Sondre Lerche – “Rain On Me” (Ariana Grande & Lady Gaga Cover) & “I Contain Multitudes” (Bob Dylan Cover)
It’s a tradition unlike any other. Once a year, the Norwegian indie-pop great Sondre Lerche sends Stereogum a brand-new cover song as a Christmas present. He’s been doing it for more than a decade. Last year, Lerche gave us his version of Britney Spears’ “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman.” In recent years, Lerche has also covered pop hits by Selena Gomez, Drake, and Sia, among many others. This year, he’s done something unprecedented. Even after releasing the new album Patience earlier this year, Lerche has given us two new cover songs.
It seems that Ariana Grande is Lerche’s favorite cover subject. In past years, Lerche has covered two of Grande’s songs, “Into You” and “thank u, next.” This year, Lerche has given us a thumping, fired-up cover of Grande and Lady Gaga’s chart-topping house-pop duet “Rain On Me.” But that’s not all. Lerche has also taken on “I Contain Multitudes,” the sly ramble that Bob Dylan dropped earlier this year. Here’s what Lerche has to say about this year’s covers:
I don’t think I need to repeat the general consensus on 2020 as a terrible, most challenging and heartbreaking year. So I’ll instead just express my gratitude to followers and supporters who’ve stuck by me through all the hoops of releasing my album Patience into this world, while trying to stay afloat through their own chaos and confusion. Amidst all the turmoil, it has felt meaningful to share an album that somehow felt of the moment in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. Finding opportunities to share this music has been more than my full time job this year — and I’ve appreciated it more than ever.
More than ever, I’ve also appreciated songs other than my own, this year. “I Contain Multitudes” by Bob Dylan hit me so hard that I’ve been performing it live any chance I got this summer — which was more often than I first thought possible. To me it’s the greatest Bob Dylan song I’ve ever heard, so I had to include a small rendition in my gift to you this year.
As has become tradition since 2009, my proper gift is a cover of a big hit of the year that I’ve enjoyed. And the further I got into this year, I gravitated towards Lady Gaga’s “Rain On Me.” By the end of the year, as even Norway started shutting down again due to a surge in infection rates, it was a no-brainer. So I recorded my version last night, with my buddy and producer Matias Tellez, in the hope that it’ll give you joy, relief and escape this season, extending as far into the new year as it needs to.
“I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive” seems like an efficient enough way of summing up the sentiment of 2020, as we seek to leave it behind forever.
Love and continued patience,
Here are Lerche’s versions of “Rain On Me” and “I Contain Multitudes”:
Earlier this week, Lerche played a livestream show called the Patience Extravaganza, and tickets are available until the end of the year; you can buy them here. Here’s the trailer, which looks amazing:
And here’s Lerche’s playlist of his 24 favorite songs of 2020:
Lerche’s album Patience is out now.