Amythyst Kiah continues to show the range of her ability and influences with a solo acoustic cover of Joy Division’s post-punk classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart” that was released Friday. It’s the Tennessee artist’s latest release since putting out a Moby remix of her hit “Black Myself” in 2021.
The nervy, danceable rhythm of Joy Division’s original recording is nowhere to be found here — instead, Kiah re-creates the classic bass guitar melody as part of her acoustic guitar accompaniment. As a singer, Kiah is worlds apart from the dark tone of Ian Curtis, belting each line with conviction and adding some of her own embellishments to deepen the anguished feeling of loss.
“‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ really resonated with me; [Ian Curtis] was dealing with a failed relationship and mental health issues, and he unfortunately took his own life at the age of 23 to escape from his pain,” Kiah tells Rolling Stone. “I know all too well what it’s like to lose a loved one under similar circumstances. As he rests in peace, this beautiful song lives on. Tragedy and beauty are two sides of the same coin, and this song exemplifies that.”
Kiah released her Rounder Records debut Wary + Strange in 2021 and it landed on Rolling Stone’s list of Best Country and Americana Albums. In early February, she’s set to perform at Brandi Carlile’s Girls Just Wanna Weekend in Riviera Maya, Mexico, alongside Sheryl Crow, Indigo Girls, and Yola.