The Dirty Shirts Play Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game By Their Own Rules

The glam-rockers infuse the well-known classic with their rich signature style.

The Dirty Shirts up the ante with their passionate and powerful take on Chris Isaak’s classic Wicked Game — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The American rockers’ rendition takes this well-known classic and infuses it with their signature style, delivering a powerful and transformative musical experience. The combination of brooding, melancholic undertones, and impossibly romantic vocals, paired with languorous guitar work, elevates this rendition to a new level of artistry.

“I’ve thought about covering this song for years,” says Dirty Shirts lead singer Nick Santa Maria. “I knew I wanted to honor the essence of the original recording and composition while still adding a unique characteristic that was undoubtedly The Dirty Shirts. We recorded this almost entirely live in the studio, aside from some overdubs and the pedal steel. I think you feel that energy in the final product… It’s not a traditionally “dancey” song, and while it absolutely builds into something massive, the mood for the first half is very tense, ethereal, and subdued. But that’s exciting to me because if we can do this, we can do anything” explains Santa Maria.

The Dirty Shirts’ cover captures the essence of vulnerability, a feeling that resonates with all of us. Santa Maria’s soulful, sultry falsetto vocals evoke a profound sense of sentimentality and otherworldly melancholy, particularly during the haunting bridge where he sings, “I never dreamed that I’d meet somebody like you, and I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you.” The Dirty Shirts channel Isaak’s signature charisma into the cover, which they brought to life at Modern Electric Sound Recorders in Dallas, with producer Jeff Saenz (Leon Bridges, Reverend Horton Heat, Old 97’s), engineering by Joel Raif, mastering by Jordan Richardson, and Will Van Horn on pedal steel.

The Dirty Shirts first emerged onto the alternative music landscape in 2021, quickly making waves as a dance-provoking, glam-rock band. With a history deeply rooted in the music industry, Santa Maria initially toured as a sideman for various country artists. However, the turbulent events of the 2020 pandemic provided Santa Maria with an opportunity to reinvent his career, resulting in the formation of The Dirty Shirts. Drawing inspiration from musical legends like David Bowie, Gorillaz and the Warped Tour-era alternative scene, the band released their debut album, The Get Up From The Get Go, followed by numerous singles. The Dirty Shirts’ evolved glamorous grunge aesthetic seamlessly complements their captivating performances and the ability to deeply connect with their audience.

Check out Wicked Game above, hear more from The Dirty Shirts below, and get in the game on their website, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram.


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