Latest From Uptight Sugar, “Life Line,” Is a Nilsson Cover Treat

Uptight Sugar’s newest cover, “Life Line,” is a treat.

Videos by American Songwriter

Artists are finding creative ways to make the most out of their time in quarantine. For Uptight Sugar, the challenge was finding the right space to record their new cover of “Life Line” by Harry Nilsson.

“This song was recorded entirely during the COVID quarantine, with each member of the band recording from our home “studios”— i.e. our bedrooms, basements, closets—wherever we could generate the best sound. It was challenging but was also an awesome experience in overcoming obstacles in the name of creativity,” says Uptight Sugar.

This Ohio based band has a sound that can be categorized as atmospheric psych rock and electro-pop. Their music gives off a nostalgic vibe while also maintaining a crisp, edgy sound that is full of passion.

They are all about putting their emotions into the songs they record. In fact, they told American Songwriter that they find that the best opportunity they have to write is when “I’m feeling some extreme end of an emotion, regardless of what that emotion is: happy, sad, angry. Doesn’t matter. It’s about reaching into those feelings and giving them a voice.”

Uptight Sugar shared with American Songwriter why they chose to cover this song by Nilsson.

“Nilsson has always been a favorite artist of ours – his ability to craft songs

that uniquely grasp the grace (and cruelty) of the human condition makes him especially relevant today. ‘Life Line’ is no exception. It’s both haunting and hopeful, especially when you compare Nilsson’s whimsical and ethereal studio recording with the somber and powerful live performance from his 1972 BBC special. Our goal was to create our own unique hybrid inspired by those two arrangements.”

Since their debut album in 2018, this five-member group has released an EP titled “I’m Ok, You’re Ok,” several other singles and now, “Life Line.”

The original version by Nilsson was released in 1970 and Uptight Sugar found it to be relevant even in 2020. The message is clear that we are not alone in how we are feeling during this time. Uptight Sugar decided to turn these emotions into inspiration that they found in this song.

“It’s actually a fairly simple song with an incredibly honest, raw and relatable message. It can be cathartic for those experiencing some of the same feelings of isolation and pain—which is most of us these days in one form or another.”

While the original version has a sound unique to its own, Uptight Sugar did a great job of reinventing it to make it more fitting to them. They were able to keep the message alive in the covered version even though they gave it something extra with the additional instruments and voices. 

Listen to this cover now on down below:

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