So much has been written about the origins of Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours it feels silly to rehash it, but the short version is that Stevie Nicks wrote “Dreams” about her failing relationship with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. The rest of the band didn’t want to record it until Buckingham re-arranged it. And then it became their biggest US hit ever.
A new cover comes from San Francisco-based Late Aster, a brand new group featuring classically-trained french horn player Anni Hochhalter of the ensemble Windsync and trumpeter Aaron Messing. On this cover, though, Hochhalter is the lead singer and Messing handles piano.
Sparse piano covers of famous pop songs are a bit of a plague. If it’s a big enough song, there are likely many solo piano covers on YouTube. To make it work the performer usually has to do something to the song. And Late Aster do.
Their version of “Dreams” is basic: Hochhalter’s slow vocal, Messing’s piano and some subtle programming (plus a brief backing vocal from Messing.) Hochhalter mostly sticks to the famous melody, but slows it down and plays around inside of it. But Messing’s piano completely departs from the original arrangement, going full minimalist (as in the classical genre). More drastically, they cut the song off after the chorus, cutting the song in half. It’s surprising choice that helps concentrate the emotional power of this distinct arrangement. Plus, the rotoscoped video is petty cool. Check it out below.