- 19 Aug 22
The forthcoming TV show stars Sharon Horgan alongside Anne-Marie Duff, Eve Hewson, Sarah Greene, Claes Bang and Eva Birthistle.
PJ Harvey has shared a cover of Leonard Cohen’s 1974 song 'Who by Fire', recorded with composer Tim Phillips for new Apple TV+ series Bad Sisters.
Harvey and Phillips’ reendition of 'Who by Fire' will appear on the Bad Sisters Original Soundtrack Album, which is due to be released in October. The first two episodes of the show are currently streaming on Apple TV+, created by Irish actor/writer Sharon Horgan.
A new episode will debut each Friday until October 14, featuring Horgan and fellow Irish stars Eve Hewson, Sarah Greene, Daryl McCormack and more. Bad Sisters executive producer, Horgan, personally sought out Harvey to record a rendition of Cohen’s classic with the show in mind.
“It was a very enjoyable day spent recording the version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Who by Fire’ for Bad Sisters,” Harvey said in a press release. “I had spoken to Sharon Horgan in advance of the recording session, so I understood why she felt the song’s lyric was so perfect for the series, but also understood what nuances of Leonard’s performance she most loved, and therefore what to try and recapture but in my own way. Tim Phillips and I worked together on my performance for the song. I found Tim to be an inspiring and exciting work partner which made the whole experience flow.”
Horgan added: “I thought of the words of ‘Who by Fire’ soon after the series was picked up and thought how perfect it would be. Pretty soon after that, I thought of Polly’s voice singing those words and asked Apple if we could make that happen. I had been a fan of Polly for years and was nervous when we Zoomed with her. I don’t have a musical vocabulary, but I know what I wanted.
"But we told her our ideas and about the series — it was quite fledgling at that stage, just photos and words, nothing filmed to show her, but she got it and loved it," Horgan adds. "We paired her up with Tim Phillips who had scored Shining Vale, so we knew he was genius at what he does. The tone of the whole series is effected by the music and Polly’s voice. I still can’t quite believe we pulled it off.”
Bad Sisters is a dark comedy and thriller that centres on the Garvey sisters, who must cope with the sudden death of a family member while enduring an investigation by a life insurance company. The show stars Horgan alongside Anne-Marie Duff, Claes Bang and Eva Birthistle.
Earlier this year, PJ Harvey reissued her 2016 LP The Hope Six Demolition Project. The updated edition arrived with The Hope Six Demolition Project – Demos.
Listen to Harvey's take on 'Who By Fire' below.
Revisit our 2019 interview with Sharon Horgan here.