One of our favorite Vanyaland events in recent years was hosting Western Education and CONTACT for a Halloween covers party at Hojoko in the Fenway back in 2017. West Ed banged out a lively set as The Killers (with CONTACT as The Cure), proving the Lowell alt-rock band knew their way around faithful renditions of familiars as well as their own synth-rock material. Today (April 16), Western Education connect the eras and fill in a few pandemic-age gaps of late with a bursting fit of flattery on Miley Cyrus’ rocket-pop single “Midnight Sky,” taking the OG and coating it in their classic neon-coated sparkle n’ crush.
The “Midnight Sky” cover is now streaming via Spotify, and there’s a lyric video in case you don’t already know the words (for shame). Hit up both down below.
“We decided to cover this song actually at the suggestion of guest vocalist and local artist Allison Jackson,” Western Education singer/keyboardist Greg Alexandropoulos tells Vanyaland. “Back in January she was telling me how great of a record Plastic Hearts was, and how West Ed could cook up a rock rendition of several songs from that album. [West Ed guitarist] Georgio [Broufas] put forward the idea of ‘Midnight Sky’, and we jumped on it. Allison contributed amazing backing vocals to this track, and Georgio’s ripping guitar riffs brought the production to a whole new level. It sounds like it could be an original song of ours.”
And in true pandemic-era style, the cover came together with social distancing in mind, the group and guest singer sharing audio files over the internet, brainstorming over facetime and speaker-phone meetings, and recording their respective parts in their own home studios. Everything was done virtually, and the Western Education’s cover has yet to be performed by the group in the same room together.
“COVID has obviously affected all artists and bands in a big way,” adds Alexandropoulos. “This cover was our way of being creative and active as a band without being able to see each other. The band and I haven’t been in the same room together at all during COVID. It was both equal parts an experiment as well as the only way we can collaborate in the current conditions.”
Maybe we’ll hear this one around Halloween 2021. Regardless, Miley would be proud.