This Homemade Nirvana Cover Will Melt Your 'Heart-Shaped Box'

We've got no complaints about Kawehi's synths-and-voice version

Play
Philip Sherburne WRITTEN BY
Philip Sherburne

Let's face it: This video is about one shell-art sculpture away from being, basically, a Portlandia sketch. The oak table, stone walls, and especially the painting of a mallard in flight make for an awfully knowing contrast between all those cables and controllers. Not to mention that the very idea of taking Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" to the digital woodshed is itself exactly the kind of thing that Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein would get plenty of fixed-gear mileage out of.

But the singer, songwriter, and "avid looper" Kawehi absolutely sells it, from the Godley and Crème-inspired vocal harmonies that open the performance to her collapsing-marionette slump at the end — topped off with a smile that says, "Yeah, I got this."

Born in Honolulu and based in Lawrence, Kansas, Kawehi has made a cottage industry out of looping and layering her way through pop standards old and new. See, for instance, her version of Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" — quite literally a bedroom recording, complete with two very nonchalant dogs. Or her version of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer," which Esquire also pointed to.

In other news, Kurt Cobain's childhood home could become a museum.

00:00 00:00 No Song Selected More info
00:00 00:00
placeholder
Now Playing
  • 1 Miley Cyrus — Baby, I'm Gonna Leave You - Led Zeppelin (Cover) " 05:44
  • 2 Chris Brown & Trey Songz — Tuesday (Remix) " 04:26
  • 3 Buzzcocks — "It's Not You" " 02:46
  • 4 The Drums — Magic Mountain " 04:05
  • 5 Jessie Ware — Kind Of...Sometimes...Maybe " 03:46
  • 6 Flying Lotus — Coronus, the Terminator " 02:40
  • 7 JEFF The Brotherhood — Gouge Away " 02:52

SPIN is a member of SPIN Music Group, a division of BUZZMEDIA