Phoebe Bridgers has brought a pained whisper to what she called her “Baroque” cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters.” The song appears on the upcoming charity compilation The Metallica Blacklist, which drops September 10th digitally and in physical editions on October 1st.
Bridgers’ track features production from Tony Berg and Ethan Gruska, the latter of whom is responsible for playing the haunting piano line. This lends “Nothing Else Matters” a dark classicism, which is furthered by the haunting screech of Rob Moose’s strings.
“It was just so fun to take a part in it,” Bridgers said in conversation with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. “I feel like my version almost sounds Baroque. Literally, James [Hetfield] does all sorts of weird octave jumps and stuff that I can’t do, and I almost have a Billie Eilish approach of right by the microphone, performing it the opposite of them, which was really fun to lean into.”
You might think Metallica — a heavy rock act that peaked in popularity before Bridgers was born — would land outside of her usual listening habits. But you’d be wrong.
“I’ve always been a big Metallica fan,” she said. “I think it’s funny, my intro to them was probably way later than so many people who have always loved them. But when I was a teenager, I went to Outside Lands and I definitely knew Metallica songs from video games and stuff, but I went to Outside Lands and saw their set and was like, ‘This is a rock band.’ It’s kind of a gateway to metal because they’re so hooky and you can hold onto so much of it and it actually can get stuck in your head. So that’s what I’ve always loved about Metallica is that they don’t shy away from a great hook.”
Check out her take on “Nothing Else Matters” below. Other recent previews of The Metallica Blacklist included Volbeat’s “Don’t Tread on Me,” J Balvin’s “Wherever I May Roam,” two versions of “Sad But True” from St. Vincent and Jason Isbell, and Miley Cyrus’ star-studded “Nothing Else Matters” that featured Sir Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo.
As for Bridgers, next month she’ll be hitting the road on a 2021 tour. In November, she’ll appear on the bonus tracks for Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version).