Joined by a backing band that includes Polish Club’s David Novak on guitar, James’ rendition is a little more rock-driven than the New Zealand pop wunderkind’s original, which appeared on last year’s ‘FIRE ON MARZZ’ EP.
In addition to ‘Soaked’, James also performed his recent single ‘Good Man’. Watch both performances below:
In a video on triple j’s YouTube channel, James discussed his decision to cover ‘Soaked’.
“It made me really think of people my age doing so much more and absolutely killing it on an international stage. You think of people like Billie Eilish and you think of people like BENEE,” he said. “She’s younger than me, and is doing some amazing things with her career. I just love that song and I thought I’d pay homage to such a great artist, and really rep the generation of music that’s coming up.”
Explaining the changes he made for his rendition, James explained: “BENEE sings in that really cool, almost R&B feel, and that was a little bit too slow for my type of music. So, I think to really make it a more Fergus James Like a Version, bumped up the tempo, put some nice drums underneath, and fortunately enough had Novak from Polish Club to add some really nice textures on the electric guitar.
“We had about two full days of rehearsal, just really trying to make it stand out and have a point of difference from the original track, and make it feel a lot more live.”
Last month, James released ‘Good Man’, his first single of the year. It arrived with the news the singer-songwriter had signed to boutique label 100s + 1000s. He joins D’Arcy Spiller and Tobiahs as one of the first three signees to the label, which is part of the Mushroom Group.
James’ Like a Version marks the second edition of the covers program since it returned from an 11-week hiatus last week, with rapper Chillinit’s performance of Brockhampton track ‘SUGAR’. The show had been placed on hiatus back in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.