Apr 232024
david byrne paramore

David Byrne is a Scottish-American singer-songwriter and, of course, founding member of the Talking Heads. And for this year’s Record Store Day, he covered a song that was originally inspired by his own band: Paramore’s “Hard Times.”

The beginning of the song stays true to Paramore’s original, with playful pitched percussion and a forward-moving feel. (Or was it Talking Heads that created the percussive vibe in the first place?) It’s as if the world-beat-laden album Naked and Paramore were mashed together. And once the lush brass section comes in, we are completely sold. Byrne’s vocal delivery is spot-on, making it completely true to him, with effortless vibrato and decrescendos at the ends of his phrases.

Paramore singer Hayley Williams was over the moon, saying on social media:

“Crazy to hear the guy who inspired the cadence and tone of these verses, singing them the way only he could. Talking Heads and the Stop Making Sense film drip-fed inspiration into the best moments of After Laughter which, for now, remains my favorite child (I know we’re not supposed to say those kinds of things). Thanks @davidbyrneofficial!!!”

-Love, Hayley

Many other listeners were surprised to see the cover, with someone commenting “Am I hallucinating?”

Check out our countdown of The Best Talking Heads Covers Ever.

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