Last week, everybody wanted to believe that Fleet Foxes had covered Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” – even Robyn herself – but the fact that it wasn’t actually the band, but a remarkable simulation, isn’t really a bummer. For one, the band was inspired enough by the fan-made tribute to actually promise to cover a Robyn song themselves. Also, it introduced us to this amazingly bizarre Fleet Foxes Sing Tumblr, where the same guy who recorded “Dancing on My Own” records Fleet Fox-ish covers of all sorts of songs.
Hive caught up with the artist behind the page — who asked to remain anonymous, as he doesn’t want his actual musical ambitions to gain a boost from his novelty project — to learn a little bit more about the project and his five best covers.
1. Whitney Houston, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”
“I recorded a short demo of ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ with vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar, with no intention of sounding like Fleet Foxes,” he says. “When I played it for some friends — while drunk, of course — someone immediately asked, ‘What is this, the Fleet Foxes?’ From there, I thought it would be funny to try impersonating them just to get a few laughs.”
2. Rick Astley, “Never Gonna Give You Up”
Shortly after undertaking the project, however, our anonymous musician decided to solicit suggestions from his growing fanbase (“most of the responses I was getting were like, ‘I’m gonna play this at my wedding,’” he says). With that much enthusiasm, he decided to make it a two-way conversation. “’Never Gonna Give You Up’ was a fan request,” he explains.
3. Lykke Li, “Little Bit”
The point of recording Fleet Foxes-like covers isn’t strictly about irony, either — there are covers of current indie-ish artists on the blog, too. “Musically, it’s exactly the same,” he says of recording new songs as opposed to ’80s pop hits. “Strip the song down to its skeleton and add harmonies.” Bonus: Lykke Li, like Robyn and Fleet Foxes themselves, also heard and commented on the recording, which had our guy here psyched. “I’m still in shock that even happened,” he says. “Within a week, three of my favorite artists all publicly acknowledged that they’d heard me sing.”
4. Nick Drake, “Pink Moon”
“I just had ‘Pink Moon’ stuck in my head one day because I love that song,” he says. “I recorded it and decided not to post it because it’s too similar to the original, but then there was a period around the holidays where I was busy and hadn’t posted anything in a while, and decided that it couldn’t hurt.” The cover actually sounds pretty great, and he’s not worried about the fact that “Pink Moon” is a pretty Fleet Foxes-like tune in its original incarnation anymore. “I suppose I could come up with a list of covers that could go viral, but I’d rather not stress about it. Then it’s more about being successful than it is about having fun.”
5. Beyoncé, “Halo”
“Sometimes, today’s pop divas really hit the spot.” Indeed they do, Fleet Foxes-like singing guy! Especially stripped down on an acoustic guitar with three-part harmonies.