Folk-pop vocalist Meiko is doing her part to revive the music of the 1990s, but not without letting her acoustic guitar roots shine. The singer-songwriter, who self-released her debut self-titled over ten years ago, has garnered an impressive resume since her early beginnings, having toured with the likes of Ingrid Michaelson and Jewel. Now, Meiko is preparing for her forthcoming LP, and premiering the first single — a haunting cover of Jennifer Paige’s “Crush” — exclusively with Billboard today (Apr. 26).
Meiko takes the bubbly, heart-fluttering pop tune and puts a dramatic edge on it, brimming with reverb that make the singer’s passionate vocals alluringly eerie. The 1998 jam transforms into a modern, soulful serenade with Meiko’s touch. Although her sound has grown to be mature and refined, her longtime personal connection with the track has a bit of a rebellious history.
“I used to sneak into a local gay club in Macon, Georgia, when I was 16 with a fake ID that my sister gave me,” Meiko says. “I’d go to dance and listen to music. I first heard this song there and fell in love with it.”
Although Meiko’s album is comprised entirely of tried-and-true ‘90s staples, her reimagination of them makes listeners feel as though they’re hearing namestays like The Cranberries, Duran Duran and Erykah Badu for the first time. The full album, Playing Favorites, is scheduled for release on May 25. Meiko will be celebrating the release with a performance at New York City’s Opry City Stage on May 22, for which tickets are still available.
Listen to Meiko’s poignant cover of “Crush” below.