By Kavit Sumud | February 10th, 2013
No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak“ was the first pop song I heard when my family came to America. I used to sit on the bus on the way home from school and write the lyrics on my arms with a sharpie. Somewhere out there is a picture of me with “Don’t Speak” written across the top of my palms while I hold them in front of my mouth (which was duct taped for good measure). This song began my mania with dark music that’s led me to be the obsessive, slightly morose music blogger that I am today.
When I first saw Computer Magic’s cover pop up in my feed, I was nervous. Most covers of “Don’t Speak” are terrible — they really struggle to let that tenderness shiver in their throats and the airiness of their voices trail off at all the right moments. But fortunately, that’s exactly why “Don’t Speak” suits Computer Magic’s truncated vocal style extremely well. Her high pitch voice mutely wails with that same disheartened yearning that made the original so magical.
Rather than being just a copycat, Computer Magic has put her signature style on the track. She’s swapped out the guitars and drums for some inventive synths that make the song feel expressively expansive, rather than beautifully suffocating like No Doubt’s version. It’s the same tact that made her debut single “The End Of Time“ so fucking magical. (If you haven’t watched that video, do yourself a favor and get at it: I viewed it endlessly over the summer of 2011.)