Artist News Releases

The National curate all-star Grateful Dead tribute album for charity

By | Published on Friday 18 March 2016

Day Of The Dead

The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner have announced their second compilation for AIDS and HIV charity the Red Hot Organisation, the follow-up to 2009’s ‘Dark Was The Night’. Titled ‘Day Of The Dead’, the 59 track compilation features songs originally by The Grateful Dead re-recorded by over 60 different artists.

Due for release through 4AD on 20 May, the six hour long album took over four years to record and will be released digitally, as a five CD set and as a limited edition vinyl boxset. It’s hoped that the release will have similar success to ‘Dark Was The Night’, which has to date raised over $1.5 million for the charity.

“They’re one of the great, ‘do everything’ bands, take from whatever you want and warp it into something new”, says one contributor, TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, of The Grateful Dead. “I’m sure that some of the space rock and psyche DNA of the band has seeped into what we do”.

“I have worked with a few people whose minds are brilliant and complicated, musically”, adds Will Oldham, aka Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, who appears on several tracks. “There’s something about the Dead that allows these big-brained pickers to just chill the fuck out and feel good about it. There’s basic types of song forms and melodies that I have an affinity for, and the Grateful Dead have helped other people find their ways into these musics. So it isn’t as hard to establish connections with folks out there that might not otherwise share some of what I am digging into”.

Other artists who feature on the record include Mumford & Sons, Justin Vernon, The Flaming Lips, Courtney Barnett, Fucked Up, Perfume Genius, Sharon Van Etten, The War On Drugs, Kurt Vile, Angel Olsen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks, and The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir.

Obviously you’ll have to wait to hear the compilation, but you can check out the original versions of the songs on it in this Spotify playlist compiled by 4AD.