Last week we waved goodbye to one of music and fashion’s biggest icons, David Bowie. With a flood of surprise and ripple of broken hearts, tributes and cover songs felt as though they rolled out instantly as artists from all side of the spectrums began spilling their stories. Through memories and overdue words of kindness, grieve constricted the flow of online clickbait and news outlets found themselves remembering more than a man, an artist and an icon – they simply talked about a Starman.
Flicking through covers, here are five songs that arrived from the long-lasting feelings of inspiration and respect that Bowie sparked across generations.
Lido – ‘Space Oddity (Lido’s Salute)’
Ebbing with smooth synths and RnB styled vocals, Lido’s cover of Bowie’s 1969 single ‘Space Oddity’ lingers through all the right notes. Capturing the fantastical and embryonic lyrics, each pulse and beat encapsulates the peculiar and haunting precision of Bowie’s sound, championing it as it’s own. Building up with ringing keys, the track feels suspended; Lido’s vocals suspended as it rises to each word, “Can you hear me, Major Tom?”
House Of Wolves – ‘Modern Love’
Slow. Distant. Spacious. These are the few words that come to my mind when listening to House of Wolve’s cover of Bowie’s 1983 MTV hit, ‘Modern Love’. With a lo-fi aesthetic, the cover drifts between sweetly sung vocal arrangements and slowly strung acoustic chords. Edging listeners into the corner of sonic darkroom, this is a slow and malleable cover that has a heavy charm; full of dispelled interest and reverb. With plenty of breathing room, there’s something refreshing about this cover that’s paced and effortless.
Gang Of Youths – ‘Heroes (David Bowie Single Version)’
Opening with a sweeping introduction, Gang Of Youths hit the nail on the head for Bowie’s much loved and celebrated 1997 single, ‘Hereos’. Dipping between orchestral strings and building up with each new beat, the cover song is full-hearted and thriving with energy. Honest and true to Bowie’s own sound; pounding notes are lost amongst angst-fuelled vocals as desperation and memory kicks-up stardust into each members eyes. Set much like a ballad, the cover will have you celebrating Bowie’s iconic sounds through the band’s feel-good memory.
Spoon – ‘Never Let Me Down’
A gorgeous rendition, Spoon’s frontman Britt Daniel pays a somber tribute to Bowie’s well-known song, ‘Never Let Me Down’. In a recent interview, Daniel discussed the passing. “No other artist has meant as much to me personally or inspired my own songs as much,” Daniel wrote as an introduction to the song. “What a spirit. What an inspiration. What a shining example of the beauty that humanity can create.” With his signature husky vocals and an acoustic guitar in hand, the cover is a simple reminder of what Bowie inspired throughout his long and adventurous career.
Champagne Drip – ‘Modern Love’
Taking the bright and electric spark of Bowie’s creative aesthetic, Champagne Drip has shared a pulsating and sickly sweet version of ‘Modern Love’. Championing epic synth arrangements and vocal harmonies, the track is stripped down and refashioned into a feverish and shiny new plaything – the kind that bounces around and has fun creating chaos in doing so. In this positivity, revisiting Bowie is not only a cornerstone to many individual’s youth and inspiration, but also a celebration for the final grinning soul that Bowie is sure to be delivering.