Country supergroup the Highwomen give a radical makeover to Lady Gaga’s appropriately titled “Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)” for the pop star’s Born This Way: The Tenth Anniversary. The album is out today and also includes remade versions of Gaga’s songs by Orville Peck, Big Freedia, and Kylie Minogue.
Lady Gaga’s original “Highway Unicorn” from 2011 was a mix of throbbing electro-house with synth stabs and half-time tumbles of live drums that momentarily broke up the momentum. The Highwomen’s Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby, and Maren Morris are joined by Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards to give the song a dreamy makeover that’s located somewhere between Fleetwood Mac and Banarama. It’s still a brisk enough tempo for dancing, but the darkly twanging guitars and piano deepen the sense of foreboding.
“Highway Unicorn” is the first release from the Highwomen since 2019, when they put out their acclaimed self-titled album. The group also turned in a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” that appeared on the soundtrack for The Kitchen.
Guest vocalist Spencer had a viral breakout in 2020 with her acoustic cover of the Highwomen’s “Crowded Table,” which earned the Nashville performer an invitation to come sing with the group. She recently released the solo single “Sober & Skinny.” Also based in Nashville, Edwards released her latest EP The Road earlier in 2021.