Karen O has covered Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” for an Amazon Prime original series, because nothing says “alt-rock” like Amazon. All kidding aside, it’s an excellent cover. Hanna, which arrives on the streaming service on Sunday, February 3rd, is based on the 2011 film that starred Saoirse Ronan as a teenaged assassin.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer gives the Pumpkins’ 1995 classic an electro-goth makeover that feels very much like the kind of thing an angsty young killing machine would have in their AirPods. Her version replaces the original song’s iconic descending bassline and crashing guitar chords with cold synths and negative space, leaving room for her to flex her signature scary-cool vocal presence. She really makes you feel the rage/cage vibes.
Karen O released another song from the Hanna soundtrack, the acoustic “Anti-Lullaby,” earlier in January. This spring, she’ll return with Lux Prima, a full-length album recorded as a duo with Danger Mouse. Her last major project before that was Milano, the underrated 2017 LP she made with Italian composer Daniele Luppi and Parquet Courts. She has not released an album with Yeah Yeah Yeahs since 2013, although the band has continued playing shows here and there, including standout performances at festivals like last year’s Governors Ball.
In a tweet, Smashing Pumpkins called Karen O’s cover of their song “beautiful.” They’re not wrong.