There’s a pulsing poignancy about So Below’s latest release: Her vibrant cover of Now, Now’s new song “SGL” burns with longing, desire and intent, captivating listeners with the haunting echo of a cry into the darkness.
You call me crying
The middle of the night
I’m on my knees
You’ve got me praying for a sign
It’s all wrong, she’s looking for a fight
Just say my name and I’ll come running
Listen: “SGL” – So Below (orig. by Now, Now)
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering So Below’s cover of “SGL” by Minneapolis indie rock band Now, Now. Replacing the duo’s driving guitars with a downtempo tapestry of echoey vocals and warm synth, So Below (aka New Zealand-based artist Madeline North) presents this revamped love song as her own passionately pained sonic exhale of uncertainty and depth.
Don’t get me wrong
I hear your reasons
You get along over the weekends
But I got it bad
Yeah I’m not sleeping
And every time I hear her name
my heart is breaking
SGL stands for “shotgun lover.” Now, Now’s KC Dalager and Brad Hale use the metaphor to evoke an excitement about diving head-first into love: You hit the ground running, giving your all and making as much as you can of something special. The song’s darkness comes from the need to invite one’s partner to join in pulling the trigger: Inherently, that suggests one party is falling harder and faster than the other, and uneven emotions are so often the cause of angst, stress, and grief.
So Below takes those latter emotions and squeezes them into her song, embedding “SGL” with the pain of wanting more than you’re going to get, and the vulnerability of one who exposes their full selves to another in hopes of basking in each other’s glow.
Her chorus is particularly moving:
Pick it up baby if we’re moving too slow
I got the seat back, windows up
Just say it, I’m yours
Now every word is heavy
Tell me what you wanna know
You’re my shotgun lover and I want it all
Sung slowly and clearly, the chorus provokes a tender, bittersweet moment of truth: This is the olive branch to her lover, and it’s everything she’s got. Will her love be received?
So Below’s inspiration for the song comes from its musical character: “The song is just so good and catchy,” she shares. “I was driving in my car listening to it the day after it came out, and just thought I have to do a cover of this.” Faithfully capturing Now, Now’s essence while delivering a taste of her own musical medicine on top, So Below mesmerizes with her own dreamy, hazy indie pop magic. Discover more of So Below’s unique artistry in the stream below, and keep an eye out for more from Madeline North as 2017 progresses!
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cover © 2017