Nouvelle Vague Excels in The Art of Crafting Covers

Catch them on Friday, March 31 at Bimbo's 365 Club.

(Photo by Rod Maurice)

Back in college, I used to download music from other students through a shared library that some clever classmate had created a few years earlier. My iTunes library doubled in size as I hoarded albums, most of which I picked at random, judging them based off their titles or the bands’ names.

This is how Nouvelle Vague’s “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” landed there. I had never heard the song before but knew it had some cultural significance because I had a mild interest in vampires. The shadowy, cavernous track quickly became a favorite, and I enjoyed singing along with the vocalist as she apathetically drawled, “The bats have left the bell tower.”

As the years passed, I felt cool whenever the song came up in conversation, because I felt in-the-know even despite not being a goth fan. Little did I know, though, that the whole time I was listening to a cover.

Known for their inventive twists, the French trio Nouvelle Vague has been churning out strange takes on old classics, like a boss nova rendition of “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” since 2003. And even though Bauhaus’ version of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is more lively and chord-filled, I’ve got to admit I’m still partial to Nouvelle Vague’s languid, moody version.

Nouvelle Vague
At 9 p.m., Friday, March 31, at Bimbo’s 365 Club. $35-$40; bimbos365club.com

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