bice – Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)

bice (pronounced ‘bee-chay’, like Dante’s heroine) is an artist I’ve only just come across, and so it’s even more shocking and saddening to find that she died last year at the all-too young age of 38. I’m just listening through her songs on YouTube, and many are tremendous: her tiny, waif-like vocals mask some big-boned melodies and real artistic intent. ‘Red Balloon‘ and ‘Cloudy Sky‘ are early favourites.

This cover of Joy Division’s immortal classic is surprising, because I thought any version not sung by Ian Curtis (so, just the original then) would provoke revulsion in me, but the way bice sings it – a really sparse, stripped down sound with a guitar riff that sort of reminds you of the end-of-school bells you get in Japan – you temporarily forget that you’re listening to a cover version.

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