I swear I’m not trying to always write about the 80s but it keeps making its way to me even when I’m listening to new music. So when “Cruel Summer” first came out it felt like the cheesier side of the 80s sound…not hair metal cheesy, but the kind of cheesy that would be playing at a hair salon while moms got their hair sprayed up and talked gossip for hours. Maybe that’s just my feelings but regardless HRDY’s take on the Bananarama (sheesh what a name) staple is a hell of a lot cooler. The smooth modern house vibes are super tight and give the track a more direct vibe that goes beyond salon background tunes. And the drop…what a slick and sexy approach, it’s just killer.
As if I wasn’t already amazed by this Cruel Summer cover enough, Malvina’s vocals come in and take things to a whole new level. I don’t want to sound like I’m overreacting, but I’m going to because she seriously has the talent of a top tier topliner. The confidence in her voice is just infectious and when the subtleties of how she lets out “now you’re gone” right before the drop are straight ear candy. And once again, I’ve gotta give HRDY some major credit because the way he blends Malvina’s vocals into his production is seamless. If you had told teenage me that I’d be nerding out over a “Cruel Summer” cover I probably would’ve laughed in your face yet here we are!
One last thought…isn’t it so cool that cover songs can not only reignite love for a favorite like Johnny Cash covering Hurt, but take a song that you never liked and turning it into a new favorite? It goes to show that sometimes the best ideas aren’t always executed in a way that clicks with you the first time around and it takes a genuine creative mind to translate those ideas into something great. And don’t get me wrong, “Cruel Summer” is indisputably a classic, it just never connected with me until HRDY and Malvina came along.
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