It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Spark’s music expert and legendary L.A. radio DJ Nic Harcourt to weigh in on what new music he’s got on repeat at the moment. Below, he shares his newest picks added to his Spark Radio playlist and shares a spotlight on his favorite earworm of the week.
New This Week:
The Killers: Dustland (feat. Bruce Springsteen)
Ambar Lucid: Un Animal (Divina Existencia)
Idris Elba, Eliza Legzdina: Fudge
Angelique Kidjo: Flying High
Leon Creek: Call It A Day
Dresage: Wild Sea
Leon Bridges: Why Don’t You Touch Me: Part 1
Kings of Convenience: Rocky Trail
La Luz: In The Country
Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real: Wildest Dream
SPOTLIGHT: The Killers: Dustland (feat. Bruce Springsteen)
As the Covid pandemic was beginning to unfold in the Spring of 2020, Brandon Flowers, the frontman of The Killers, was at New York’s JFK International Airport, getting ready to fly home to Utah, when he got a text from Bruce Springsteen who revealed that he was a fan of the band (“You have become one hellacious live band, my brother! Love the gold suit!”). The boss revealed that the band’s 2008 track “A Dustland Fairytale” was his favorite Killers tune and added “We gotta do ‘Dustland’ one day.” The song, from the band’s third album, Day & Age, was written as a tribute to the lead singer’s parents, as his mother battled brain cancer; she died a few years later. “It was an attempt to better understand my dad, who is sometimes a mystery to me. To grieve for my mother,” Flowers wrote on his socials. “To acknowledge their sacrifices and maybe even catch a glimpse of just how strong love needs to be to make it in this world. It was my therapy. It was cathartic.”
Flowers told Rolling Stone that Springsteen has greatly influenced him as a musician and that’s why he wanted to collaborate with “The Boss.” “I attribute my discovery and absorption of his music with helping me become a more authentic writer,” Flowers said. “He helped me to see the extraordinary in everyday people and their lives. And in this case, it was my parents who were under the microscope. Their faith and doubts, their search for salvation in the desert. It sounds Biblical. It also sounds Springsteenian.” “It means a whole lot to get a text from Bruce,” Flowers added. “Let alone an appearance on a song of ours. He’s living, breathing American royalty.” Bruce, he continued, “has written a lot about people like my parents and found a whole lot of beauty in otherwise invisible people’s hopes and dreams. Their struggles, and their losses. I’m grateful to him for opening this door for me. I’m grateful to my parents for their example to me. Now go find something new out about your dad, give your mom a big hug, and for god’s sake listen to Bruce Springsteen.”
The new version of the song “Dustland” finds Springsteen and Flowers reworking the track, trading lines as Springsteen’s trademark gritty seasoned vocals fit remarkably well alongside Flowers’ younger vibrato. Both songwriters are known for lyrics that paint clear pictures in their material, and “Dustland” does just that: “Is there still magic in the midnight sun / Or did you leave it back in sixty-one / In the cadence in the young man’s eyes.” Check out the music video — it was filmed at Provo’s Velour Live Music Gallery with Springsteen’s part filmed and recorded remotely from New Jersey.