Cover Story

GRMLN covers Ben E. King

September 16, 2012 3 Comments

There’s no rule that cover songs need to depart drastically from the original source to be deemed successful. Change for change’s sake is a terrible tack for an artist to take.

That why I have nothing but love for GRMLN‘s faithful cover of the oft-recorded “Stand By Me,” twice a top 10 hit for its co-writer Ben E. King (in 1961 and 1986). Nineteen-year-old college student Yoodoo Park, born in Japan and raised in Southern California, is the man behind GRMLN’s indie-pop mask. Recently releasing his debut single, the dreamy “Coral,” Park explains his reasons for picking “Stand By Me”:

“This was a song that I always used to scream in the shower, and I thought that it would be a fun song to cover. And the fact that this is a classic song, that I feel anyone can relate to, made me want cover it more. Even though I may have ruined the song for the majority of the people who really love the original.”

Ruined the song? No, that would be Sean Kingston, who committed an unforgivable sin in 2007 with the “Stand By Me”-sampling “Beautiful Girls,” and somehow secured a worldwide #1 hit. So thank you, GRMLN, for not mucking about with King’s pop classic and instead taking a reverential approach. The vibraphone really makes this beautiful, girls:

GRMLN’s debut EP, Explore, is out October 23 on Carpark Records.

Free download of GRMLN – “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King cover) via the player above.