Easily one of the most iconic, childhood shaping films around, everyone remembers Baloo the bear bouncing through Jungle Book with his rendition of ‘Be Like You’.
Now that track’s been given a completely different treatment, in the shape of London 3-piece, We Were Evergreen, who have put their unique indie electro spin on the track.
Taking on a much more melancholy, somber tone that gives the song a completely different feel than that of the most recognisable version from the film. The band really have put their own stamp on it, something they felt is important when performing covers.
“We’ve always liked to cover songs – we just had this arrangement idea that worked with that one. We liked the idea of taking a well-known childhood track and twisting it around completely. I think we had to treat it very differently, otherwise there wouldn’t be much point to it. The risk would have been to just do a fresher version of the same arrangements, which we’ve heard done before on this song. A cover can be a good way for people to discover your original music – it has to be original enough to perk ears up and has to fit in with your other songs.”
They also spoke of how the often overlooked dark, meaningful lyrics behind the upbeat tune was a factor in them wanting to take on the cover.
“We wanted to revisit a classic tune from everyone’s childhood: the original song not only has a great melody, but the lyrics themselves have a much deeper meaning than what the Disney film shows. By keeping the melodic base but making the arrangements darker, we wanted to bring out the idea lurking behind the song: that universal feeling of envy, the need to fit in – a theme that we already developed in our first album”.
The band recently released their video for the cover, they discussed where the thought process for the visuals came from.
“The film part was shot in a couple of days around London, then the paint animation was done over a month. We based ourselves on the song’s original premise (animals wanting to be human) and wanted to illustrate an urban context being invaded by animals. The paint animation is a nod to the Disney film, but we wanted it to be more personal and more abstract – the integration of animality is sometimes just represented by wildlife patterns and dashes of colour.”
They will be hoping the positive response the cover has received will be a sign of things to come for their second album, which is predicted at some point next year “fingers crossed”. By the sounds of things, it’s certainly going to be out there anyway.
“We’re experimenting with instruments like the balaphon and Chinese zithers, so it’s more about playing with sounds rather than genres so far. Just like on our first album, there will probably still be a mixture of darkness and light”.
The video was animated by Nathaniel H’Limi, and shot by Michael Liot and Fabienne Debarre of the band, alongside Katie Craik. Watch it below as some artistic wildlife takes over every day London life. The track’s also available now on iTunes. https://itunes.apple.com/album/be-like-you-single/id984066657?ls=1