In its original form, ’Til Tuesday’s eternal ’80s song “Voices Carry” was a lesbian breakup anthem.
“The title track was originally written and sung by Aimee (Mann) as if to a woman,” remembered producer Mike Thorne about helping craft the original version, which debuted in 1985. “The record company was predictably unhappy with such lyrics, since this was a very powerful, commercial song and they would prefer as many of its components as possible to swim in the acceptable mainstream. I wasn’t certain what to think about the pressure to change the gender of the love interest, but eventually thought that it didn’t matter any to the impact of the song itself.”
Indeed, as ’Til Tuesday’s song, “Voices Carry,” written by Aimee Mann when she was in her early twenties, would go on to peak at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100.
More than thirty years and countless cover versions later (we’re partial to this ’80s-styled and gothed-out take offered up by Sky Ferreira), Kat Myers has breathed new life into the timeless tune by stripping it down to the elements. Chiming guitars and a driving beat propel it into entirely new territory.
“I hadn’t heard the song in years, and then all of a sudden I’d turn on the radio, and it would be on,” Kat Myers recalls in a press statement when asked about the inspiration behind her version of “Voices Carry,” a song that was released around the same time she was born. “I’d walk into a store, and there it was in the background. It was stalking me.”
A native of Ohio, Myers moved to Los Angeles in 2014 for the purpose of turning music into a career. It wasn’t long before she was fronting her first band, Kat Myers & the Buzzards. By 2018, the outfit had shared bills with the likes of Ween, Andrew Bird, and Deer Tick, and had played festivals including High Sierra and Joshua Tree.
Over the course of 2018 (which she terms as “a crazy year, to say the least”), however, Myers was ready for something entirely different.
“I suppose sometimes you need to go through gut wrenching life shifts along the way as you step into yourself. I’m realizing that it’s a process that takes time, and for me is paving the way towards finding my true, authentic sound as an artist. I moved from Venice to Echo Park, which, you know, in LA music terms is akin to venturing across the globe. I’m really starting over, and it’s a process that has to happen on my own.”
Myers’ new direction is marked by her reinterpretation of “Voices Carry,” sidestepping many of the more obvious components of the original to craft a truly unique version of Mann’s song: “I’ve been writing and writing, and reflecting, and writing some more, but it became clear that this cover would be my first release.”
She brings the track full circle by utilizing an all-female squad to create her fresh new take on it.
“I found myself surrounded by extremely gifted and inspiring female artists this year,” Myers revealed, referencing the team that came together to make it happen: Australian musician Jess Cornelius on backing vocals and rhythm guitar, Liv Slingerland on lead guitar, Elizabeth Goodfellow on drums, and Allee Futterer on bass.
“In the wake of the #MeToo movement, there has grown this unspoken bond between women,” Myers insists. “In an industry that has been traditionally male dominated, it was refreshing to all of a sudden realize that us women can converge together, and elevate one another.” FL