With a special limited-edition lathe-cut 10” vinyl release of his latest EP “Midterms” out in August, Tod Lippy presents the video for “Adam”, as premiered via Americana Highways.
“Adam” is a cover of one of Lippy’s favourite songs of the past decade, a bonus track on (Sandy) Alex G’s 2012 album “Trick”. The original song is a propulsive, vaguely ominous take on a child bully’s obsession with his victim, which Lippy turns into a poignant ballad about obsessive love.
“There is something tragic about someone being so tied up in knots psychologically that they are compelled to torture the person they love”, says Lippy. “My goal with the cover was to hone in on the sadness and to a certain extent queerness of that situation by reinterpreting the original track almost as a lament, with a beautiful cello riff contributed by Serafim Smigelskiy (Tesla Quartet)”, he explains.
The music video for “Adam” takes one short sequence from a 1952 educational film called “The Bully” (yet another treasure he has culled from The Prelinger Archives of ephemeral films) and then repeats it as a sort of visual mantra, meant to evoke the obsessive nature of the abuser’s attachment to his victim. With the visual, Lippy also gives props to structural filmmakers like Michael Snow, Bette Gordon, and Peter Kubelka.
The video and single release of “Adam” comes as Lippy releases a limited-edition of 50 lathe-cut 10” vinyl of ‘Midterms’, following the digital release of the EP in July. Acclaimed artist Steve Keene, perhaps best-known for his iconic album art for bands like Pavement, The Apples in Stereo, and Silver Jews, has painted 7 different covers on chipboard sleeves for the 10” vinyl release of Midterms. The paintings include Keene’s interpretations of the EP’s original cover along with 6 images corresponding to each track on the release, including one for “Adam”.
Lippy has consistently covered other musicians’ songs in the past—his earlier covers have included memorable takes on tracks as diverse as Book of Love’s “Boy” and Bing Crosby’s “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams” and the single release of “Adam” sets the path for the release of his first album consisting solely of covers.
On November 4th, Lippy will release “Closer Than They Appear”, featuring interpretations of music by Low, Alan Parsons Project, Beth Gibbons, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, American Music Club, The NoTwist, and others. “I only cover songs that have packed an emotional punch for me at different parts of my life,” Lippy says. “That process of listening to something I love over and over again, while at the same time trying to absorb the lessons the artist is teaching me about how to craft a beautiful song, is almost a forensic exercise. At a certain point, I find I’m able to pull back a bit and get to work hopefully creating something that both honours the original and takes it into new territory for both myself and the listener”, he further reveals.