POP ETC “How Will I Know (Whitney Houston Cover)”
Under their former name The Morning Benders, the band now-known-as POP ETC, were, along with pumping out finely crafted indie-pop gems like “Excuses”, continually reliable for pulling off good covers, whether it was an ’80’s-airbrushed swipe at The Strokes or breezy, SoCal-baked takes on The Cardigans and The Ronettes.
It seems that neither the name change, nor the band’s subsequent stylistic shift to slicker pop terrains on their POP ETC debut, have taken away the guys love for remaking, as, over the holidays, they treated their fans with a return trip to the covers well, this time for a tackling of classic Whitney Houston No. 1 “How Will I Know”.
For a song so unashamedly perky, bubblegum and, well ’80’s in its original context, it’s hard to imagine any cover of it to not lean a little bit cheesy, especially without the golden-throated distraction of a powerhouse Houston vocal; POP ETC’s strummy, stripped back effort definitely carries traces of Velveeta, but there’s still some bits of charm to be found via frontman Chris Chu’s sweetly sincere reading of the giddy-in-love confessional to warrant repeat listens.