Ellie Goulding and Angel Haze Seize James Blake's 'Life Round Here'

New York MC takes Chance the Rapper role in reworking

Ellie Goulding, Angel Haze, James Blake,
Ellie Goulding and Angel Haze from their "Life Round Here" SoundCloud art
Marc Hogan WRITTEN BY
Marc Hogan

James Blake's "Life Round Here" is enjoying a pretty decent hip-hop afterlife. The Timbaland-ticking Overgrown track already gave rise to a remix featuring a rap verse and singing from Chance the Rapper, SPIN's 2013 Rapper of the Year. Now Ellie Goulding and Angel Haze have remade the song to their own ends. The British dance-pop singer is a somewhat more direct, less airy vocalist than Blake, and the New York MC's verse is fierier and more personal than Chance's; Philly producer Noah Breakfast's lurching low-end does more than simply mimic the original. But it's Haze who really moves the song forward: "I'm searching / I'm terrified / That by the time I find what I'm looking for I'll be dead inside," she muses aloud. While not a wholesale reinvention, it's another solid take on a remarkably enduring track, and if you're interested in any of the people involved, it's worth a listen — as is Lorde's live cover of Blake's "Retrograde."

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