| A fifth fierce panda covid versions one sheet
The Band: CHINA BEARS
The Release: ‘HACKENSACK’ (by Fountains Of Wayne)
The Format: DIGITAL SINGLE
The Release Date: DECEMBER 11TH 2020
The Digital Link:
The Truth: back in the pandemic-stricken spring of 2020, when the fizzing coronavirus ensured that the playing of gigs suddenly became as practical as the flying of pigs, fierce panda asked its freshly incarcerated acts to choose a favourite tune by a.n.other band with which to rockdown in lockdown. These covers would form the Covid Version Sessions, casual home recordings designed to capture the unsettling mood of the moment, and now those recordings are all seeing the digital release light of day throughout the darkening evenings, soundtracking our way through Lockdown – The Sequel.
Enter West Country alt.rockpop troubadours CHINA BEARS, whose Covid Version of choice was ‘Hackensack’ by U.S. troubadouring alt.rockpopsters Fountains Of Wayne. As lines go, “I saw you talkin’ to Christopher Walken, on my TV screen,” takes some beating, and it encapsulates the chirpy sadness of the ‘Hackensack’ song, all twanging desire and creamy melodies. To add to the emotiveness of the exercise, co-writer and bassist Adam Schlesinger died of Covid complications on April 1st. Here are some thoughts from China Bears guitarist Frazer:
“As a band this is our first attempt at a cover so this was something new and challenging for us. We recorded it all remotely from where we are isolating over lockdown 2 which was also a new experience for us and we’re really happy with how it’s turned out. Our good friends Dan from October Drift mixed it, Jordan from Numen Studios mastered it and even our sister Kizzie helped sing on it. As a teenager I discovered Fountains of Wayne through hearing their song ‘All Kinds Of Time’ on one of my favourite TV shows Scrubs, which lead to me listen to their album ‘Welcome Interstate Managers’ and discovering ‘Hackensack’.
“After hearing about the tragic death of Adam Schlesinger in April I re-listened to that album and ‘Hackensack’ just hit in such a different way, it’s a great song and it resonates deeply with a few of us in the band by having to move back to our home town due to the pandemic after being away for a few years. He was a great songwriter, with an exceptional ability to lyrically capture a mood and feeling into short and catchy pop songs, so it was great to spend some time with this song and create our own version.”
China Bears’ take on Fountains Of Wayne is the fifth of the six fierce panda Covid Version releases in the wake of woozy dreamboats MOON PANDA, who took The Strokes’ ‘Call It Fate, Call It Karma’ outside for a big cosmic cuddle, DESPERATE JOURNALIST’s fearless lunge at ‘The Fear’ by Pulp, and GHOST SUNS’ glowering stab at Nine Inch Nails’ classique ‘Hurt’. A sixth CV tunes from NATIONAL SERVICE is coming soon.
And so contemplative life continues unabated with China Bears baring all, as ever. ‘Hackensack’ is a swift follow up to ‘Jolene’, their third thumping single release of this curiously warped year and which is taken from their forthcoming second EP, due early 2021. During the rockdown lockdown China Bears have been keeping themselves busy elsewhere, delivering sessions and sweet sentiments alike for the likes of Louder Than War, SXSW and the Hanwell Hootie. They have some re-re-rescheduled shows planned for the spring. Fingers crossed we’ll see you here, here and there…
MARCH 4TH 2021 BRIGHTON HOPE & RUIN
(+ Wild Cat Strike)
MARCH 5TH GUILDFORD BOILEROOM
(+ Moon Panda + Softer Still)
MARCH 11TH 2021 LONDON HACKNEY SEBRIGHT ARMS
(original Servant Jazz Quarters tickets still valid)
MARCH 12TH BRISTOL THE LANES