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'Heart Like a Wheel' by Marrow

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Marrow: An Unlikely Cover, Graceful And Masterful

Marrow: An Unlikely Cover, Graceful And Masterful

'Heart Like a Wheel' by Marrow

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The dark San Francisco dance-pop trio Marrow covers Kate and Anna McGarrigle's "Heart Like a Wheel." Michael Friel hide caption

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Michael Friel

The dark San Francisco dance-pop trio Marrow covers Kate and Anna McGarrigle's "Heart Like a Wheel."

Michael Friel

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Heart Like a Wheel"
  • Artist: Marrow
  • CD: Sunshine Enema
  • Genre: Dance-Pop

It's remarkable that Marrow, a dark San Francisco dance-pop trio that mixes sardonic lyrics and whip-cracking beats with a cheerfully jaded attitude, manages a graceful, masterful cover of cult songwriting duo Kate and Anna McGarrigle's "Heart Like a Wheel." It's even more remarkable that, alongside contentious Marrow-penned songs such as "Use Me" and "Impotent Hack," this deceptively spare folk song is easily the most nihilistic track on the disc.

Vocalist Erin Fortes, unchained from the dance beats, displays a well-trained voice that infuses the McGarrigles' plainspoken, quietly chilling words with sweet resignation: "They say that death is a tragedy / It comes once and it's over / But my only wish is for that deep dark abyss / 'Cause what's the use of living with no true lover..." Fleshed out with a bit of piano and long, creaky cello lines, "Heart Like a Wheel" closes with the refrain, "It's only love and it's only love" stretched out to infinity, each repetition wearier and prettier than the last.

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