Dillon Ryan’s cover of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ is anything but the typical Friday night cover band that you hear at your local bar. Instead of a cookie cutter cover that mimics all the idiosyncrasies of the original, Ryan has tweaked out the song for a more modern experience.
Bowie, who died a year ago this week, would have been celebrating his 70th birthday today making Ryan’s cover a timely release. Like many artists, Ryan says that that Bowie has had a lasting influence on his own music.
“I’ve been a fan of David for a long time. He’s one of the constant influences in pretty much everything I do. He’s one of those artists that’s it’s more than just the music. It’s the bravery. The idea of reinventing your sound and aesthetic from record to record.”
Ryan says that it isn’t just the sound of Bowie’s music that has influenced him, but “the crafting of his songs and how any of his songs can be played a hundred different ways and the song will always shine through. I think that’s a testament to great writing.” The juxtaposition of sound and writing makes Bowie an ideal influence for musicians as they learn and grow as composers.
For Ryan, Let’s Dance seemed like the unnatural choice for a cover, “I wanted to do a song of his that didn’t have any parallels to my band’s sound. The cover is pretty much a post punk gothic rock version of a disco pop hit. If Bowie taught me anything it was too embrace my identity and all the quirks and oddities that may come with. So I think it’s important if you are going to cover someone like Bowie it’s important to make it completely your own.”
Ryan’s edgy voice shares a similar tone with Bowie and acts as the common anchor point between the two. Otherwise, it might be mistaken as a new 2017 single.
Ryan is currently work on his second full length record with John Mullane of In Flight Safety acting as producer and co-writer. The album will be released later this year.