Verve Records has announced I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground and Nico (Sept. 24), a star-studded covers compilation featuring Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney, St. Vincent & Thomas Bartlett, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen, The National’s Matt Berninger, Courtney Barnett and more offering their renditions of each track from the band’s all-timer of a 1967 debut album. Lead track, Kurt Vile & The Violators’ “Run Run Run,” is out now along with a visualizer.
Recent Verve signee Vile said of the cover in a statement:
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.
Overseen and executive produced by the late Hal Willner, I’ll Be Your Mirror is the last album that the legendary producer (and dear friend of Lou Reed) worked on before his death due to COVID complications last year. Safe to say this tribute to the Velvet Underground was in the best of hands.
“The VU are a fundamental part of Verve’s history, and their fearless approach and musical integrity continue to inspire all of us at the label,” Verve head Jamie Krents said. “We were so lucky to partner with the late Hal Willner to pay tribute to the band’s iconic first album. It’s an absolute honor to have every one of these artists on a Verve recording and we hope this album finds a welcome place in the record collections of VU fans new and old.”
The Velvet Underground, widely regarded as one of the best rock bands of all time, are having a big year: In addition to I’ll Be Your Mirror, they’ll also be immortalized in Todd Haynes’ Apple film The Velvet Underground, which just had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Haynes’ first foray into documentary filmmaking, The Velvet Underground will debut in theaters and on Apple TV+ on Oct. 15, alongside a Randall Poster- and Haynes-curated soundtrack, forthcoming via Republic/UMe.
Hear Vile & The Violators’ “Run Run Run” below and see the full details of I’ll Be Your Mirror further down. You can preorder the tribute record right here.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground and Nico Tracklist:
01. Sunday Morning – Michael Stipe (3:50)
02. I’m Waiting For The Man – Matt Berninger (3:44)
03. Femme Fatale – Sharon Van Etten (w/ Angel Olsen on backing vocals) (4:43)
04. Venus In Furs – Andrew Bird & Lucius (6:55)
05. Run Run Run – Kurt Vile & The Violators (6:59)
06. All Tomorrow’s Parties – St. Vincent & Thomas Bartlett (4:52)
07. Heroin – Thurston Moore feat. Bobby Gillespie (7:24)
08. There She Goes Again – King Princess (3:29)
09. I’ll Be Your Mirror – Courtney Barnett (2:27)
10. The Black Angel’s Death Song – Fontaines D.C. (3:12)
11. European Son – Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney (7:45)
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground and Nico Album Art: