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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

60 Belgian Women Sing Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ - Scala & Kolacny Brothers

Now, I’m a fairly sizable Radiohead fan. I picked up tickets for their upcoming stop at the Hollywood Bowl. I used to scour the net for b-sides and the rare acoustic stuff. I used to shell out cash for a variety of import disks in the pre-MP3 days. Who’s got the Japanese only Itch EP…I do. That said, it’s been a long time since I’ve actually listened to any early-era Radiohead, but I recently discovered this fantastic live recording of Scala & Kolacny Brothers doing a beautifully sullen piano and voice rendition of Radiohead’s ubiquitous 1993 single. The cluster of sixty something Belgian women focus primarily on minimalist reworkings of pop tunes: Kraftwerk, The Knife, Placebo, Bjork, Coldplay, Air & (regrettably) The Cure…yeah, I still don’t like The Cure.

Now, this is a fine example of a cover bringing a new dynamic to a well established song. There’s nothing quite like the sound of multiple voices stacked together (in a more freewheeling light, see also: Arcade Fire live). I’m not 100% behind the straight piano accompaniment, but on the other hand, it does feel like a slight stylistic nod to the ballad-y version of ‘Like Spinning Plates’ off 2001’s I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings. Either way, the track’s slow build manages to become more and more atmospheric as it progresses. The half whispering of the line ‘I wish I was special’ towards the end, in combination with the slight glimmers of accents throughout the whole song just make it for me. A delightful take on a well established classic.

Scala & Kloancy Brothers - Creep (Live)