What is “An overused word to describe a song”, Alex?
To be fair, there are some songs that can only be described as “haunting”. For example, “Laurie (Strange Things Happen) by Dickey Lee. This is the song where a guy meets a girl, Laurie, at a dance on her birthday. They hit it off, he walks her home and gives her his sweater to wear because it’s a little chilly. When they get to her house, he kisses her goodnight (Yes!) and starts to head back home only to realize that he forgot his sweater. He goes back and her dad answers and tells the guy that Laurie “died a year ago today”.
Kissing a ghost? Now THAT is haunting. (By the way, he did get his sweater back. He found it lying on her grave.)
I will even, at times, accept “haunting” to describe songs that are posthumously released. For example, I have always thought “Watching the Wheels” by Lennon was a little haunting.
Other than that, I just cringe whenever I see that word used to describe a song. (I am also not a fan of the word “slurp”, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Having said that, if you asked me to use only one word to describe The High Fives’ cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, it would be “haunting”.
Trust me, I went through every synonym I could think of – evocative, emotive, moving, touching, stirring – but they didn’t work as well, much to my chagrin.
As for The High Fives, it is really only two people: Josh Zandman and Mercy Stevens. Josh was the keyboardist of the Brooklyn-based band Burlap to Cashmere. (The best Greek-inspired Christian folk rock group I have ever heard.) He also received a Grammy for his piano work on Kanye West’s debut album, The College Dropout. Mercy is a Texas girl that has been singing since she was about 10-years-old. And even though she has a hint of a Southern accent and The High Fives are based in Nashville, they are not country.
Their version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is just a demo they recorded for fun while in the studio.
Prepare to be haunted.
Find out more of The High Fives on Facebook.