When covering a song, changing the speed can completely change the vibe of the track. There’s no better example right now than The Chats and Genesis Owusu’s cover of the Talking Heads‘ hit ‘Psycho Killer’, performed on the Australian music show The Set.
After the first minute of California duo Big Surprise’s new cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop,” I’m certain that you’ll be instantly calmer, happier and ready to drift off into another world. All of the song’s distinctive sounds remain, but changed into a trippy, dream-like haze. The beat is deep and way in the background, with guitars providing the melody lines with a heavy amount of reverb. Arthur and Kathryn Adams’ vocals intertwine with each other and add to ethereal vibe.
Just hearing the opening riff to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” has an instant calming effect. The lyrics kick in, and you’re on a joyful soft rock journey for the next five minutes. Or, in Jim O’Rourke‘s case, 33 minutes.
This cover by the experimental musician, recorded live in Japan in 2002, uploaded to YouTube in 2016, and brought into wider view by a in a Washington Post article last week, lulls you into a false sense of security. The classic riff starts us off, and it seems like it’s going to be a straightforward cover, but after a minute or so, the riff starts to be looped, just out of sync of the main melody. By six minutes, the loop has started to turn into a swelling drone, filling your ears and blocking out the rest of the world. By the half-way point of this 33-minute (!) track, the riff has disappeared, with a new droning tone and guitar melodies swirling around the space.
What’s one of the best things you can do with a beloved 80’s hit? Give it a smooth, dreamy Vaporwave style cover. And on their new version of A-Ja‘s beloved hit “Take On Me,” Violet Island, the duo of Adrian Walther and Jessie Villa, transform it into a slick, groovy, synth heavy cover.