Look, we’ve all tried to sing it. Maybe we’ve done it alone in the car. Maybe we’ve done it drunkenly with friends, right around last call — one of those cases where someone starts it and we can’t help but compulsively join in. Maybe — god, I hope not — we’ve even attempted to sing it at karaoke. We’ve all failed. The Cranberries’ “Zombie” is one of those songs that we all know how to sing even if none of us has the actual ability to get anywhere near the late Dolores O’Riordan’s electric-shock yawp. The vast majority of us are just not vocally qualified to take on a song like that. But Dawn Richard is vocally qualified.
These days, we think of Dawn Richard, who records as DAWN, as one of the spaced-out travelers in the loose internet-addled future-soul movement. But Richard, who just shared her “Jealousy” video last week, came up through the commercial R&B ranks before branching out on her own. She’s a veteran of Making The Band, of Danity Kane, of Diddy-Dirty Money. She can sing. And that means she can take on “Zombie.”
In what appears to be some kind of live-in-studio session, Richard and her band — guitarist, drum-machine guy, two backing singers — have played a nice, stripped-down version of the Cranberries’ 1994 monster. Below, watch them perform it, and, while you’re at it, watch the video for the original.
DAWN’s new album is out in 2019 via Local Action/Our Dawn Entertainment.