Katy B doing 1D might be a moment to reflect on just how far the music landscape has come the past few years. The boy band is the one doing folk-flecked stompers based around acoustic guitar. The indie-credible artist swooping in to cover them happens to be a conventionally great pop vocalist known for singing over electronic dance music. Dogs and cats, living together — mass hysteria!
Okay, so One Direction’s “Story of My Life” also happens to be absurdly catchy and built for arenas, while Katy Brien’s 2011 debut album On a Mission and 2012 Danger EP have both been clever and forward-thinking. But her keyboard-backed, pronoun-reversed rendition of the Midnight Memories Mumford-er is a long way from, say, Jeff Tweedy winking through “I Gotta Feeling.” Particularly considering B has previously shown off her unplugged bona fides in a stripped-down video for 2013 single “What Love Is Made Of.”
This “Story” probably won’t replace the more famous one in One Directioners’ hearts — nor originals like “Crying for No Reason” among Katy B-liebers’ — but it’s elegant and effective and just might make a few people think about each act differently. If not a microcosm of late 2013/early 2014, at least it’s a pretty cool philosopher’s stone-style transformation of platinum into, um, some other shiny, valuable stuff.