Zola Jesus-Diamonds (Rihanna Cover)

If you’re anything like me, you’ll go through a few stages with this one. At the start, it just seems like a direct cover with no real unique elements, besides a slightly minimalised production, and that’s a fair assessment initially. However, just shy of a minute in things really step up and it’ll begin to completely take a hold of you. The soft sample the track opens with is joined by a stuttered synth and a sharp percussion, amongst several other layers, for an experimental yet controlled production with plenty of replayability.

On top of that is Zola’s near-hypnotic voice. It’s not pitch-perfect, it’s not technically outstanding, (criticisms that can be levied at the original’s creator, of course) and hence its natural qualities contrast favourably with the electronic production. Her vocals are packed with passion, alongside hints of sadness and regret, and somehow, it all comes together and becomes both rather addictive. A cover that gets better with every listen.

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