Watch: Tears & Marble: “What Is Love”

27 Dec

tears and marble

Ho Ho Ho and all that everyone. We hope you had a fantastic Christmas (should you celebrate it, and a fantastic Wednesday and Thursday if you don’t). Ours was replete with food, drink, presents and small excitable children playing with wrapping paper and boxes. As you would expect.

As we sit back now in our sumptuous leather armchair (battered old sofa), smoking jacket (threadbare old t-shirt with mince pie stains down the front) on and pipe (more mince pie and some Quality Street) in mouth while the ice melts slowly into our ridiculously expensive glass of cognac (multi-pack can of rola cola from the shop on the corner with metal bars over the window), we are feeling rather generous. So, as our belly jiggles like a big plate of jelly, we have decided to give you one more Christmas present, one we know you are going to love even though you never ever thought you would want it.

Dutch duo Tears & Marble are planning an EP in the New Year and as a teaser (it may actually be on the EP, we’re not entirely sure) they have released online a cover of Haddaway’s uber-euro-dance-hit from the 90’s, “What Is Love”. Having been at the right age to fully appreciate the ubiquitous nature of “What Is Love” (along with tracks by Strike, Baby D, Snap and Culture Beat) it’s big brash sounds, grandiose and slightly confusing video and surprisingly catchy but oh-so-cheesy lyrics, the last thing we would have expected would be a minimalist and chilled out cover version such as this.

Much like IYES recent cover of Beyoncé, all the urgency has been stripped out and instead we are left with a calming, soothing and haunting sound that provides hidden depth and meaning where cheese once was prevalent. Bella Hay’s vocals are aggrieved, full of anguish and sadness as she begs not to have her heart broken while the keys underneath are delicate and respectful. There is a starkness to it, a coldness that reflects that feeling of isolation as if the world has suddenly zoomed out and you are left alone, standing in the emptiness as the tears fall and you crumple to the ground.

We never ever thought we would say this about “What Is Love”, but Tears & Marble have turned it into something that is actually quite beautiful.



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