Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Song Review - Running Up That Hill (Avec Sans Cover)

Running Up That Hill (Avec Sans Cover)
by Avec Sans

It's funny, because I've only been thinking about the cover song recently, inspired by the latest release from Ms Minaj and numerous discussions over the It's My Kind Of Scene round table (which is actually non-existent and involves a lot of text messaging instead). Whatever it is that Ms Minaj has done, cover/sample/complete rip off, it has proven that some covers work and some covers....don't. For me, a cover should be inspiring, not copying, it should be new but respectful and it should be almost everything Ms Minaj's latest single is not, which is frankly, a little boring.

Which brings me to a song that is absolutely nothing like anything Nicki Minaj could ever dream of doing and something I have been listening to over and over and over since first listen about a week ago. One of my favourite secret little loves from the UK, Avec Sans, have covered a Kate Bush song, which is brave in itself, but what makes this cover so very good, is Avec Sans ability to turn a Kate Bush song into an Avec Sans song and back again, while making me feel completely ok with the whole process and inspiring me to fall in love with their version as well as Kate's own work all over again. There’s no betrayal of my relationship with Kate Bush’s song here, only a new appreciation. One listen to the original and Kate manages to wrestle with my heart, one listen to the Avec Sans version and Alice’s almost husky vocal manages to wrestle with my spirit. One listen to Kate’s own song and I’m transported to a soundscape of completely comfortable love, anxiety and misunderstanding. One listen to Avec Sans’ cover and James’ epic synth skills transport me to a home of affection and a touch of easy desperation. In 1984, Kate Bush took her unique ethereal sounds and made an anthem for questioning hearts and thirty years later, Avec Sans take those same themes, their own unique electronic talents and have made a sweet electronic anthem for another generation of the curious and heartbroken.

Like Kate, Alice and James make a deal with God in 'Running Up That Hill', if there’s one thing a good cover should do, it’s let you make a deal with the original. You don’t have to secretly give one up for the other, they can both be loved equally and as Kate Bush and Avec Sans have proven, not only can that happen, it actually should.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Running Up That Hill' four Presets heads out of five...

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