Brandi Carlile has released a cutting, stripped-back performance of Tears for Fears 1983 cry-dance anthem, ‘Mad World’.

Brandi Carlile’s cover is now the definitive piano-based take on the classic track. It has finally brought an end to the reign of terror the Gary Jules version has had since the release of Donnie Darko. My entire life has been haunted by that meandering, unrelentingly glum Jules rendition. It is a mystery to me how one managed to drain a perfectly crafted pop song of all its life.

Carlile’s version is passionate and gutsy. At first, you think you’re in for another milquetoast slowed-down version of a pop song. But you get to the halfway mark and your sucker punched right in the stomach. It’s transcendental shit. Just Brandi Carlile’s fortress of a voice, the piano, and an accompanying cellist. Incredibly good stuff.

A ‘Mad World’ cover has been a staple in the Carlile canon for years. She’s also been featuring it heavily in her live-streamed performances. Though nothing captured as beautifully, and permanently as this. Check it out below.

Watch Brandi Carlile cover ‘Mad World’ by Tears for Fears:

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You asked for the whole song, so here it is…. Thanks for tuning in tonight. 🙏🏼 @tearsforfearsmusic #madworld #VOTE

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Back in June, the surviving members of Soundgarden joined forces with Brandi Carlile to record two versions of their classic tracks ‘Black Hole Sun’ and ‘Searching With My Good Eye Closed’ in celebration of this year’s Record Store Day.

The songs were recorded as a tribute to the late Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell; at London Bridge Studio, at which both Soundgarden and Carlile recorded at the beginning of their careers. The performance will be released as a 12-inch on Saturday, September 26th, the second of three separate “Record Store Drops” set to take place this year in place of Record Store Day.