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Andrew Leahey & the Homestead Cover Echo & the Bunnymen's "Lips Like Sugar" (premiere)

Photo: Chad Cochran

Andrew Leahey & the Homestead give Echo & the Bunnymen's hit single "Lips Like Sugar" a lick of heartland paint.

Prior to the creation of his sophomore album, Airwaves, Andrew Leahey underwent a risky brain operation that could have cost him his life. The LP is a response to his situation as much as it is a vow to live in the moment and an ode to his favorite rock anthems of the 1980s that he listened to while growing up. Leahey and his band, the Homestead, command Airwaves with an atmospheric heartland style reminiscent of the likes of Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen. Effortlessly capturing an undeniable blue-collar sound, Leahey's contemporary disposition brings something new to his take on roots rock.

Leahey is also debuting a studio cut of a cover song on his 1 March release. Renovating the ethereal English rock of Echo & the Bunnymen's hit single, "Lips Like Sugar", into something more akin to he and the Homestead's definitive Airwaves style, the cover is billed as an American reworking of the classic song.

Leahey tells PopMatters, "I've always been a massive fan of rock & roll music from the 1980s. Songs sounded so big back then. That said, I somehow managed to avoid hearing 'Lips Like Sugar' until a few years ago, when my band was touring through Texas. Miles and miles outside of Lubbock, I awoke from a backseat nap to find my bandmate barreling down the interstate in our van, blasting this song at full volume. I remember thinking, 'I hope we don't crash right now, because I absolutely need to learn how to play this.' We've been playing it ever since."

"There's something about the size and scope of 'Lips Like Sugar' that feels like home to me. We've never released a cover song before, but this one felt right. It felt like a salute to an era that helped inspire our new album, Airwaves. Since we'd already been playing it during our shows, we recorded it live, with everyone tracking their parts at the same time."

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