In 2016, it may be necessary for a moratorium on "Hotline Bling" covers, but Sondre Lerche sneaked his tribute in under the wire. Unlike most renditions of Drake's smash, which either use the original beat or transform the song into a piano ballad, Lerche's incorporates guitars and races forward.
The singer/songwriter endearingly acknowledged that more versions of "Hotline Bling" were unnecessary, but he made one anyway. "What the world needs now is not yet another cover of 'Hotline Bling,' sweet lord," he wrote on SoundCloud. "But there's no other huge song of 2015 I had wanted to sing more than Drake's irrational, wounded instant classic. So deal with it, and I'll at least spare you any further analysis, except to say it's a truly magnetic piece of music. My version was produced, recorded and mixed by Matias Tellez ('Hotline Bling' is one of his favorite songs of the year too) last night in Bergen, Norway in a mere 10 dark hours. At the end of the night we were quite fried, borderline hallucinating, and a nod to Milton Nascimento's immortal Clube Da Esquina No 2 snuck into the outro... Here's to yet another year that hopefully, despite terrifying, dark forces seeking to corrupt and confuse, will see us inspire each other to even greater heights, above, beyond."
Listen below, and read Drake's FADER cover story.