The cover appears in the upcoming film adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise.
Reviews of the film, which has been screening at festivals, have described their cover of ‘SOS’ as a haunting, slowed down take on the pop hit. ABBA’s song is also played in an upbeat, string-based version earlier by the film’s composer Clint Mansell, who talked about the contrast between his and Portishead’s version in an interview with the LA Times.
“The idea of the party version and then the Portishead version, you have a definitive sonic representation of the degradation of the system,” he says, referring to the dystopian vision of High Rise.
“My version was born from swinging party music, string arrangements of contemporary music, and then you have the definite mood change by the time you have the Portishead version.”
Whether this means we’re any closer to that coveted fourth album they’re making is unclear, but it’s something. You can revisit the original ‘SOS’ below and struggle to think of a way this won’t be incredible.