The FADER’s transgender charity covers compilation FADER & Friends Volume 1 is out now, available exclusively on Bandcamp until December 1, 2023. 100% of the proceeds go towards the Transgender Law Center, Mermaids, and Rainbow Railroad. Throughout the month of November, we’re speaking to the artists who contributed to the 44-song collection about the songs they covered.
It's appropriate that on the day of the release of the final Beatles song, we're spotlighting a cover of one of their most beloved classics, "I Want To Hold Your Hand." Taking the reins are Ratboys, the Chicago indie rock group who in August released The Window, one of their most acclaimed full-lengths yet. Their new version doesn't lose any of the original's puppy-love vibes while throwing in dashes of loopy psychedelia, another nod to Beatles' enduring influence.
Listen to the song below and buy the full album on Bandcamp. Scroll down to read the band's Julia Steiner on the original song and Ratboys' cover.
What's your first memory of this song?
When I was a little kid my mom always had the Beatles 1 CD in the car. We would listen to that all the time on the way to school, and “I Want To Hold Your Hand” quickly became one of my favorite songs. It’s so catchy and simple, but it never got old. It was always one of my favorite songs to sing along to with my mom and my younger siblings.
Why did you decide to record it as your cover?
It’s always fun to record a cover song from memory, and that’s what we did here. I’ve known how to play this song on guitar forever, and it was a joy to teach it to the guys too. I think they had it rolling around somewhere in their subconscious because it came together really quickly.
What does this band mean to you personally?
I mean, to me, the Beatles are everything. I know that’s cliché, but it’s true. Their musical sensibilities are all over the map in a way that I really admire. And holy hell they know how to write a pop song. Also, I’d be remiss not to mention the cover of this song that appeared in the movie Across the Universe. It blew my mind back then, and it still does.
What's another song you'd love to cover and why?
“Things to You” by Skeeter Davis and NRBQ has gotta be next! Why not?