Here are six David Bowie songs like you’ve never heard them before.
Cast aside your thoughts of face-painted glam-rock monstrosities, because in the hands of musician Leah Kardos, aka My Lithium & Me, they become a totally different beast. Take Criminal World (itself a cover), for example, which becomes a dark slice of trip hop, or The Man Who Sold the World, which gets a totally unanticipated dub swagger. To my ears, Leah brings the songs forward by a few decades, giving them less of a 70s and 80s feel and instead creating a 90s electronic vibe.
It’s pretty impressive that this project happened by accident. It all began when Leah was asked to sing some Bowie covers at a 40th birthday party – there was no great masterplan involved, but her approach and voice hit a chord with fellow Bowie fans, who encouraged her to record the tracks. So crucial was their support that the news even made it onto the huge Bowie site BowieNet.
Leah’s a dedicated Bowie fan, as she explains here:
You know I’m a massive David Bowie fan, right? I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little bit obsessed. Hidden away in private fangirl seclusion, I’ve often enjoyed bashing out the odd cover version to myself – mainly the piano-driven ones (Time, Changes, both Ladies, Grinning Soul and Stardust, that kind of thing). Almost like a ritual, it’s another way to experience and appreciate the music from the inside out.
Generally speaking, I despise most cover versions of songs that I love – why mess with something that already exists and is pretty much perfect? For this reason, I’ve never done this sort of thing in public often, and when I have it’s only ever been for an audience of friends and fellow fans.
Fellow hardcore Bowie fans might pick up that Leah has taken samples from his back catalogue to use in the arrangements, and more will love that Rex Ray did the artwork for the release. But you don’t have to be a hardcore fan to appreciate Leah’s approach to re-recreating these songs that she adores.
Described as ‘a valentine to David Bowie’, these covers show that a fan’s love can transform a musician’s work into something deliciously unexpected.
Check out the website here.