Bangles singer Susanna Hoffs has released a cover of the Rolling Stones' 1966 classic Under My Thumb. It's taken from her upcoming album The Deep End, which is scheduled for release on April 7.
The Stones' original has often attracted criticism from those who consider its lyrics to be misogynistic, but Hoffs has flipped the song's message of power and control on its head.
“I’ve listened to that song on repeat since it came out in the mid-’60s," says Hoffs. "I had an epiphany when I really thought about what the song is about, and it ignited this idea to do my own spin on it – to change the gender and see how it felt.
"What if the roles are/were reversed and the boy is under her thumb? It was exhilarating to give it a new spin, to flip it on its head, or on its ass. It’s a sassy, irreverent song, so it was extremely pleasurable to turn the tables."
Elsewhere on the album, which Hoffs made with renowned session guitarist,Waddy Wachtel on guitar, bassist Leland Sklar, and drummer Russ Kunkel, with Jeff Alan Ross on vibes and Ledisi on background vocals, Hoffs has covered songs by Billie Eilish, Joy Oladokun, Brandy Clark, Holly Humberstone, Ed Sheeran, Squeeze, Colin Blunstone, Yazoo and more.
“I aim for the emotion to come straight to the surface when I sing – I just go for it,” says Hoffs. “I try to be as vulnerable and emotional as the song permits.”
Hoffs has previously released a series of cover albums entitled Under the Covers with power-pop singer Matthew Sweet. The three albums, each devoted to a different decade, include versions of songs by The Who, Grateful Dead, Yes, Tom Petty, Derek and the Dominos, Queen, The Clash and many more.
April 4 sees the release of Hoff's debut novel, This Bird Has Flown, which she describes as “the redemption of a one-hit-wonder. It’s a story of sex, love, and rock and roll.”