Phoebe Bridgers took on the Metallica hit ballad “Nothing Else Matters” in the latest single from the upcoming The Metallica Blacklist cover album. The 53-track compilation is out on September 10th and coincides with the 30th anniversary of the metal outfit’s seminal album.
Bridgers puts a decidedly personal touch on “Nothing Else Matters”, camouflaging the song with enough of her trademark artistic flourishes to make it sound like a Punisher original. The iconic opening guitar riff is instead translated to a haunting piano phrasing, setting the stage for Bridgers’ understated vocals that—while sparing—convey more emotion than many of the loudest screams.
“I feel like my version almost sounds Baroque,” Bridgers told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. “Literally, James does all sorts of weird octave jumps and stuff that I can’t do, and I almost have a Billie Eilish approach of right by the microphone, performing it the opposite of them, which was really fun to lean into.”
The indie-folk singer-songwriter is one of 12 artists to take on “Nothing Else Matters” for The Blacklist, joining fellow contributors including Miley Cyrus (whose version also features Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo, and Chad Smith), My Morning Jacket, Darius Rucker, Chris Stapleton, and more.
“I’ve always been a big Metallica fan,” Bridgers said. “I think it’s funny, my intro to them was probably way later than so many people who have always loved them. But when I was a teenager, I went to Outside Lands and I definitely knew Metallica songs from video games and stuff, but I went to Outside Lands and saw their set and was like, ‘This is a rock band. It’s kind of a gateway to metal because they’re so hooky and you can hold onto so much of it and it actually can get stuck in your head.’ So that’s what I’ve always loved about Metallica is that they don’t shy away from a great hook.”
Listen to Phoebe Bridgers’ cover of “Nothing Else Matters”, set to appear on The Metallica Blacklist. The compilation is available here for pre-order.
Phoebe Bridgers – “Nothing Else Matters” (Metallica)
[Video: Phoebe Bridgers]
[H/T Brooklyn Vegan]