Olivier Libaux Uncovers Queens of the Stone Age

Corbis/Geraldine Petrovic

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Olivier Libaux
Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age
Music for Music Lovers

France’s Olivier Libaux is one of the leaders of the group Nouvelle Vague, which specializes in lounge-tinged covers of such New Wave oldies as “I Melt with You” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Here he trains his revisionist eye on a current artist, turning down the heat in similar fashion on a dozen Queens of the Stone Age originals with the approval of Queens mastermind Josh Homme (who is not otherwise involved).

Nouvelle Vague albums sometimes seem like high-concept (albeit amusing) gimmickry, but Uncovered works nicely. In contrast to the Queens’ hard-rock stomp, the understated arrangements underscore the dramatic melodies, while the 11 women enlisted to sing mostly evoke a sense of alluring retro cool, even if Libaux’s mellow settings tend to blur the chanteuses’ differences.

In any case, standouts include Guatemala’s Gaby Moreno, Ambrosia Parsley of Shivaree, Iceland’s Emiliana Torrini (sounding less Bjork-like than she often does on her own albums), and especially Inara George (The Bird and the Bee). George is the only vocalist who performs on two tracks, and her studied detachment on “No One Knows” and “Hangin’ Tree” might induce chills.

Libaux could probably have a field day with other unlikely source material. What’s next? A Hank Williams tribute maybe?

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate