Sound Tracks: “Don’t Give Up” by The Midway State feat. Lady Gaga
When the video for this cover of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush’s 1986 classic “Don’t Give Up” leaked on January 1, it had all the elements of the perfect viral storm: the song, though previously leaked, remains unreleased since its summertime creation, the video was panned with no plans for release, Peter Gabriel is awesome, no one has covered this song in at least, what, a year?, and, duh, the internet’s brain explodes almost daily over Ms. Gaga. But this version remains (seemingly) the sole, limited one, a presumed New Years gift for this mysterious Alejandro, whose name is supered over the entire clip. Original gift-giving ideas 101, folks.
As Spinner reported in June, the two artists share an A&R rep at label Interscope, and when he suggested the duet, Gaga’s stratospheric pop-star status made it a no-brainer collaboration for Toronto band The Midway State. Gaga and Midway State singer Nathan Ferraro do well by the original, if not exactly different; musically theirs is a little darker in the synths, a little more current-pop-music melodrama in the vocals, and visually the video is a near shot-by-shot remake of the original of the original (Gabriel and Bush shot two videos for the single), but with a Sailor Moon kind of anime haze. The updated snugglefest also features less feathered hair, fewer oversized trenchcoats, and, of course, 100% more Alejandro.