A few weeks ago, I was listening to the local “oldies” station and Tears for Fears‘ “Head Over Heels” came on. I immediately started ranting to my wife that the song is not that old and does not belong on such a station.
She then asked, “Honey, how old were you when this song came out and how old are you now?” My mind started doing the math and it hit me. That song is now 30 years old! (As if I wasn’t feeling old enough already.)
An electronic duo from Boston realized the significance of the 30th anniversary of this Tears for Fears classic. ColorGrave consists of classically-trained vocalist Thomas Morris and producer Robert Wu. Earlier this year, they gained quite a few fans with their single, “Fever Dreams”, but their cover of “Head Over Heels” is sure to make people take notice.
Rob said that he always loved Tear for Fears, especially this song because of “the melody, abnormal chord structure and production.” He continued, “I have very fond memories of looping this song over and over in my portable cassette player when I was a little kid.”
While Thomas could definitely pull off the vocals on his own, Rob decided to ask his longtime friend, Nicole Dessingue, to help out. (He calls it his “vocal dream team”.) Currently, Nicole is in a project with DJ L’Duke called ORCHIDS, but she jumped at the chance to sing this song with ColorGrave. “I was a synth player in a band…that covered that song live, and it’s always been my favorite, but this was my first opportunity to add my own spin to it.” (As a side note, the first time I ever heard Nicole sing was when I found ORCHIDS cover of A Great Big World’s “Say Something” earlier this year on YouTube. WOW!). Having two people singing the different verses of this song works so well. It’s almost as if the song were written that way to begin with.
As for the music, Rob said that they “wanted to stay true to the simplicity of the instrumentation yet modernize the sounds.” And yet, he admits that he left the track under-produced to “let the great songwriting and melodies shine through.”
And I’m glad he did.