Pharmakon, “Bang Bang” (Nancy Sinatra Cover)

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 04.08.14 in Listen to This

Uh, holy cow. Pharmakon, whose stunning Abandon was one of my favorite records of last year, is best known for delivering scalding blasts of white noise. But she’s re-routed completely for this chilling, straightforward cover of “Bang Bang” (written by Sonny Bono and popularized by Nancy Sinatra). Elements of her sound remain — whomping, digitized percussion; sporadic, metallic scrapes; quick flashes of electronic static — but they’re mostly set dressing. Instead, the backbone of the song is provided by gently-plucked electric guitar and the foreground is occupied by Pharmakon — known to her parents as Margaret Chardiet — actually singing, sighing out the song’s doleful melody wearily and wonderfully. The song is taken from the fourth installment of Sacred Bones’ Todo Muere compilation series, which also features tracks from David Lynch, Marissa Nadler and Zola Jesus and will be released on Record Store Day, April 19.