MUZZ Release “COVERS” EP, Live Video of Arthur Russell’s “NOBODY WANTS A LONELY HEART”
December 9, 2020
Muzz Release “Covers” EP, Featuring Songs by Arthur Russell, Bob Dylan, Mazzy Star, and Tracy Chapman
Watch the Band Perform Arthur Russell’s “Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart” at Reade’s Old Kingston Theater in New York
Out Now on Matador
Muzz, the project of Paul Banks, Josh Kaufman, and Matt Barrick, today release “Covers,” a four-track EP which sees the trio reimagine songs by Arthur Russell, Bob Dylan, Mazzy Starand Tracy Chapman. In conjunction, they present a standalone live performance of Arthur Russell favorite “Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart,” a song featured on the EP. The video was recorded during their first-ever, world exclusive live performance, Muzz – Live in Kingston, NY, this past Friday. Filmed at Reade’s Old Kingston Theater in New York, the band were joined by musicians Annie Nero (bass, backing vocals) and Stuart Bogie (saxophone, flute, harmonica, clarinet, keyboard) for a full-fledged rendition of the widescreen sound found on their eponymous debut album, out now on Matador.
Watch the “Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart” Performance
“Covers” is an illustration of the band’s collective inspirations and a sonic testament to the outfit’s musical fluidity as they imbue singular classics with a sense of wonder. The EP opens with a deconstructed version of “Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart,” which shuffles with Barrick’s gentle drumming, Banks’ baritone, and Kaufman’s submerged piano. Bob Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country” swoons with acoustic guitar, slides, and ghostly vocals that slow-burn to a crescendo. Throughout Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You,” Banks’ emotional invocation is set to a backdrop of percussion and arching strings. Their buoyant cover of Tracy Chapman’s “For You” closes the short but powerfully holistic set.
Featuring singles “Bad Feeling,” “Broken Tambourine,” “Red Western Sky,” and “Knuckleduster,”Muzz was born out of longstanding friendship and collaboration. Banks and Kaufman have known each other since childhood, attending high school together in Spain before separately moving to New York. There, they independently crossed paths with Barrick while running in similar music circles. They kept in touch in the following years: Barrick drummed in Banks + Steelz and on some of Kaufman’s production sessions; Kaufman helped on Banks’ early Julian Plenti solo endeavour; various demos were collaborated on, and a studio was co-bought.
Muzz, written, arranged and performed by all three, is dark and gorgeous, mysterious and heartfelt. No matter the sonic direction, Muzz goes there effortlessly and with maximum emotional charge.
Praise for Muzz
“[Muzz] have made a great new album together.” – NPR Music
“Songs build around [Banks] with muted opulence; frequently deployed horns and organs color the margins without overwhelming the music’s essential fragility.”
– New Yorker
“A moody, melodic masterpiece” – SPIN
“A surprisingly comfortable pastiche of the three artists’ distinct sounds, compounding the uneasiness of Interpol, the playfulness of The Walkmen, and the tranquil twang of BLH.” – Flood