It initially seems like an odd step for my new, favourite purveyors of ultra-chic, hi-concept, cinematic, alt-pop to cover my home town’s most famous musical son, but once you get your head around the idea you realise that there is a lot of wonderful warped, psychedelic middle ground. The common zone on this very specific Venn Diagram is a fascinating place, one that sees Fassine bring new textures, depths and subtleties to an already unique piece of music.
If XTC’s original saw the band pushing the boundaries of the acid-laced, sunshine pop that has always close to Andy Partridge’s heart, Fassine remain true to the spirit of the original, the music evocative of the titular wave and awareness of that wave being an analogy for the overwhelming power of love. And whilst it would be sacrilege to wander off of the beaten track too much and to presume that the track could benefit from any major musical reassessment, what Fassine do is pay homage to a band that they clearly love and add their chiming electronica and the slick musical lines that are the hallmark of their music.
I’m not normally one for covers, but this comes from the heart, is reverential and is the perfect way to bring XTC to a new audience, this song is 25 years old and I’m sure there are fans of Fassine who weren’t even born at the time that Nonsuch, the album that brought the song to the world, was released. And you can tell that the choice of this as a cover is right when both the sound of XTC and Fassine seem to mingle in effortless fashion, blurring the lines between the original and the modern revisit.
If you are going to cover a song, do so for the right reasons. That Wave in its slightly new but ultimately familiar trappings is back for all the right reasons.