Post-Summer Sound: Lifestyle team up with Sarah Rabdau for a seductive cover of Thomas Dolby’s ‘Cruel’


Last week we premiered a collaborative cover of “Stay,” the Shakespears Sister track that was recreated in both audio and video from by Sarah Rabdau and Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’s Sophia Cacciola. Now comes some more cover treatment from Rabdau, who releases her new record with Self-Employed Assassins tomorrow night at T.T. The Bear’s Place on a double-release bill that also welcomes the bouncing baby birth of DNFMOMD’s “By Hook Or By Crook” double single.

Here on Thomas Dolby’s 1992 post-“Science” song “Cruel,” Rabdau adds the vocals to a cover from Boston synthpop veterans Lifestyle, who — wait for it — are also playing tomorrow night’s show in Central Square (in addition to Bent Knee, who clearly need to raise their covers game). What a tangled web we weave.

But this one goes back a bit. Rabdau and Lifestyle first started working on the track last winter, but the electronic band’s participation in the Rock N Roll Rumble and eventual transfer of band HQ and studios from Allston to Somerville put the squeeze on any plans for release.


With tomorrow’s show fast approaching, Lifestyle posted the cover tonight for free download or streaming pleasures. It’s a seductive number that updates Dolby’s atmospherics and gives the entire vibe a modern feel; Rabdau as Eddi Reader, the original vocalist, is pretty faithful, and it’s a welcome touch.

Sean Drinkwater of Lifestyle has also teased out the news that there are more than 30 covers in the band’s vault, all around 80 percent completed. Following up covers in recent years by Joy Division, David Bowie, and Scott Walker, the new re-boots could be released as a unit sometime next year.

In the meantime, Lifestyle is nominated for Electronic Artist of the Year in the 2013 Boston Music Awards, a part of a very tight field including Case & Point, Bearstronaut, Andre Obin, and Casey Desmond. You can vote for your favorite artist until December 2.

Lifestyle Cruel