Hear Ellie Goulding Turn the Tables on the Weeknd's 'High for This'


by Devon Maloney
Ellie Goulding / Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford
Ellie Goulding / Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford

The tiny blonde Brit popper sheds an interesting light on one of the elusive singer's creepiest tracks

For reasons yet unknown, Brit pop darling Ellie Goulding recently decided to cover the Weeknd's particularly creepy (and perhaps best-known) House of Balloons cut, "High for This." The track — which was posted last night and produced by Chiddy Bang's Xaphoon Jones — has a more electronic aesthetic than the original, highlighting how insane its silky-smooth yet ultimately predatory lyrics sound when they're not being sung by a controversial, seductive mystery man like Abel Tesfaye.

SPIN ranked two-thirds of the Weeknd's trilogy at No. 13 on our 50 Best Albums of 2011 list, so we're admittedly hooked by his nü-nihilism (and Ellie made our Best Pop Albums, too). But Goulding's pop-enhanced (and obviously quite deft) cover emphasizes its unsettling aspects. A tiny blonde woman pressuring a "boy" to sip codeine and have unprotected sex? Empowering? Ridiculous? Neither? Listen below and judge for yourself. And watch out, Skrillex!

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