Just as we were ready to write 2020 off completely, Class Actress returned in December with a seductive comeback single called “Dark Dopamine Ceremony”. It recalled the Elizabeth Harper electronic-pop project’s early years, and welcomed key member and in-house producer Mark Richardson back in the fold. More music was promised for the New Year, though not a lot of details were given.
Today (March 9), we’re given another jolt of new Class Actress material, and they have a warm familiarity at play: Sense Memory is a new three-track covers EP, and it finds Harper taking her shot at classics across four decades: The Smiths’ classic indie-pop bouncer “Ask”; Mazzy Star’s woozy ’90s ballad “Fade Into You”; and The Weeknd’s modern classic “The Hills,” which is probably the most sinister mainstream hit of the past thousand years.
It’s obviously very enticing to hear the sexiest voice in electronic-pop raise a glass to Hope Sandoval, and we’ll take Harper over Morrissey any day of the week, but the real shine here is in the throbbing Weeknd cover, where a breathless Harper dances her angelic vocals over a scintillating electro vibration that flutters on the brink of calm pop chaos. Her subtle lyric changes are pretty adorable too (you’ll catch them immediately), and the tweak to the title “The Hills (Bring On The Weekend)” is a fun callback to the 2011 Class Actress single we all used to get dressed to a decade ago.