demo),” a late 2000s bluesy garage rock demo, recorded closest to the time that their 2008 album, Midnight Bloom, came out. It was released along with a similarly season-appropriate low budget horror-themed music video earlier this month.
Little Bastards is a compilation of archival demo recordings and rarities from when they first started recording in 2002, up through to 2009. At 20 tracks, it will give fans plenty of material to listen to. Their last album was 2016’s Ash & Ice, known for its use of drum programming and their hits “Doing It to Death” and “Heart of a Dog.”
Photo Credit: Alyssa Fried