Outkast’s “Hey Ya” is one of the most beloved songs of our generation. It first hit airwaves in 2003, climbed to number one on the charts, and won a Grammy Award. Even more than a decade after its release, the hit still had thousands of festival-goers singing along at Coachella’s main stage. It would be near-impossible to make a cover that’s as memorable as the original, but evidently The Guard’s very own DENM was up for the challenge.



The reason why the grunge-pop musician’s version works is because it is almost unrecognizable. DENM stretches and twists the anthem’s form into an entirely new shape. Similar to the rest of his Dreamhouse EP, DENM's husky voice sways slowly, emoting melancholy. Andre 3000’s repeated exclamation points are knocked to the grounded and dissolved into swirling smoke I, personally, have listened to the original countless times and was so curious why DENM chose this particular song inspired me to investigate. I looked up the lyrics and found that even though the duo has an upbeat rhythm, the lyrics have a heartbreaking message. The song explores the downside of love and its ability to trap you.



The cover replaces theatrics with rawness and its music video is a perfect accompaniment. It’s a gritty film treatment that is cast over DENM’s bedhead and cloudy eyes. He looks about as faint as the perils of heartache can leave you. What the artist does here isn’t better or worse than his predecessor – it’s different, able to coexist with its counterpart. DENM’s has made the version we never knew we needed…until now.

Listen to more DENM on Spotify!