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Cats may have nine lives, but “Love Lockdown” has had about a billion. It’s been remixed, reworked, and karaoked so many times, by normal accounts, this track would’ve reached its overexposure quota ages ago. But although it’s been nearly seven years since Kanye West dropped the dark banger upon the world, “Love Lockdown” remains one of those rare songs that never gets old. And now it’s getting (yes, another) life, courtesy of Philly duo Marian Hill. They’ve stripped the clubby original of its throbbing percussion and over-the-top flash, and replaced it with smoky vocals and a laid-back, electronic vibe. It’s so gorgeous, we swear you’ve never heard Kanye like this before. But first! Find out everything you need to know about Jeremy Lloyd and Samantha Gongol, AKA Marian Hill, in our one-minute interview below.
How did you guys first link up and start playing music together?
We grew up together, singing in choirs, writing songs in parallel and chatting about it. Then, over breaks from college we would get together and share what we’d been writing and play around with writing together. Spring break 2013 I came home with the beat that would become “Whisky.” We wrote and recorded the song together in a few days and the rest is history.
How would you describe your sound in 5 words or less?
Classic bass sway songs.
We love Kanye and everything, but why did you decide to cover “Love Lockdown”? It’s an unexpected choice.
We wanted to find a song to cover that we thought we could reveal something new about. I always love when a cover can help the listener discover a new side of a song that they’ve never noticed before. And then we started thinking about “Love Lockdown” because it’s such a dark, desperate song. Often in the midst of all the exciting Kanye production on the original you can lose track of the specifics of the lyrics. So the idea was, “What if we strip it all down, slow it down a bit, break it down to its basic elements, and really croon the lyric like it’s a sad, heart-wrenching ballad?”
And the result, we hope, reveals a little something new about this brilliant song!
Who’s your dream tourmate?
What’s up next for you?
We’re in the lab hard at work on our album at the moment – we’ll be spending the next several months either doing that or touring. Going hard at SXSW in a few weeks, followed by some west coast dates and then an east coast headlining run in April!