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Under The Covers: Arctic Monkeys x Tame Impala

Your weekly dose of genre-bending with your favorite WBRU artists/songs. From the genuinely good to the seriously strange, we’ve got you covered. This week, Arctic Monkeys turn Tame Impala’s “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” from a psychedelic earworm into a chilled-out tune perfect for your rainy days.

In 2014, Arctic Monkeys performed Tame Impala’s “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” and their cover is a complete one-eighty from the original. Tame Impala’s version is a psychedelic earworm, with echoey vocals, a prominent bassline, and crashing cymbals. It sounds like it was ripped straight from the sixties, immersive and meditative. Meanwhile, Arctic Monkeys’ take could fit comfortably beside “I Wanna Be Yours” on their 2013 album AM. Compared to the original, the British band’s cover is sparse, comprised of solely voice and guitar. While “solely voice and guitar” might sound like Arctic Monkeys are wandering dangerously close to trite singer-songwriter fare, this is Arctic Monkeys we’re talking about, so the cover feels like anything but. Frontman Alex Turner sings in a lower key than that of the original, and his distinctive voice – eternally effortless and cool – is high in the mix with no distortion. Paired with breezy guitar chords, the arrangement pushes Tame Impala’s lyrics to the fore. Arctic Monkeys’ cover takes the track in a vastly different direction, but it works – it’s gentler, with a chilled-out vibe. Definite recommend for your rainy days.

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