Sufjan Stevens and Gallant Cover Drake's 'Hotline Bling'
Drake's "Hotline Bling" has quickly become the most covered song of 2015 despite falling short of No. 1 on the Hot 100, and now fans have another artist to add to the list from the soft-spoken folk music of Sufjan Stevens and his tour mate, Gallant.
It seems like everyone is taking a swing at the tune including Justin Bieber, Sam Smith with Disclosure, Erykah Badu, Alessia Cara and numerous others. Stevens' live cover is less of a reinvention of the tune than fans might have hoped for, but he takes a crack at copying the danceable number.
The performance was the closer to his Halloween set in Jersey City and was mostly sung by fellow touring artist Gallant, who took the verses and an impossibly high falsetto on the chorus. Stevens mostly joined in on the catchy hook and took one verse himself; at one time playing with some effects pedals to distort his voice.
It looked like he had to read the lyrics during the song but ultimately was having fun with it as he did his best Drake impersonation by dancing about the stage and calling on the audience to do the same. Images of the single's album art and Drake were even displayed on the screens behind the band as they danced their way through the song.
Despite some recent forays into electronic music, Stevens usually sticks to his introspective folk styling, which makes "Hotline Bling" an odd choice of covers. Gallant's music on the other hand is far more steeped in R&B and made a better fit for the song. It does make one wonder what Stevens could do with the song if he made it more his own? Maybe now that he's had a taste we'll see a proper recording come together.
Check out the performance below.