Verve Records, original label home of The Velvet Underground, unveils the new tribute album I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico with tracks from Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney, St. Vincent & Thomas Bartlett, Sharon Van Etten (with additional vocals by Angel Olsen) and more. Set for release on September 24.
I’ll Be Your Mirror was overseen and executive produced by Hal Willner, Lou Reed’s dear friend and producer who passed away last year. Willner was a master of the tribute album, with each project he worked on extending the magnitude of the artist or work under consideration. In particular, he very much viewed himself as a primary curator of Reed’s legacy, and the care and love he felt for his friend’s work is evident in every note on I’ll Be Your Mirror. Fittingly – and sadly – it is the last album he worked on.
The 1967 release of The Velvet Underground & Nico, the Velvet Underground’s debut album with its iconic Andy Warhol-designed peel-off banana cover, was a seminal event, kicking off a process of aesthetic infiltration that continues to this day. The record single-handedly redefined the boundaries of what rock & roll could achieve and express, inventing the very notion of alternative rock and laying the blueprint for punk, grunge and every rebellious underground gesture to follow.
While the Velvet Underground’s avant-art credentials are on full display on I’ll Be Your Mirror, Kurt Vile & The Violators’ guitar-charged Run Run Run provides a reminder that they were often also a torrid rock & roll band. Kurt Vile says: “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."
- Sunday Morning – Michael Stipe
- I’m Waiting For The Man – Matt Berninger
- Femme Fatale – Sharon Van Etten (w/ Angel Olsen on backing vocals)
- Venus In Furs – Andrew Bird & Lucius
- Run Run Run – Kurt Vile
- All Tomorrow’s Parties – St. Vincent & Thomas Bartlett
- Heroin feat. Bobby Gillespie– Thurston Moore feat. Bobby Gillespie
- There She Goes Again – King Princess
- I’ll Be Your Mirror – Courtney Barnett
- The Black Angel’s Death Song – Fontaines D.C.
- European Sun – Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney