Radiohead – Present Tense (cover)

Song: Present Tense

Album: A Moon Shaped Pool

Band: Radiohead

There aren’t too many bands about whom you can say that their most recent album had some of their best songs. But Radiohead is one such. To be fair, it’s a bit of cheating to say that about A Moon Shaped Pool since it’s majorly made up of songs that they had been playing live for years but never released on an album.

However it may be, Present Tense holds up well with the best of Radiohead. Radiohead truly have mastered timelessness and this song is Exhibit A. You could imagine Present Tense sitting along side Let Down from OK Computer and yet, it doesn’t sound merely like an imitation of the OK Computer. It’s more like they somehow managed to go back to the train of thought, the creative energies that were flowing back in 1997 and tap into them all over again.

That said, this song isn’t necessarily a singer’s song in the most generic sense of the word. It’s not challenging range wise nor requires much power, doesn’t have any melismas, so on and so forth.

However, singing a song like this presents its own challenge. It required me to adapt to the quietness of the song (I have a big voice if you’ve heard some of my other English song covers) and capture the deeply poignant emotions in it. It is rendered in a manner such that there is immense turmoil and anguish (evident from the lyrics) but it’s kind of simmering without exploding at any point. That’s hard in its own way too.

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