Watch Philly’s Ben O’Neill cover St. Vincent’s “Cheerleader”
St. Vincent is performing this Friday for our weekly Free at Noon concert series. The show is sold out. Ben O’Neill is a Philly artist and is also a fan of St Vincent. Recently he recorded a really great cover of one of her songs, “Cheerleader” (one of my favorites). I asked him why he decided to record this song AND do a video, and here’s what he said.
I find St. Vincent to be a compelling, unique and unapologetic artist. Her music combines pop and avant-garde in a way I find truly inspiring. She highlights this combination in “Cheerleader” which uses relatable lyrics in a pop song format in conjunction with chromatic melodies and otherworldly guitar and synth textures. The song has shocking contrast between the subtle, atmospheric verses and massive, hard-hitting choruses which demanded my attention right from the first listen. She’s an artist that marches to the beat of her own drummer and her individuality inspires me to keep creating my own music.
My team and I put the effort into creating this cover and video because we felt that our version was exciting and wanted to add a compelling visual element. My cover is similar enough to show our deep respect for St. Vincent’s creative vision and different enough to stand on its own. Director Steven Jon was looking for a new project and was generous enough to lend his talents to pull the video together.
I have yet to see St. Vincent in person but am thankful that will change on Friday! And remember to tune in to WXPN Monday through Friday in the 1:00 hour to hear my Philly Local Pick of the day.