Sep 292023
rum jungle stay cover

The second single from Rihanna‘s seventh album Unapologetic, “Stay” is a somewhat atypical piano ballad featuring minimal instrumentation. Cowritten by her duet partner Mikky Ekko, it’s a song that relies mostly on the power of their voices to succeed. And it did succeed, becoming Rihanna’s twenty-fourth top ten hit.

Rum Jungle are an Australian rock band from Newcastle, NSW who have been releasing music for about six years. Their new cover of “Stay” marks their first appearance on legendary Australian radio network Triple J’s cover series Like a Version.

Initially, Josh Giles’ guitar just imitates the piano. Lead vocal Benny McIntyre sings the vocal pretty straight. The bass joins much earlier than in the original version and here its joined by cymbals. For the first chorus McIntyre starts playing guitar as well. The entire band drops out at the beginning at the second verse and when they come back in, that’s where Rum Jungle start to add their own spin. The drums come pounding in and the energy noticeably jumps up. For the second chorus there’s a staccato section and things really kick into gear in the bridge. Giles adds a guitar solo later.

Basically, it’s an indie rock version of “Stay.” And it works. The band brings lots of energy when they let loose but they also manage to retain the a lot of the song.

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