Portishead Covered ABBA for Ben Wheatley's 'High-Rise' Film
Published Oct 08, 2015Portishead have been crying wolf about a new LP for many years, and we periodically get updates from the long-running trip-hop band, promising that an album is right around the corner. And while we've grown increasingly less inclined to believe them, it turns out that the outfit did manage to quietly release a new recording: a cover of ABBA's "SOS," which appears in the new film High-Rise.
The flick is directed by Ben Wheatley and is an adaptation of the 1975 novel of the same name by J. G. Ballard, which tells of class-related clashes within an apartment building. The film (which was primarily scored by Clint Mansell) hasn't yet been widely released, but it's already out on the festival circuit: it's had Canadian screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival.
In a review of the film, the Telegraph noted, "The musical highlight is an inspired slow-jam cover of ABBA's 'SOS,' by Portishead. It's a party track for a party at the end of the world."
Today (October 8), Portishead updated their website to point out their involvement in the soundtrack, noting that the film is screening at the London Film Festival this week.
Last month, Wheatley told The Hollywood Reporter about how Portishead got involved:
Through the wonders of the internet. A year or so ago I was watching Glastonbury and they were doing their live set on the telly. Amy and I were just chatting and saying 'oh god, we love Portishead so much,' and I was looking on Twitter and someone had asked [Portishead member] Geoff Barrow if he'd seen A Field in England, and he said he'd loved it or something similar. I think he was actually following me on Twitter, so I did this Twitter email thing, said hello and we went from there. That's the modern world. Five or 10 years ago, I don't know how you'd have even started in getting through to Portishead.
There's no word as to whether this song will appear on a forthcoming Portishead album or a possible soundtrack release. But at the very least, it shows that the band have been active in the studio, so perhaps they really are making headway on that endlessly promised new album.
Portishead's most recent album was 2008's Third. Meanwhile, Geoff Barrow's project BEAK> also have some soundtrack music coming out.