Tracy Bonham Taps New Pornographers to Cook Up ‘Brain Crack’
It's been 20 years since Tracy Bonham took the alt-rock world by storm with The Burdens of Being Upright, her turbulent debut album. The quintessential LP is best known for producing the angsty smash "Mother Mother," which went on to put a significant crack in rock's glass ceiling — it was the last song by a female artist to top the Billboard Modern Rock Chart until Lorde staged a similar breakthrough with "Royals" in 2013. Bonham has released four albums since then, and while none of them have matched the commercial or critical success of The Burdens of Being Upright, the artist's subsequent output has solidified her reputation as one of the most powerful voices of her time.
Come anniversary time, most artists opt for a good ol' reissue, peppered with some demos or one-offs. Bonham, however, has something completely different in mind: a full-scale, cover-to-cover reimagining of the record, titled Modern Burdens. Earlier this fall, with the help of SNL alum (and current Portlandia star) Fred Armisen, the artist launched a crowd-funding campaign for the collection, produced by Late Cambrian’s John N. Wlaysewski and featuring a noteworthy cast of guest appearances: Tanya Donnelly (Belly, Throwing Muses), Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo), Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz, Sad13), Angie Hart (Frente!) and Rachael Yamagata, for starters.
The New Pornographers' Kathryn Calder contributed to the Burdens remake as well, adding vocals to a new version of album highlight "Brain Crack." It premieres right here, right now. Listen below, and scroll down to see who's guesting on what.
If you like what you hear, head over to Bonham's PledgeMusic campaign for the project to chip in. A portion of the proceeds for the campaign, which runs through January 2, will go to GirlUp (a nonprofit benefiting UN programs that promote women's advancement in developing countries), as well as the Woodstock Library.
Here's the original: