After seeing Chvrches live at St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival (and reviewing them here), they cemented their place as my favourite band of 2013. Their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, was quietly successful with singles “Recover”, “Gun”, and “Lies” all making their way into Triple J’s Hottest 100. Meanwhile, Arctic Monkeys had an incredibly successful year with their 5th album, AM, reaching number one in the charts practically all around the globe, as well as having three top 20 (and two top 10) hits in the Hottest 100. With all of that in mind, it’s not too hard to consider the immense potential of one of these bands covering the other.
We at art felicis love a good Like A Version and the best Like A Versions, in my book at least, are the ones where a band takes a song and makes it their own. Chvrches did exactly that with their cover of Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know?”. For me, the thing that makes this cover so great is that is that it sounds almost nothing like the original yet, at the same time, the melody line is still there as strong as ever. It starts the way most Chvrches hits start, with a heavy synth beat leading into Lauren Mayberry’s blissful vocals while the layers build flawlessly. The song reaches its apex at the chorus, with the well-arranged harmony from the synthesiser complimenting the melody impeccably, creating that classic electronic sound and truly making the hit their own. Obviously, the lyrics are your typical Monkeys gold but I don’t feel we can credit the trio from Glasgow for that…
Admittedly, the cover has received mixed reviews in the month since its release, especially from the “music critics” on YouTube. A lot of the negative comments have obvious bias attached to them, with many fans of the original not wanting it to be changed in any way, but there’s obvious bias from the positive side too with some diehard Chvrches fans willing to back just about anything they produce. I can hardly say I have no bias at all but, as a fan of both the original tune and the band, as well as a lover of great music, I think this cover is amazing. As far as this year is concerned, this is the best Like A Version so far and one of my outright favourite tunes.
Hometown: Glasgow, Scotland
Latest album: The Bones of What You Believe, released 20 September 2013.
Sounds like: St. Lucia, MNDR, Robyn
Say what? The ‘v’ in Chvrches has the important purpose of avoiding confusion with actual churches on Google searches.