Uni and the Urchins are taking you to church, but this (un)holy land dwells somewhere in the realm of Hiernonymous Bosch and a Weimar Republik cabaret. You are likely already familiar with the lyrics, but you’ve never heard them sung this way before. “Amazing Grace,” an 18th-century Christian hymn by Anglican clergyman/poet John Newton, takes on new life in this sinister darkwave take from this explosive NYC quintet, starring lead singer Jack James, Charlotte Kemp, David Strange, Andrew Oakley, and Cae Rale.
In this portentous and irreverent version from Uni and the Urchins, however, sin takes center stage, presenting itself as that salvation. The video for this hymn, directed by the band’s own Charlotte Kemp, has everything: mesh and vinyl; clever graffiti for Latin 001 students; Blue Velvet references, sultry flame throwing, and leather daddy vibes galore. With GRACE etched in his naked chest as he seductively writhes about, Jack James croons the old standard into a work light on a claustrophobic, DIY stage.
One thing is for certain: a collaboration between John Newton and Uni and the Urchins is a rock song of ages, cleft for thee.
We were curious about how this and their process, so Post-Punk.com had a chat with Uni and the Urchins to learn more.
Amazing Grace is featured on the album Simulator, which you can listen to and purchase here:
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