Track of the Day: 'One Way or Another' by Until the Ribbon Breaks

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

A reader in Mississippi, Amy Jones, recommends a cover that really brings out the creepiness of the lyrics:

An episode of the American drama series Stalker highlighted the cover of Blondie’s hit in its fifth episode, though I first stumbled upon it via Spotify. I try not to look at my phone while driving, but I had to glance down to check if this was a cover of that old song I had never thought much about but dismissed as silly.

The band, Until the Ribbon Breaks, describes their style as one that “blends genres like electronic, pop, rock, and hip-hop … with a sharp alternative edge.” Their cover of “One Way or Another” certainly fits that description, with soft beats underlying harmonies with just enough dissonance to be beautiful but interesting. My favorite covers are those that recast the lyrics in such a different light that the listener considers them in a new way, and this British band succeeds as their vocalist croons the old playful words with haunting conviction.

Debbie Harry was inspired to write the original song after her experience with a stalker. She told Entertainment Weekly:

I was actually stalked by a nutjob, so it came out of a not-so-friendly personal event. I tried to inject a little levity into it to make it more lighthearted. It was a survival mechanism.

(Submit a cover via hello@. Track of the Day archive here. Pre-Notes archive here.)