Music

A ‘Velvet Underground & Nico’ tribute album is on the way with all our favourite artists

Even better, this Velvet Underground tribute features Iggy Pop, Kurt Vile, St. Vincent, Courtney Barnett and more.

We can hardly wait for this stunning musical tribute to The Velvet Underground & Nico to be released on 24 September, just in time for beautiful spring days.

The infamous record producer (and late) Hal Willner, who has produced albums by musicians like Marianne Faithfull, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Allens Ginsberg, helmed the tribute before his passing.

Cover of the music tribute album I'll Be Your Mirror
Image: Supplied

Verve Records only just revealed the exciting upcoming tribute album, very adequately named, I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico. Matt Sweeney, Thomas Bartlett, and Sharon Van Etten also feature on the tracks, including additional vocals by real-life angel, Angel Olsen. If you’re a diehard fan, you can pre-order the album here.

Or if you can’t possibly wait this long, Verve Records has given us a piece of the cake to nibble on for now with the release of the album’s debut track – a cover of Run, Run, Run by Kurt Vile & The Violators.

As usual, Vile and his band have absolutely hit the nail on the head with this awesome cover, accompanied by an equally awesome music video. The video is an Andy Warhol-esque graphic art sequence with a modern spin on it.

This release features autographed items – including unique vinyl such as test pressings signed by Kurt Vile – available here.

Kurt Vile
Image: Supplied

The intelligent Vile, a musician who embodies a lot of the Velvet Underground attitude, said that The Velvet Underground formed a watershed moment for many artists.

“I literally covered Run Run Run when I was a kid. In my late teens with my band at the time.  So it was pretty cosmic, let’s say. There is a direct connection to certain indie bands and beyond w/ the Velvets. That’s why the Velvets are a classic.

You know it can have doo-wop in there and things like that, but it can also have this jagged noisy thing, and it immediately let me feel like I could do anything.  The possibilities are endless.   You’re completely free. Unapologetic and effortless.”

Very fortunately Hal Willner, the executive producer, oversaw I’ll Be Your Mirror last year before he passed due to complications influenced by COVID. And rightfully so, as he was also Lou Reed’s dear friend. Each project that he worked on for the album extended the magnitude of the artist, or work under consideration. Particularly, he saw himself as a primary curator of Reed’s legacy.

Their loving and caring friendship is evident in every part of I’ll Be Your Mirror. It was the last album he worked on.

I’ll Be Your Mirror indicates the kickoff for a fortified campaign of Velvet Underground activity for this year. The tribute album was conceived in 2017, the same year that Todd Hayes signed on to direct the highly anticipated film The Velvet Underground, which just premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

Haynes’ first steps in the doco world have unsurprisingly received rave reviews already. The film is a Polygram Entertainment and Apple original film with association with Federal Films, a Motto Films, and Killer Films production. Get ready for its global debut on 15 October on Apple TV+ and select theatres!

The original album The Velvet Underground & Nico was released in 1967 and is recognised thoroughly today with its album cover alone: the iconic Andy Warhol-designed peel-off banana. It was a seminal event and ignited a long-lasting aesthetic that has extended to today and beyond.

The record embroidered the revolution of the ’60s which redefined what rock and roll could achieve and express. It is part of the root system of alternative rock that we know today, with its traces in punk, grunge, riot grrrl, and political underground gesture to follow.

Verve Records are celebrating the release by donating to Amnesty International USA, which Velvet Underground founder Lou Reed was an avid supporter of. It’s a global grassroots organisation of millions dedicated to advocating human rights for everyone.

The Velvet Underground were beyond their time and paved the way for so many in the arts, and will do so for decades to come. Long live VU!

 

I’ll Be Your Mirror is out September 24th via Verve Records. Pre-order or pre-save your copy here.