The lyrical content of Gloria Gaynor’s disco classic “I Will Survive” is resilient, boastful even. She doesn’t need you anymore, jerkass man who left her. It’s very definite: I will survive. What Perfume Genius presupposes in his piano-heavy cover is, maybe I won’t? According to Pitchfork, Perfume Genius (né Mike Hadreas) recorded the cover for a commercial pitch. A commercial for what, casket linings? “I suppose the cover is a little deathbed-y, I was very serious that day,” he wrote on his Substack, but i like how it turned out.” Hadreas paired the track with an 80’s soloflex commercial and footage of wildfires.
This is not the first cover of the disco classic to abandon the peppy tempo of the original. Cake covered “I Will Survive” on 1996’s Fashion Nugget. They even added swears! The things these rockers get up to.