The FADER’s transgender charity covers compilation FADER & Friends Volume 1 is out now, available exclusively on Bandcamp until December 1, 2023. 100% of the proceeds go towards the Transgender Law Center, Mermaids, and Rainbow Railroad. Throughout the month of November, we’re speaking to the artists who contributed to the 44-song collection about the songs they covered.
Aussie indie rock band the Go-Betweens may not have had a Midnight Oil-style breakout moment during their time together, but their catalog is still key to their home country’s musical fabric. Their holistic approach to their sound — not quite jangle-pop, sometimes sophisti-pop, maybe a bit of REM — is a lesson that Ducks Ltd., the Toronto-based duo of Evan Lewis and Tom McGreevy, have taken to heart. Their cover of “That Way,” a lesser-known Go-Betweens track, scales the sweeping original down to a lower-fi — but no less sneakily anthemic — cut.
Listen to the song below and buy the full album on Bandcamp. Scroll down to read Ducks Ltd.’s Tom McGreevy on the original song and their cover.
What’s your first memory of this song?
I first properly got into the Go-Betweens through Evan around when we started this band. I think I’d heard the song a couple times, but I distinctly remember it clicking with me when I was walking over the Sterling overpass one day. The way it’s buoyant and melodic while also being this really personal, specific and kind of bitter song that expresses a mingling of resentment and affection for its subject. Some of the imagery is really evocative too. I think it’s a really rich and brilliant bit of songwriting.
Why did you decide to record it as your cover?
Me and Evan really bonded over the Go-Betweens but we come at it from different perspectives. I got into them more recently, whereas Evan, having grown up in Australia, has been steeped in the band, and understood them as essentially national heroes since he was a kid. This is my favorite Go-Betweens song, and Evan liked the idea of covering it as it’s not one of their “bigger” songs (a context I did not understand when I suggested covering it!). I think Go-Betweens fans would maybe expect a band to cover “Cattle & Cane” (the Jimmy Little cover of that one is incredible btw!), or “Streets of Your Town,” so it’s fun to do one that maybe gets a little less shine.
What does this song mean to you personally?
At least in my reading of it, the song is a “song about being in a band,” which by and large is a category of songs that I think fails more often than it succeeds. I think this one really captures something about making music and being friends with other people who make music and the complicated feelings that can arise from that. I struggle to think of another song that does it as well, and I think it also manages to get to some emotional and interpersonal truths that transcend its context.
What’s another song you’d love to cover and why?
It’s Bob Dylan’s “Jokerman” and we are 100% going to do it one day whether anyone wants us to or not!