Civil Twilight turn Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” into a sparse, understated ballad — listen

South African rockers find the heartbreak hidden in a new wave classic

    Photo: Mason Poole

    One of the best and most enduring songs to emerge from the new wave era, “Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol (or Generation X, if you want to get all technical about it) was always more heartbreaking than critics gave it credit for. There’s no one else in sight in that crowded, lonely night, so Idol must make do on his own, twirling around by himself after all the girls in all the world have passed him by. It’s kind of crazy that it took 30 years for a musician to recognize this and give the song a proper cover, but that’s life for ya.

    In any case, South African rockers Civil Twilight have finally done Idol (and Gen X, yes) justice with a sparse, understated cover of “Dancing With Myself” that transforms the song into a proper ballad. “I was sitting down with a friend of mine listening to that song one day,” recalls frontman Steven McKellar. “He read me the lyrics while the song was playing and I just thought they were so beautiful. They struck me in a way that they never had before. I thought, ‘This song would make such a beautiful ballad.’ So we decided to record it that way, really sparse and sensitive.” Dudes, way to trust your instincts. Check out the cover below.


    Civil Twilight will release an acoustic version of their album Story of an Immigrant on July 15th. It includes three bonus tracks, including “Letters from the Sky”, “Save Yourself”, and the above cover of “Dancing With Myself”. Scope the band’s tour schedule below.

    Civil Twilight 2016 Tour Dates:

    06/28 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
    06/29 – New York, NY @ Studio at Webster Hall
    06/30 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry
    07/02 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
    07/03 – Traverse City, MI @ National Cherry Festival
    07/05 – Lansing, MI @ Adado Riverfront Park
    07/07 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection*
    07/08 – Petoskey, MI @ Blissfest Roots Music Festival
    07/14 – Memphis, TN @ New Daisy Theatre*
    07/19 – St. Louis, MO @ The Old Rock House
    07/20 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
    07/21 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s*
    07/22 – Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note*

    * = w/ Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness