Sondre Lerche – “Flowers” (Miley Cyrus Cover)

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Sondre Lerche – “Flowers” (Miley Cyrus Cover)


For more than a decade, the tradition has been going strong: Every year around Christmas time, Norwegian indie singer-songwriter extraordinaire Sondre Lerche sends Stereogum a new recording of a well-known pop song. It started way back in 2012 with a cover of Beyoncé’s “Countdown” and has continued with tracks by Sia, Drake, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, and more. Most recently, Lerche took on Doja Cat and SZA’s “Kiss Me More” and Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero.” Today, the tradition continues.

Back in 2013, one of Lerche’s earliest Christmas covers was a take on “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus — the first #1 hit for the former Hannah Montana. A decade later, Cyrus returned to the top of the Hot 100 this year with “Flowers,” and Lerche and collaborator Matias Tellez have responded in kind with a “Flowers” reinterpretation this yuletide season. His arrangement turns it into a new-wavey Strokes song, and I consider it a vast improvement over the original.

Lerche offered this explanation for his choice of material:

I’ve felt out of touch with hits this year. The few that caught my ear were perfect songs (Kill Bill, Vampire) that I would feel uncomfortable and unmotivated performing myself. And while Kylie’s grand Padam phenomenon was top of my wish list, it simply wasn’t big enough on a global scale. At least this was the consensus when Matias and I sat down 24 hours ago, to review our options and make a choice. I try to think about how to most constructively add to any conversation or situation I step into. It feels increasingly challenging these days, and sometimes you just fail. As it turns out, the big hit that Matias and I felt we could most constructively assist this year was Flowers by Miley Cyrus. Seeing as this year also marks the tenth anniversary of our ritual, plus the fact that the first big hit Matias and I covered together for Christmas ten years ago, was Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus, it all seemed to make sense. Also, with the recent release of my Understudy album, which contains the first decade of these annual covers, this year’s addition to the tradition marks the beginning of the next decade of our joyful ritual. I hope it brings you joy. Thanks for listening, following and keeping in touch, always. I am looking forward to spending time on new songs and music in 2024.

This season it is impossible for me not to reflect on the thousands of civilians, especially children, killed or traumatized by senseless acts of war and terrorism. We must do better. Wishing you love and peace.

With thanks,

I guess he forgot about the Beyoncé cover? Anyway, check out Lerche’s take on “Flowers” below.

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