The world of King Ropes is founded upon an abundance of distinct influences and the unusual pathways that tie them all together. Led by Dave Hollier, the Bozeman, Montana-based band is apt at illuminating the complicated processes by which connections are made between various inspirations and the personal experiences which feed the creativities of everyone involved. Instead of adhering to one musical aesthetic, the group wanders through genres without any specific destination — though the resulting sounds aren’t listless or meandering; they feel invigorated by the freedom of movement this approach affords them.
Whether the band feels slightly punk-ish, more classic rock-oriented, or simply wants to lay back and enjoy some acoustic rambling, their work is marked by an effortless rhythmic revelry, a fluid examination of the tones and textures which dot the landscape of their shared histories. In keeping with this sense of repurposed influence, the group is set to release their new covers record, Go Back Where They Came From on May 22 via Big and Just Little. Within the span of 12 tracks, they adapt the music of Al Green, Arcade Fire, Beastie Boys, Talking Heads, and many more. It’s a curiously affecting and heart-worn look at then internal mechanics of the band’s musical alchemy.
“Most of what I know about songwriting I’ve learned by covering other people’s songs,” Hollier explains. “But I’ve never been interested in copying the original version of a song. The covers I love to hear are when someone takes a great song, and makes it into something new.”
And that’s exactly what Hollier and the band do on their latest single “Girls Like Us”, a track which was initially released by Brooklyn band Tandy on their 2007 album To a Friend. Rather than try to mimic the original’s fervent introspection and its emotional expanse (King Ropes trim their version by half), this take is a beautifully elegiac acoustic saunter through haunted recollections and the ghosts that inhabit them, paired to Hollier’s unique voice and the band’s ability to evoke unfathomable depth and perspective. Occupying the same melodic space as Purple Mountains or Lambchop, the song sways with an inherent grace and echoes through the deep chambers of your heart.
Check out Tandy’s original version below.