You hear Vanessa Carlton’s name, your mind goes “duh-nuhnuh-duh-nuhnuh-nuh,” straight to her debut hit, “A Thousand Miles,” and for good reason. Girl wrote one of the best pop songs of the young millennium. But she’s also made a lot of other music since then, including the song we’re premiering today. So for the sake of this post, forget about “A Thousand Miles.” Forget the piano car and the fact that hers was the first riff you wanted to learn how to play when you started taking piano lessons. The artist behind the track that has inspired an endless list of pop culture references has covered a song as coverable as her own: Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend.”
Out of respect to Robyn, Carlton based her cover off the OG electro-pop foundation — no acoustic keys within earshot. Eventually more familiar guitar and tambourine come into the fold with the help of a couple friendly faces from Carlton’s husband’s band:
It’s great when a song with nuance like this blows up in pop culture. The lyric is so clever. Once I took it on, I realized the structure is far more unconventional than you might think as well. Plus I got to play with members of the band Deer Tick on this. They happened to be in Nashville when I was recording this song. Dennis Ryan played drums and Chris Ryan played bass. So fresh.
What would be wild is if they did the choreography on a piano car. No rush on that, though. Listen below.
“Call Your Girlfriend” is the first of six monthly covers Carlton is promising this year. Her most recent album Liberman is out now on Dine Alone Records.