TV on the Radio easily have one of the most instantly recognizable sounds of any band currently making music. Their combination of pop melodies and funk sensibility smothered in a wave of trip-hop fuzz is unmistakable. Lead singer Tunde Adebimpe can coo as well as he howls, and although the words are sometimes buried in the production, the beauty of his voice is not.
Perhaps this is one reason there are few TVotR covers, and the ones that do exist are usually severe departures from the originals. The magic of the songs lies not just in the songs themselves or how they are played and arranged, but also in Dav Sitek’s signature production style. That’s why Australian band The Holidays took such a big risk with their version of TVotR’s hit “Wolf Like Me.” Before playing on Triple J they even discuss their trepidation at playing the song due to the production value of the original. Still, they wanted to honor recently deceased TV bassist Gerard Smith, and they do a fine job.
Although they start with crisp vocals and clean instrumentation, the song quickly moves towards the original’s fuzziness. By the time the song reaches its climax the band is in full-on tribute mode. The amazing thing is their ability to get such a big sound in such a small recording space. The end result is nothing groundbreaking, but is still a very nice listen. It’s a great example of tweaking the original just enough to make it your own.
Check out more from the Holidays at their MySpace page.