On May 20th, 4AD will release Day of the Dead — a celebration of the Grateful Dead’s music created and curated by brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National. Today 5 of the album’s 59 tracks have been made available via instant grat with album pre-order, on streaming services and accompanied by a series of videos directed by Michael Brown, Nick Ciontea, and Christopher Bartlett.
The five songs shared today include the first new music from The War on Drugs since 2014’s critically-acclaimed Lost In The Dream with a cover of the Grateful Dead’s 1987 hit ‘Touch of Grey’. Phosphorescent and Jenny Lewis combine with the backing of the in-house band (featuring 4/5 of the National) that contributed to numerous recordings on the compilation, to cover 1971’s ‘Sugaree’. Former Grateful Dead member Bruce Hornsby collaborates with Justin Vernon and DeYarmond Edison, Justin’s reunited first band including Phil and Brad Cook and Joe Westerlund of Megafaun, for ‘Black Muddy River‘. Courtney Barnett puts her characteristic slant on ‘New Speedway Boogie’, off the back of numerous accolades for 2015’s GRAMMY-nominated album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. For today’s final taste of the full album, The National cover Bonnie Dobson’s ‘Morning Dew’, a Grateful Dead staple since 1967, one of two songs that they contributed to the compilation.