‘Creep’ covers are to the internet what Rickrolling is to the internet: an infinite, bottomless well of entertainment, nostalgia, and cringe that is synonymous with YouTube and will likely outlast us all, even in the event of a disastrous global apocalypse. All that will be left are cockroaches and ‘Creep’ covers wafting through the eternal ether. It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that I’ve heard everyone in the goddamn world cover ‘Creep’, and most likely so have you.
To get things starter, here are some quick, possibly unpopular, opinions about ‘Creep’:
- It’s only the third-best song of the ’90s called ‘Creep’ (after these two) and overall the fourth-best of all time (after this one).
- It is probably Radiohead’s best song. It’s one of those things that I know and you know, and we both try to be cool hip music people by saying it’s not, but now it’s thirty years later and we can just admit it to ourselves. Even Thom Yorke doesn’t hate ‘Creep’ anymore. It’s OK. This is a safe space.
- The fact that Radiohead has built their entire career, every single left turn, every sonic reinvention, every music industry goalpost-shifting decision, based on the public’s reaction, and their own reaction, to ‘Creep’ is as artistically admirable as it is hilariously petty.
- The last time that a human being ever mentions Radiohead, likely hundreds of years from now when concepts like ‘popular music’ and ‘performance’ are all but eradicated from culture as a whole, it will not be in reference to OK Computer or Kid A or In Rainbows. It will be referencing ‘Creep’.
This is all to say that I was relieved when Jade Bird, the English folkie with Americana leanings, decided to cover ‘Black Star’ from The Bends instead.
Bird hits my personal musical sweet spot, somewhere just short of country that amazing artists like Brandi Carlile and Patty Griffin occupy, and her decision to take on the rarest of things, a Radiohead deep cut, is as refreshing as her rendition is beautifully sublime. Bird is a talented young artist who deserves some upstart recognition, and anyone that can avoid the pitfalls of the ‘Creep’ cover clearly has good musical intuition.
Check out the ‘Black Star’ cover down, below.