When is a cover more than a cover? It seems like the mere act of reinterpreting another artist or band’s work is frowned upon or seen as either an easy way out or simply lazy. But when a cover reinvents or elevates a song beyond what anyone knew it was capable of, then it becomes its own entity – and transforms the original.
Like many of my generation, I remember encountering the Stokes for the first time. In my case, it was when I caught the “Last Nite” video on VH1 at two in the morning. (You know, when they show music videos.) The sound has become ingrained in me, even though it’s not my favorite nor one I naturally gravitate towards. Nevertheless, the thought of a Strokes cover by a German folk/pop artist both intrigued and terrified me. It’s the sort of thing that can go really bad really fast — or could change your perception entirely.
Berlin-based 7fields is Wolfgang Schrödl, meaning literally he plays every role in this operation. And, I’m relieved to say that his cover of the Strokes’ “Heart in a Cage” is the transformative experience I’d hoped for. It challenges the listener’s preconceived notions, mostly because the track feels so heartfelt, alive, and a bit unsettling – like an electrically charged wire. In other words, not your typical cover song. Says Schrödl, “Even as a songwriter, I find it sometimes tempting to newly interpret existing compositions…but only if I can highlight a facet of the song in which I recognize myself, allowing me to only hint at the original. Such was the case for ‘Heart in a Cage.'”
Take a listen for yourself, and find out more about 7fields (including some exciting upcoming releases) on Facebook.