“Rent” is my all-time favorite Pet Shop Boys song, so when Matt Mancid asked me about covering an 80’s song in a current style together, it was the first thing that popped into my head. Turns out it’s one of Matt’s favorites too, so we were off to the races! One full year later (it’s hard to believe, but I dug up our old email thread), our collaboration is ready for release. On my birthday, because nothing makes you feel young quite like realizing your favorite songs are a quarter-century old!

Not content with just one version, Matt produced five different mixes based on three different interpretations of the song. I figured the Club Mix would be the same as the Original Mix with a different beat. The Acoustic version would just be my vocal over piano, right? Nope. All new arrangements!

In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve heard Matt’s work before. His remixes of “What You Said” and “Pins and Needles” are two of the best in the Color Theory discography.


As for the division of labor, all I did was sing. But the track demanded more than just my voice, so I recruited Heather Alden of Faded Paper Figures to sing along with me, and the result is stunning. It’s not the first time I’ve been upstaged by Faded Paper Figures! đŸ˜‰

We were both nominated for Best Electronic in the Orange County Music Awards a couple of years ago, and they scored a well-deserved win. I shook their hands to congratulate them (it was a fancy televised awards ceremony, so we were all there in person) and I’ve followed their work ever since.

1. Rent (Radio Edit)
2. Rent (Club Mix)
3. Rent (Acoustic)
4. Rent (Original Mix)
5. Rent (Club Edit)

Here’s a little sampler I put together of the different versions spliced together:

Matt made a promo video as well, assembling footage from his hometown (if you’re careful not to blink, you can spot him at 1:53):

You can get the album here.

Thanks and Happy Holidays! –Brian.