Music of the mid-1990’s can get stuck between “oldies” and “contemporary,” but few chosen hits from that period remain timely and relevant to life in the present tense. “Zombie” by The Cranberries is one of them.
This catchy, nod-your-head tune is a message of protest against war and violence. It’s hard to recreate the ache and irony in Dolores O’Rordian’s voice without coming off downright angry and dark, like this heavy metal style cover by Leo & Stine Moracchioli. But a Haitian Creole singer Dawn Richard (known as DAWN) delivers a light and fresh take on the song in her new cover.
Since getting known in Danity Kane through MTV’s Making the Band in 2005, she’s gone in unexpected directions by creating new music and growing as an actress and illustrator. This cover of “Zombie” diverges a bit from her normal style, though. DAWN’s “Zombie” takes you on a colorful journey both musically and visually. Musically, it achieves the not-easy task of doing justice to Dolores O’Rordian’s voice, which is ironically both lifeless and full of emotion.
Its two other singers, whom the video description names only as “some amazing creatives”, take the cover from unique to downright magical. The harmonies of the three voices emote the song’s pain, but with a renewed sense of life. The song feels like a cross between Haitian kompa rhythms and a gospel concert. It version brings optimism and healing to the pain in the original.
Check out many more Cranberries covers here.