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When Lorde covered Phil Collins classic 'In The Air Tonight'

As Lorde ramps up for her hotly anticipated third album Solar Power, now seems like as good a time as any to look back on the influences that brought her to this point.

The first cover most people heard from Lorde was probably her take on ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack. I’ll be honest: this version doesn’t do anything for me. It was a popular trend at the time to have a 1980s song, specifically, a Tears for Fears song, weirdly enough. Slowed down and put over your movie’s trailer, you were guaranteed a hit. Lorde’s unique voice is the only thing that stands out here, but otherwise, it’s just part of something that everyone did in the late 2000s and early 2010s and still annoyingly does today.

The second cover that most people heard from the New Zealander was ‘Swingin’ Party’ by The Replacements, which appeared on the extended version of Pure Heroine. This one is much better. Like the original, Lorde’s version taps into the sadness and emptiness that comes with constant stimulation, whether it’s playing shows or going to parties. It fit her well, and it likely exposed a whole new generation to the genius of Paul Westerberg. I call that a win-win.

Now we have to look at what the world had been clamouring for: Lorde’s take on Phil Collins. Honestly, she should have covered ‘Sussudio’ for Solar Power; it seems like those two have similar vibrant energy. But back in 2017, during the Melodrama promotional cycle, Lorde decided to take on ‘In the Air Tonight’ at Radio 1’s Live Lounge.

I can admit to not being a Phil Collins fan and for having heard ‘In the Air Tonight’ enough times to be okay with never hearing it ever again, but I can’t really say anything bad about Lorde’s cover. It’s well sung, and she matches the song’s drama better than just about anyone else I’ve heard cover the song. Also, she keeps the drum fill, because of course, you have to have the drum fill (drum Phil. Ha.). 

Acoustic covers of ‘In the Air Tonight’ fail because they can’t play those big ass drums, which are the most necessary element of the composition. The song just doesn’t work without it, something that Lorde knows.

Check out her cover of ‘In the Air Tonight’ down below.