Music

PREMIERE: ‘Psycho Killer (Noir Version)’ by Madam Bandit

Psycho Killer (Noir Version) introduces Madam Bandit to the global stage. Part alter-ego, part second-coming, this track is a wide-screen epic, taking the original to new heights.

Madam Bandit (aka Mindy Gledhill) has a deeper backstory than most. Born into a large family that was part of an early-American Christian sect, she was married as a teen and quickly became a mother. Still, she pursued her musical goals, attaining success and releasing several albums under her given name.

Madam Bandit is Gledhill’s alter-ego, born from a period of faith deconstruction. Taking on a significantly different character — in both visual and sonic aesthetic — Psycho Killer (Noir Version) is more than just a cover of the Talking Heads anthem, it’s a complete reimagination.

Madam Bandit

‘Noir’ is the operative word here. From the sparse, tentative entry of the piano (with bass notes ominously rumbling) to decaying vinyl crackles and Madam Bandit’s breathy and intimate delivery of those immortal opening phrases, you’re immediately plunged into a brooding soundscape.

But there are glimmers of light. When the chorus first emerges, a quasi-choir arrives in tow — a warped autotune filling the octave below before blooming with a delicate harmony above the lead. From then on, it’s pure cinema: pounding war drums, increasing rhythmic energy in the vocal arrangement, with a climactic and adventurous key change in the bridge.

 

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It’s an intoxicating interpretation of a song that many know well. And as Madam Bandit explains, it has special significance:

“There was never permission to allow myself to have a shadow side, let alone to explore it. Recording this cover of Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer was a sort of personal permission to sit with some pretty dark feelings that I had swept under the rug during my youth.”

Psycho Killer (Noir Version) will appear on Madam Bandit’s forthcoming EP, Punch You In the Face.