Lilian Min
September 28, 2015 3:08 pm

Jack Antonoff is a cool dude. His musical work with fun. and Bleachers is reliably anthemic (if you haven’t scream-sang to “I Wanna Get Better,” you’re missing out), and his longtime relationship with Lena Dunham gives us fuzzy feelings. However, his latest project is both a gift to music fans and a totally rad way of approaching the whole cross-gender covers phenomenon.

Terrible Thrills Vol. 2 is a cover album (for Bleachers’ debut Strange Desire), and it features singers like Sia, Charli XCX, Tinashe, Natalie Maines, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Sara Bareilles taking on Antonoff’s ’80s-tinged tunes. His first Terrible Thrills was also a series of covers, for his other musical project Steel Train’s self-titled album, and it features singers like Tegan and Sara, Alia Shawkat, and Scarlett Johansson. If you notice that the artists covering Antonoff’ songs have something in similar, namely their gender, you’d be onto something.

In a lengthy post on Facebook, Antonoff got into why it is that both of his Terrible Thrills cover album have featured only female voices. In short, he’s always writing his music with female voices in mind; in full, you can read his entire thought process below:

Of course, the (free) album is outstanding on its own merits; Carly Rae Jepsen’s bright vocals shine through on “Shadow,” Charli XCX’s “Rollercoaster” gets those angsty Bruce Springsteen vibes down, Sia’s “Like A River Runs” showcases the singer’s sometimes neglected lower range, Tinashe’s “I Wanna Get Better” gives us chills at the key change, and Natalie Maines’ “Who I Want You To Love” brings that country twinge to the album-closing epic. But what’s equally as interesting is the fact that, well, Antonoff aurally identifies with women’s voices, and literally cedes his work to all-female collaborators.

So far as I can hear, there aren’t any pronoun changes (to be fair, his work is not that inherently gendered, its own tacit commentary), and though the production’s mostly unchanged, there’s a real care in the song/artist curation here. It’s not Jack Antonoff randomly assigning female artists to covers; these pairings are deliberate and thought out, and show Antonoff’s real appreciation for women’ voices.

The entire album is out for free via Google Play, and you can stream the entire thing on YouTube as well. If you haven’t listened to Strange Desire yet, do so below, then let the ladies take it away.

Related reading:

The real reason why Ryan Adams re-recorded Taylor Swift’s ‘1989′

Jack Antonoff has a new comedy docu-series (with Lena Dunham!)

Image via Instagram.

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