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NPR Arts & Life

Hear Rodrigo y Gabriela Cover Pink Floyd's 'Echoes'

For nearly 20 years, Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero have been marrying their love of metal with nylon-stringed acoustic guitars, releasing an impressive catalog of albums that showcase their remarkable dexterity and gift for reimagining heavy rock sounds as acoustic instrumentals. Now comes one of their most surprising recordings to date: a nearly 20-minute reworking of Pink Floyd's psychedelic masterpiece "Echoes." It's due to appear on Rodrigo y Gabriela's just-announced album Mettavolution.

Pink Floyd's original version, which was slightly longer, originally appeared on the 1971 album Meddle. It's a mind-bending odyssey with epic jams and, at times, surreal detours into horrifying soundscapes. For much of Rodrigo y Gabriela's version, the duo is largely able to stay true to Pink Floyd's iconic melodic runs and riffs. But by the song's midpoint, the two make it entirely their own, turning the original version's extended psych-jam and terrifying atmospherics into percussive knocks on their guitars and strings and other strange, tactile effects. It only gets better and more breathtaking the deeper you get into the track.

"We are big Pink Floyd fans," the duo said in a press release announcing Mettavolution. "That track, specially the live in Pompeii version, means a lot to us. We even made a huge, visual reference in our video for 'Hanuman.' Besides that, the lyrics are even more relevant now than they were 45 years ago – the search for knowledge about ourselves. It's becoming a key element for survival these days, that's what evolution is all about at the end of the day."

This isn't the first time Rodrigo y Gabriela has covered a rock classic. Its previous covers include Led Zeppelin's " Stairway to Heaven," Metallica's " Orion" and Radiohead's "Creep."

Mettavolutionis Rodrigo y Gabriela's first new album in five years. It's due out Apr. 26 on ATO Records.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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