The Swedish hit-makers’ 1975 single gets a “haunting rendition”
Last year, Adrian Utley revealed that Portishead were “really enthusiastic” about recording a new album – which would be their first since 2008’s Third. While there’s been no updates on the project, fans can at least look forward to hearing the band’s unlikely cover of ABBA’s SOS.
The track was recorded for the soundtrack of the forthcoming film High Rise, which is based on J.G. Ballard’s 1979 novel of the same name. The film reportedly includes two interpretations of the song – one by the film’s composer Clint Mansell, and the second by Portishead. In an interview with LA Times, the film’s director Ben Wheatley explained: “The idea of it is really that kind of cultural echo, where you hear something and then you hear it again in a different context… By the time you get to the second playing of it, everything’s broken down and the actual lyrics were speaking directly to the movie.”
“The idea of the party version and then the Portishead version, you have a definitive sonic representation of the degradation of the system,” Mansell explained. “My version was born from swinging party music, string arrangements of contemporary music, and then you have the definite mood change by the time you have the Portishead version.”
High Rise screens at London Film Festival this weekend. Enjoy the original version of SOS below.