Mac Miller’s musical progression from his playful 2011 debut Blue Slide Park to last year’s more serious Watching Movies With the Sound Off showcased the rapper’s increasingly diverse influences. But even longtime fans might have been thrown with the rapper’s recently released cover of Bright Eyes’ mournful 2004 track “Lua.”
“That song was my middle school depression song,” Miller tells Rolling Stone. “Conor is one of the best songwriters/storytellers of our time. Throughout the years, that song has continued to speak to me. There are two kinds of covers: one you play because you know and like it and one that you believe every word you’re saying like they are your own. Real hip-hop.”
On the cover, Miller earnestly retains the original track’s quiet, acoustic vibe, yet makes the song his own with his natural, raspy voice.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Miller eschew rapping for singing. On Watching Movies With the Sound Off , the Pittsburgh native crooned on the Pharrell-produced “Objects in the Mirror” and Clams Casino-produced “Youforia.” Last September, Miller lent his vocals to the Internet’s woozy “Wanders of the Mind.”
Check out his cover and Bright Eyes’ original: