The new Todo Muere SBXV compilation celebrates the disparate threads that Sacred Bones has cultivated over these past 15 years by asking artists on the label to cover one another’s songs. It’s an exhilarating, adventurous collection that emphasizes the spiritual unity of the roster. Listening to Todo Muere SBXV feels like sitting down to dinner with a large, unruly, loving family.
One of the biggest aesthetic leaps on the comp is Institute’s gnarled post-punk cover of SPELLLING’s lush The Turning Wheel highlight “Boys at School.” “I’d say we were inspired by her star qualities,” Institute frontman Mose Brown said. “The audacity, uniqueness, and talent poured into that record inspired us as to what’s possible on the Sacred Bones roster.” Guitarist Arak Avakian concurred: “I’d say Mose hit the nail on the head, with the key words being talent and audacity. SPELLLING is altogether inspiring. I am pervasively encouraged by her music.”
Admiration and fandom were recurring themes for artists who recorded songs for the comp. That was certainly the inspiration for Thou singer Bryan Funck, who covered Zola Jesus’s “Night” alongside Emma Ruth Rundle and Mizmor. “Before I knew about Sacred Bones, I was a huge fan of Zola Jesus,” Funck says. Ben Jones of Constant Smiles, one of the most recent signees to the label, had a similar reason for covering Jenny Hval’s “Spells.” “Jenny is a true force to be reckoned with and really elevates music and Sacred Bones to high art.”
Annika Henderson has long been a part of the Sacred Bones family, both as a member of Exploded View and as a solo artist. Her contribution to Todo Muere XV is a cover of Psychic TV’s “Godstar,” which she recorded in tribute to the late Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, one of her biggest inspirations.
Hilary Woods and Marissa Nadler both chose to cover David Lynch, though the songs they chose come from two wildly different parts of the director and musician’s long career. Woods contributed a new version of “In Heaven,” the song the Lady in the Radiator sings in Eraserhead. Nadler chose “Cold Wind Blowin’,” a track from Lynch’s 2013 LP The Big Dream.