LISTEN & SHARE: Guards – “Everything I Wanted” (ft. Madeline Follin)
“With their explosive version of the track coming to life with infectious guitars and catchy drum beats,
the heart of this cover and all the other tracks on the album is find joy during the dark days.”
NYC Indie rock stalwarts Guards have shared a cover of The Cure‘s “Just Like Heaven,” the second single off their brand new covers album, More Cover Songs, due August 2 via CGR.
Speaking on their latest single, Richie Follin writes:
“The Cure has always held a special place in my heart. They were the first concert I took my little sister to and they played for almost 4 hours. It was hard to pick which of their songs to cover, but I happened to turn on the radio in a rental car, and ‘Just like heaven’ came on so I took it as a sign. I love the constant building of melodic layers in the song and the lyrics are some of Mr. Smith’s best.”
Guards started recording this covers album at the beginning of the pandemic, and found it to be a never ending task of pure enjoyment during the dark days.
“We made a long long list of songs we would like to try and some proved easier to make our own than others, but in the end the album ended up consisting of the songs we thought we were able to shape in to our sound. The problem with covering songs by bands that really influence us is they end up sounding quite similar to the original haha. This was one of the most fun albums I have ever made because essentially you are celebrating these artists you love and it reinforces the whole reason we love playing music in the first place,” said Follin of the covers album.
Recorded partly in LA at Follin’s home studio and partly in NY at Loren’s studio Diamond Mine. The album was mixed by Adam Thein in Austin, Texas.
As of late, Richie has been focusing his energy on a feature film project, and Loren recently co-produced the forthcoming Arctic Monkeys LP and tracks on Lana Del Rey’s last two albums. But this covers LP brought them back together as a labor of love.
Guards formed in New York City when Richie Follin finished a European tour and went to a recording studio. He began writing and recording with his sister’s band, Cults, and he ended up singing the songs. They put the songs on the internet and began to get show offers, so he formed Guards, consisting of himself, Loren Humphrey, and Kaylie Church. Follin and Humphrey were originally of the band The Willowz. The trio caught the attention of 3 Syllables Records and they released their eponymous debut EP on the label in 2010. They released their first single, “Resolution of One,” on Small Plates Records in December 2010. The single was re released in May 2011, on Kitsuné Music, with B-sides “Hear You Call” and “Swimming After Dark.”
NPR stated the band has “a sound deconstructed through the minds of musicians who look more to memories than they do to the future, and in the process find something that sounds like a new discovery.” Dazed and Confused had this to say about the band, “the songs are uncompromisingly raw harnessing pessimistic heartache to craft tracks about birth, death and any emotional malaise you might experience in between.” The Guardian simply stated, “It’s pretty fucking impressive.”
The band released their first full length album In Guards We Trust in 2013. The Wall Street Journal touted the record as “one of the years best albums,” and Pitchfork proclaimed “…slack verses with palm-muted guitars give way to a monster chorus delivered with the confidence that tells you Guards know they have a hit on their hands.” NME would refer to the band as “Cali reverb scuzz kings,” and NPR stated, “At a time in music when pop, rock, country and hip-hop acts all strain to create anthems that will inspire sing-along devotion in large-size audiences, Guards — a band that’s only been around for a few years and has released comparatively little music — is already well on its way to giving the anthem form more interest and gravitas than musicians with far more experience.” Stereogum added in their review of the album, “…widescreen indie-pop garnished with epic hooks and hum-along melodies…[the album] takes a simple new-wave riff and builds layers upon it, reaching soaring, cinematic climaxes on the chorus, showcasing singer Richie Follin’s yearning vocal, always in service of the song’s central and indelible hook.” The Los Angeles Times proclaimed, “Guards toy with loud-soft dynamics, and touch on pastel harmonies and thick, almost ‘60s garage rock riffs, but it’s the back and forth between keyboardist Kaylie Church and Richie Follin that sets the group apart.” IFC premiered the band’s video for “Silver lining” and stated, “It’s a boisterous and driving track that shows Guards doing what it does best: Making raucous rock with a retro edge and undeniable appeal.”
Guards toured worldwide the entire year in support of their debut album opening for such acts as Queens of the Stone Age, MGMT, Two Door Cinema Club, Deertick, and playing such festivals as Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Primavera Sound.
Their song “I know it’s you” was featured in the FIFA 14 video game, and their song “Silver lining” is the official theme song for BIG 10 college football.
2019 brought the return of Guards with their second full length album entitled Modern Hymns. Brooklyn Vegan wrote of the album: “Modern Hymns and finds them with a little more focus on synths but still making catchy, anthemic pop…”. Under The Radar wrote, “Follin’s welcoming his first child into the world during the recording heavily contributed to the new focus and lyrical concerns.” The album received heavy airplay at college radio stations such as KEXP, and the single “Take my mind” was named Top 5 songs at KCRW that year.
Guards then reunited with indie French powerhouse label Kitsune in 2020 to release 2 singles entitled “So it goes” & “Life is a war”. Throughout the pandemic they have been working on new music including a new covers album to be released this summer entitled More Cover Songs
More Cover Songs – TRACKLISTING
01. Just like heaven (The Cure cover)
02. Judy is a punk (Ramones cover)
03. Ghostrider (Suicide cover)
04. All I have to do is dream (Everly Brothers cover)
05. My moon mom man ft. Cornelia Murr (Feist cover)
06. We gotta get out of this place (Animals cover)
07. Devil’s haircut (Beck cover)
08. White light White heat (Velvet Underground cover)
09. I found a reason (Velvet Underground cover)
10. Everything I wanted ft. Madeline Follin (Billie Eilish cover)
11. Go all the way (Raspberries cover)
12. Suicide is painless (MASH theme)