SOUNDS LIKE: If the The Cars were fronted by Mazzy Star; Quiet, pensive isolation
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: The Cars didn't write bad songs and this is one of their best, regardless of who performs it
In the mid 80's The Cars, fronted by singer Rick Ocasek, had pretty much all of the hits, but one of their biggest and most enduring was the song "Drive," off 1984's Heartbeat City. Bassist Benjamin Orr took over vocal duties, delivering a haunting, borderline noir performance that amazingly still resonates with listeners today. So much so that Brooklyn's Young Unknowns recently went ahead and covered the track for a special covers digital 7".
Trading the original’s lush atmosphere for a chilly, detached melancholy, singer Meridith Meyer and crew transform the thirty-year-old hit into a tense but beautiful lament worthy of the original that inspired it. What sells both songs ultimately is the underlying sense of dread, the feeling that something has gone horribly wrong. Young Unknowns push that dread to the forefront by stripping the song to its barest state to provide a sharp contrast to the original. Whereas The Cars version of "Drive" makes space for the tiniest bit of hope, buoying the song with an ever present army of synths, Young Unknowns’ spartan take leaves no room for anything but a chilly, persistent despair.