For a very long time I have told anyone who would listen (and several more who would not) that every good cover song has to keep the core of the original but present the song in a new way. And DYAN’s cover of “Cycling Trivialities” does exactly that.

There’s something wonderfully ethereal, carefree, and zen about this version of the song that’s ultimately about the meaninglessness of everything. The choral vocals and light synths create this effect and present the song in a sharp contrast to the original. But we’ll get to all that.

First, listen.



I have an intense history with “Cycling Trivialities” (it’s the second track on my Misanthropy Playlist after all) and I’m pretty obsessed with this cover so this may get a tad overblown.

The two versions of this song offer you differing perspectives on how you can view the inherent hollowness of modern life. On the one hand, DYAN gazes into the abyss and says, “Sure life may have no discernable point, but why let that bother you? You chose what you focus on, so chose beauty and lightness.”

On the other, José’s version is graceful in an entirely different way. This kind of beauty is far darker and more haunting in nature. José examines this existential crisis and is weighed down by its heaviness.



Lightness or weight, that is the choice.

In his most celebrated and horniest of works, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera had this to say on the subject.

“The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man's body.The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life's most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?”

José Gabriel González is a folk singer of Argentine descent who was raised in Gothenburg. DYAN is an emerging pop group with members from Canada, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles. Both look at the same hopeless situation and find beauty in their own, unique way.

We should all aspire to do the same. 


Calvin Paradise is not any one thing. The half-hearted vagabond and forgetful luddite currently resides in Los Angeles and how he spends his time is none of your damned business.