The Flaming Lips will release their all-star Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band tribute, With a Little Help From My Fwends, on October 28th – but chapped Lips fans can stream the fearlessly freaky LP one week early at NPR. The album, a track-by-track reworking of the Beatles‘ 1967 masterpiece, finds the psych-rock mainstays collaborating with likeminded artists such as Miley Cyrus, My Morning Jacket, J. Mascis, Tegan & Sara, Moby, Maynard James Keenan, Dr. Dog and MGMT‘s Ben Goldwasser.
The results are as headphone-friendly and experimental as one might expect. The opening title track culminates in a spastic noise-rock guitar solo from Mascis. Cyrus and Moby add their eerie voices to a majestic take on “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds,” while Tegan and Sara help transform “Lovely Rita” into a throbbing electro-pop jam.
Besides offering an excuse to reinvent one of the greatest albums ever made, the Fwends LP is also benefitting a good cause. All proceeds from the album will go to Oklahoma City’s Bella Foundation, which assists low-income or elderly pet owners in paying for veterinary care. Earlier this month, Lips frontman Wayne Coyne launched a PledgeMusic campaign for the project, which offers limited edition autographed vinyl and CD copies, T-shirts, a special “Making of” documentary and silkscreens by Fwends artist Oliver Hibert.
“It’s really just a lot of great friends of mine who are all contributing,” Coyne told Rolling Stone of the album back in May. “Sometimes it’s two groups doing a song; sometimes it’s one. And it’s not always the Flaming Lips and someone; sometimes it’s just other groups. But I think all that’s gonna be great.”