[VIDEO] HAIM x ‘XO’ (Beyonce’ Cover)

haimxoCalifornia trio Haim have been on the #coversbandwagon for a few months now, but their latest endeavor is undoubtedly my favorite. Their last cover was a very bold move, redoing Miley Cyrus’ former #1 single “Wrecking Ball” to rave reviews. Continuing their trend of making mainstream artists sound like indie rock/pop veterans, the Haim sisters bravely step up to their latest challenge – Beyonce’s “XO”. Unlike most of Haim’s recordings to date, Este takes the live lead and delivers a powerful but quaint vocal to Bey’s latest single. Alana stays on the drums while Danielle plays “Kelly” (aka ‘second lead singer’), leaving Este with just her beautiful voice and guitar. While Bey’s original version features a somewhat offensive audio sample of the fallen Challenger shuttle, there isn’t as much focus on the actual song meaning as there is on the arrangement, radio accessibility, and lyrics. Haim’s cover, on the other hand, is just pure, raw vocals – and some of their best to date. It’s almost as if the trio sat down with Jay Z to determine what didn’t necessarily work for Bey’s version, which led to a much more improved and overall meaningful performance. The obvious standout of Haim’s version is the second verse (beginning at 2:15), where Este slays the daylight out of Bey’s first ballad from her fifth album. It’s continued performances like these that just places Haim in a closer margin for one of the most prestigious honors on contemporary music – the Best New Artist Grammy. And if Este continues to deliver live vocals like on “XO”, the trio is well on their way. Watch HAIM cover Beyonce’s “XO” for the BBC Live Lounge UK below.

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