Spencer Krug and Okay Kaya Release Covers For Jagjaguwar’s 25th

Today, with the double release of Spencer Krug’s rendition of Jad Fair’s “Red Dress,” and Okay Kaya’s stark reimagining of R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming,” Jagjaguwar offers listeners a brand new chance to Join The Ritual. Out September 24th, Join The Ritual is the third of four uniquely-conceived albums that Jagjaguwar has been unveiling on a quarterly basis throughout 2021, in honor of its 25th Anniversary. On this latest installment, the record label dives deep into the origins of its past quarter-century, paying homage not only to Dungeons & Dragons, but to the artists and fellow labels that inspired Jagjaguwar founder Darius Van Arman and partner Chris Swanson to take a seat at the table and enter this wild, dark magic ritual of music. 

Each song on Join The Ritual is one that initially captured the Jagjaguwar imagination, and has now been commemorated with special covers by artists, alumni and close friends of the label. Angel Olsen, Bruce Hornsby, Cut Worms, Jamila Woods, Nap Eyes, Pink Mountaintops, S. Carey, The Besnard Lakes, They Hate Change and more deliver their own interpretations of formative tracks by Smog, Dinosaur Jr., Simon Joyner, Tracy Chapman, Built to Spill, Teenage Fanclub, Low, Slint and Stereolab, first released by record companies like Drag City, Too Pure, Touch & Go and other iconic, independent institutions. Find the full lineup below. 

Listen to “Red Dress,” where Wolf Parade and Moonface’s Spencer Krug overdubs his voice and piano over Jad Fair’s original claps and vocals; and “Nightswimming,” arranged, produced and performed by Okay Kaya: https://jagjag.co/red-dress-nightswimming 

“I wanted to try something with ‘Red Dress’ because the lyrics are so carefree and whimsically romantic; a mood I was craving during the tail end of the pandemic,” says Spencer Krug. “Since the original is basically just vocals and percussion, I thought an interesting approach to ‘covering’ the song would be to lay down my own vocals and piano on top of what Jad Fair was already doing. It was something I’d never tried before, but I think the process yielded some harmonically interesting results, especially within the blend of the two vocal tracks.”

Jagjaguwar previously shared Bruce Hornsby and Jamila Woods’ takes on Dinosaur Jr.’s “Feel The Pain” and Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” respectively. Check out both tracks here, and pre-order Join The Ritual on glowing orb vinyl HERE.

While the word “Jagjaguwar” stems from a Dungeons & Dragons name generator, each edition of the label’s 25th Anniversary series, Jag Quarterly, is titled by a mantra of its past. From forming a powerful fusion with Bloomington-based record company Secretly Canadian in the late 1990s, to cultivating communities and familial relationships with superhuman artists and their most treasured collaborators, Jagjaguwar has grown through the belief in ritual as a conjoining practice – an idea also epitomized in Dungeons & Dragons (read more in Paul La Farge’s September 2006 essay for The Believer). 

Join The Ritual follows previous Jag Quarterly endeavors This is a Mindfulness Drill, which united Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Moses Sumney, Perfume Genius, Sharon Van Etten and Emily A. Sprague in a full-length tribute to Richard Youngs’ Sapphie, and the inaugural Dilate Your Heart, showcasing the poetry of Bloomington’s Ross Gay alongside new music from Bon Iver, Mary Lattimore, Angel Bat Dawid, Gia Margaret and Sam Gendel.

Details on the fourth installment, Sentimental Noise, will be revealed soon. Follow along and discover more in the XagXaguVar zine: http://xag.jagjaguwar.com

Join The Ritual Tracklist
Spencer Krug – “Red Dress” (Jad Fair)
The Besnard Lakes – “Good Morning, Captain” (Slint)
They Hate Change – “The Seeming and The Meaning” (Stereolab)
Angel Olsen – “Cold Blooded Old Times” (Smog)
Bruce Hornsby – “Feel The Pain” (Dinosaur Jr.)
Jamila Woods – “Fast Car” (Tracy Chapman)
Nap Eyes – “Car” (Built to Spill)
S. Carey – “Weight of Water” (Low)
Pink Mountaintops – “The Concept” (Teenage Fanclub)
Cut Worms – “One For The Catholic Girls” (Simon Joyner)
Okay Kaya – “Nightswimming” (R.E.M.)