Friday marked the birthday of the iconic David Bowie. To celebrate the late venerable singer, BBE Music tapped a handful of contemporary artists like Khruangbin and Helado Negro to cover some of Bowie’s music for the tribute album Modern Love.
The announcement of the 16-track tribute LP arrives alongside a wavy cover of Bowie’s 1972 hit “Space Oddity,” reimagined by R&B duo We Are King. The project itself was curated by music executive and DJ Drew McFadden, alongside BBE Music founder Peter Adarkwah.
Speaking about his inspiration behind the compilation, McFadden said he wanted to have Bowie’s music reworked across genres:
“I felt that the connection between Bowie and R&B, jazz, funk, gospel and all things soulful, had never really been explored before — at least not so much in covers, which tend to lean more towards rock and pop. Certainly, there’s been plenty of Bowie covers over the years, but none that have really tapped into what seems to have been a big part of his core musical style and direction.”
Echoing McFadden’s statement, We Are King explained their decision to cover “Space Oddity” in particular. “There were so many amazing Bowie compositions to choose from but ‘Space Oddity’ has always been our favorite. It’s so visual; it has always felt like time travel in a song,” they said. “It tells such a vivid and imaginative story of Major Tom’s trip through space and it was such a cool experience to reimagine what it’d be like on the voyage.”
Listen to We Are King’s cover of “Space Oddity” above and see the Modern Love album cover and tracklist below.
1. “Life On Mars” by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson
2. “Sound & Vision” by Helado Negro
3. “Lady Grinning Soul” by Kit Sebastian
4. “Soul Love” by Jeff Parker and The New Breed Feat. Ruby Parker
5. “Panic In Detroit” by Sessa
6. “The Man Who Sold The World” by The Hics
7. “Right” by Khruangbin
8. “Silly Boy Blue” by Nia Andrews
9. “Chant Of The Ever Circling Skeletal Family” by Foxtrott
10. “Move On” by L’Rain
11. “Tonight” by Eddie Chacon & John Carroll Kirby
12. “Modern Love” by Jonah Mutono
13. “Where Are We Now” by Bullion
14. “Fantastic Voyage” by Meshell Ndegeocello
15. “Heroes” by Matthew Tavares
16. “Space Oddity” by We Are King
Modern Love is out 5/28 via BBE Music.