We will start with the facts: “Creep” by Radiohead is one of the best love songs ever written.

This blog post is (primarily) about that song.

Specifically, it’s about a cover of that song.

No, not that one.

This is about phem’s haunting alt. goth pop makeover of “Creep” that you didn’t know you always wanted.

The mysterious Los Angeles-based artist delivers a take on the song that really hammers home the track’s title.

Or perhaps, as we shall learn, it brings attention to an aspect of the song that’s often overlooked.



Creep initially appears as a verb, coming from Old English crēopan “move with the body close to the ground”, and a similar Dutch word kruipen. Both words allude an "imperceptible motion" by the creeper.

This is a shifty figure we’re talking about here.

As a noun, creep appears in the 19th century, as American English slang for a "despicable person". The type of person who would give you the creeps, "a feeling of dread or revulsion" (c.1850).

Often in life the biggest obstacle to loving and being loved is oneself. It’s incredibly easy to think of yourself as unlovable. A weirdo, a creep, a despicable person.

It feels insane to want someone who is essentially a stranger to notice when you’re not around. And how could we, with all our warts and failings, ever approach the untouchable angels in our midst?

Yet in spite of those seeking profit and power to convince you otherwise, we are all worthy of love. We are all worthy of a love that is dignified and needs not to be hidden away for fear of shame, retribution, or shunning.

We should all go forth in the world seeking to love and to be loved by everyone we encounter.

Just, ya know, don’t be a creep about it.


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.