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Yo La Tengo announce new EP with cover of The Byrds' "Wasn’t Born To Follow"

26 August 2020, 15:23 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

Yo La Tengo have announced their new EP Sleepless Night, and have unveiled a cover of The Byrds' "Wasn't Born To Follow" as the lead track.

The group's cover of The Byrds' "Wasn't Born To Follow" is their first new outing since releasing their instrumental collection of tracks We Have Amnesia Sometimes last month.

Ira Kaplan says of "Wasn't Born To Follow", ""Wasn’t Born to Follow" was recorded by Gene Holder as part of the sessions that resulted in Stuff Like That There. Dave Schramm on lead guitar. I’m sure I heard the Byrds' song for the first time when my mom took me and a bunch of my friends to see Easy Rider. (One kid was forbidden by his parents from joining us, as was my younger brother. My dad took my brother to see Butch Cassidy instead, and I’m guessing my friend stayed home and did homework)."

Yo La Tengo's Sleepless Night EP is a six-song EP that features one new song, "Bleeding", alongside various covers of songs by Bob Dylan, The Delmore Brothers, Ronnie Lane and The Flying Machine.

Kaplan says of the EP's origins, "We met Yoshitomo Nara in 2003, would see him at his art shows and our concerts. We dj’d at an opening at the Asia Society, and on another occasion he drew a picture of Georgia strangling me on a Gloomy pencil case that became one of Georgia’s prized possessions until it was stolen from her at the bar at the K-West hotel in Shepherd’s Bush. To make the catalogue of his 2020 exhibit at LACMA more personal, the idea came up to include an LP of some of Nara’s favourite songs as part of a deluxe edition. We were asked to provide one side of the LP (and that one track be a new composition), with the other side being another six songs selected by Nara, in their original versions. Here are the six songs we contributed to the LACMA record, chosen in collaboration with Nara."


  1. Blues Stay Away
  2. Wasn’t Born to Follow
  3. Roll On Babe
  4. It Takes a Lot to Laugh
  5. Bleeding
  6. Smile a Little Smile for Me

Next week Yo La Tengo will release the 25th anniversary reissue of Electr-o-pura, which is available to pre-order now.

Yo La Tengo's cover of The Byrds' "Wasn't Born To Follow" is out now. Their Sleepless Night EP will land 9 October via Matador, and is available to pre-order now.
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