“Thinking Bout You”- Flo Morrissey and Matthew E. White

To say I was reluctant to hear a cover of a song by one of this generation’s most versatile and innovative artists is an understatement. A common problem with (white) indie musicians covering songs by black artists is that they seem to be attempting to make a song about black pain palatable for a white audience that otherwise wouldn’t listen to it. And yet…

Listening to this song through indie ears is definitely an interesting experience. Gone are the melancholy synths that permeated Frank Ocean’s original; instead we’re given gentle guitar and tinkling piano. I wouldn’t go so far as to say listening to this is a religious experience; however, the use of an organ and layering of Morrissey’s vocals give this cover a casual Sunday afternoon choir practice vibe. Duets have always been a staple of the indie scene and White and Morrissey definitely cash in on that here. They give this song a back-and-forth the original didn’t possess. Ocean’s version has clear gay undertones due to it being an ode to a former male flame that didn’t return his affections as they both had girlfriends at the time. It’s undoubtedly bleak, being a lament of a lost love that never was. By turning it into a duet, Morrissey and White have made this song somewhat unemotional in comparison, but accessible in an entirely new way. A few minor lyric changes and alternating perspectives make it seem like a couple casually reflecting on days gone by. Unfortunately, this song has been stripped of most of its emotional resonance due to a certain Vine (I can’t be the only one that fully expected to hear “potato” instead of “tornado” after hitting play) so these two can’t fully be held accountable.

A stroke of genius? Definitely not. An enjoyable listen? I would say so.

Check it out!


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