San Francisco-based Korean electronic music artist Lucy Liyou has been releasing music since 2019. Though she has sampled Mariah Carey before – albeit an interview of Mariah Carey – she is not the kind of artist you’d first image to cover the pop diva. But that’s what she’s done, as part of FADER’s new FADER & Friends: Volume 1 covers-for-charity compilation.
From the opening gentle piano, and Liyou’s hushed whisper, it’s clear this is not going to be your average Mariah Carey cover. But the opening its still somewhat recognizably “We Belong Together,” just soooo much slower than the original. However, this section was actually recorded a few years ago.
Liyou has added to her original cover for the FADER comp. In her words it’s “now basically a suite in three parts.” Not something I think most listeners were anticipating. The second part is equally slow, but now contains a synth instead of the piano with more emotive singing and dense, hushed almost Eno-esque backing vocals. This section builds to a pleading moment and then everything drops out.
Part three begins a capella with the chorus finally making a reappearance, but the soundscape, all the more dense now, quickly returns and builds up in the background. It builds and builds and slowly drowns out her voice, with the ending feeling like an ambient piece.
It’s a mysterious, impressionistic and utterly unique take on this massive hit song.