Dancing on My Own

I am an unabashed fan of pop music, as I’ve mentioned. Pop is the intersection of many influences and musical traditions, and it’s able to take freely from those roots. In recent years, Robyn has become one of the best examples of that.

Dancing on My Own by Mappa Mundi

She started in the 90s as a teen pop star, but since then, she has become something much more interesting. Her story of struggling against her label and wanting to put out more personally-felt material is not uncommon. What’s interesting is that what she puts out now, on her own Konichiwa Records, is a rare combination of raw dance/electronic beats, synthesizers, beautiful orchestral arrangements, and honest, immediate songs. The electro-pop she produces is glitchy, symphonic, and emotive (not to mention danceable), in the same vein as fellow Swedes, The Knife, or Röyksopp. Plus, you have to respect anyone who can consistently crank out catchy hooks like she can. Her Body Talk trilogy is fantastic but I recommend 2005’s Robyn. Every song on it is great but “Be Mine!,” “With Every Heartbeat,” “Bum Like You,” and “Who’s That Girl?” are amazing! “Be Mine!” hooked me instantly.

So, I decided to cover one of her recent hits, “Dancing on My Own,” a perfect pop song, all 4-0n-the-floor dance beats, sparkly synth arpeggios, and reverb, about loneliness, loss, and dancing. You should know by now that I’m a sucker for catchy tunes about heartache.

As this is the first cover we’ve posted, please do let me know what you think, in the comments. I’m pretty proud of the beat I wrote too. My first foray into such electronic territory was fun (I took the drum machine sounds and effected them using fuzzy distortion, tons of delay, and reverb). I may have to do more…

Lastly, a shout-out, again, to our fabulous fiddler, Suzanne Lipkin, who nailed the violin part, as usual. The final product, I think, is a blend of folk, electro, 90s alt-rock, chamber pop, and, of course some Ligetti-esque tone clusters in the bridge. For good measure.

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