Indie singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich just released a new single — and in the unexpected form of an Arcade Fire cover. Last Friday, Leftwich dropped hushed cover of the alt-rock band’s thumping 2004 song “Rebellion (Lies).” It’s the second single the English born artist has released since his 2016 album After the Rain.

This ethereal acoustic cover rings in stark contrast to Arcade Fire’s driving original, the two singers’s mere voices imbue each rendition with opposite energies. Leftwich’s signature whispery rasp lulls the anxiety that Arcade’s frontman, Win Butler’s, cutting tone infuses into the original.

Even with its mellowness, Leftwich’s soft, stripped down reimagination of “Rebellion (Lies)” manages to maintain the urgency of its alt-rock inspiration. While the original —  loaded with Arcade Fire’s signature, bright piano pulse — sounds something like a love-laced race, the quiet cover’s identical lyrics relay that same high-stakes longing. Leftwich’s dreamy repetition of lyrics like “Every time you close your eyes” and “Scare your sons and scare your daughters” gives the cover a simultaneously haunting and soothing air. Its crescendoing background vocals and cooing instrumentation work to relay the intoxicating intensity of the original in a more contemplative fashion.

It could be relatively easy to mistake Leftwich’s “Rebellion (Lies)” for a lackluster and aimless cover of a song that — like Arcade Fire — is well-known and well-loved for its high tempo and insistent energy. But this single is meditative, its energy more contained and subtly revealed — a tingly accompaniment to a dwindling fall evening.  


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