Counting Crows‘ 1999 cut “Colorblind” demonstrates everything lead singer Adam Duritz can do when he’s at his best: beautiful and depressing minor key melodies worthy of Elliott Smith, and the lyricism of Bob Dylan (not to say Smith was a slouch when it came to lyrics). Chicago producer Dexter Tortoriello, who works under the pseudonym Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross, just released a cover of the Crows song.
As the song begins, you might wonder if it’s a remix rather than a cover. The piano part is identical, the phrasing and tempo identical, even the trumpet accompaniment comes in at the same moment. It sounds like Tortoriello is singing from a stairwell down the hall, but otherwise, no change from the original. Then, right around the 3:30 mark, an ear-searing guitar tears through the serenity (I hope you weren’t wearing headphones at that point) as if Trent Reznor just walked into the studio. And just like that, the Dawn Golden cover makes sense. The noise lasts only a minute, but a song that initially came off as pure tribute is now one you will revisit in anticipation of that car crash guitar. Download below, but turn it up at your own risk.