Adrien Reju - "Soul Love (David Bowie Cover)" (audio) (Premiere)

New York singer-songwriter Adrien Reju takes on the music of Ziggy Stardust as part of her unconventional examination of love on her new record Strange Love and the Secret Language.

Earlier this year, PopMatters premiered the Sam Cooke-indebted tune "Last Call" by the Woodstock, New York singer-songwriter Adrien Reju. With the release of her new record Strange Love and the Secret Language just a short month and a half away, we're proud to unveil another tune of Reju's, this time a cover version of David Bowie's "Soul Love". On both musical and lyrical fronts, "Soul Love" is a perfect match for the refreshingly atypical love songs that Reju sings on her new record.

Reju tells PopMatters a bit about her new LP: "The idea for Strange Love and the Secret Language, a collection of unconventional love songs, came to me after a show I played at a place called The Fire in Philadelphia on Valentine's Day 2014. I wanted to do something a little different because it was Valentine's Day, but I also didn't want to just play a set of your typical love songs. The Fire is a place that attracts artists and people with character and I wanted to cater to that audience. So I thought it might be fun to play a set of 'unconventional love songs', songs that expressed the darker and twisted side of love. We played 'Bang, Bang, My Baby Shot Me Down' (Sonny Bono), Tom Waits' 'I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You', we rocked out a funny children's song by Bryant Oden called 'If Our Love Was an Outhouse', and played songs by Jeff Buckley, Skeeter Davis, and Lou Reed. It was a blast and the audience loved it, so my manager pulled me aside after the show and said he thought it would be a great idea to make an album of unconventional love songs. Let's just say, I heeded his advice."

Reju also explains what led her to choose this particular Bowie tune: "When deciding on which cover songs to chose for the album, Bowie's 'Soul Love' spoke to me. It's from his album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, and the character in the song contemplates love and some of its many faces; a mother kneeling at her son's grave, new love between a boy and girl, and divine love. He also expresses the loneliness that can come when you are in love with love, the feeling that love gives you, because 'love is not loving' in return.

"I think it also speaks to the culture of the times when the song was recorded in 1972, during the Vietnam War and just after the free-loving era of the '60s. It was an explosive time of progress and protest and while it was triumphant, I also think it left many people feeling alone, especially those who lost loved ones to the war. It's a deep song and I'm not sure I entirely understand Bowie's intentions in the words he wrote, but that's sort of the beauty of it. Like good literature, I love a song that makes you think and come back to it again and again. It never gets old. It also serves as a nice introduction to the rest of the album."

Strange Love and the Secret Language was initially slated for a 5 June release, but it will now be put out on 7 August via Zip Records.





'World War 3 Illustrated #51: The World We Are Fighting For'

World War 3 Illustrated #51 displays an eclectic range of artists united in their call to save democracy from rising fascism.


Tiphanie Doucet's "You and I" Is an Exercise in Pastoral Poignancy (premiere)

French singer-songwriter Tiphanie Doucet gives a glimpse of her upcoming EP, Painted Blue, via the sublimely sentimental ode, "You and I".


PM Picks Playlist 3: WEIRDO, Psychobuildings, Lili Pistorius

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of WEIRDO, Brooklyn chillwavers Psychobuildings, the clever alt-pop of Lili Pistorius, visceral post-punk from Sapphire Blues, Team Solo's ska-pop confection, and dubby beats from Ink Project.

By the Book

The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species (excerpt)

If an alien visitor were to collect ten souvenir life forms to represent life on earth, which would they be? This excerpt of Marianne Taylor's The Story of Life in 10 and a Half Species explores in text and photos the tiny but powerful earthling, the virus.

Marianne Taylor

Exploitation Shenanigans 'Test Tube Babies' and 'Guilty Parents' Contend with the Aftermath

As with so many of these movies about daughters who go astray, Test Tube Babies blames the uptight mothers who never told them about S-E-X. Meanwhile, Guilty Parents exploits poor impulse control and chorus girls showing their underwear.


Deftones Pull a Late-Career Rabbit Out of a Hat with 'Ohms'

Twenty years removed from Deftones' debut album, the iconic alt-metal outfit gel more than ever and discover their poise on Ohms.


Arcade Fire's Will Butler Personalizes History on 'Generations'

Arcade Fire's Will Butler creates bouncy, infectious rhythms and covers them with socially responsible, cerebral lyrics about American life past and present on Generations.


Thelonious Monk's Recently Unearthed 'Palo Alto' Is a Stellar Posthumous Live Set

With a backstory as exhilarating as the music itself, a Thelonious Monk concert recorded at a California high school in 1968 is a rare treat for jazz fans.


Jonnine's 'Blue Hills' Is an Intimate Collection of Half-Awake Pop Songs

What sets experimental pop's Jonnine apart on Blue Hills is her attention to detail, her poetic lyricism, and the indelibly personal touch her sound bears.


Renegade Connection's Gary Asquith Indulges in Creative Tension

From Renegade Soundwave to Renegade Connection, electronic legend Gary Asquith talks about how he continues to produce infectiously innovative music.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.


Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.


PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.


'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.


Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.


Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.


Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.