Murder-folk artist Amigo The Devil has always had a good way of getting to the dark, sick heart of country music. That’s because Danny Kiranos, the man behind The Devil, understands that even the sweetest folk ballads are secretly about drowning your spouse in a creek or tripping out on bad moonshine. Case in point, Amigo just released a video for his cover of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” and Jesus, you never knew this song was so dark.
The obvious difference between the original “Before He Cheats” and Amigo’s rendition is the tone. Underwood’s version of the song is brassy, in your face, and kind of fun in a fuck-around-and-find-out sort of way. But Kiranos performs his cover in front of a campfire, his eyes focused on the flames as he imagines what his lover is up to right now. He also uses guttural vocals to get across the creepy, predatory nature of the serial cheater. Suddenly, phrases like “dug my key” and “carved my name” sound a little more sinister, and make one wonder if the focus of the song is going to end up in the trunk of his souped-up ride.
It should also be noted that Danny doesn’t switch out pronouns and keeps the song about a man, illustrating that he isn’t one of these insecure artists who needs to switch around the genders of a love song lest audiences question his sexuality (it also adds a queer edge to the track that’s sort of rad). The result is a song that never loses any of the original’s callouses, but still has that haunting, murderous vibe that Amigo The Devil pulls of so well.
Listen to Amigo The Devil drive himself made with jealousy on this cover of “Before He Cheats” right here:
Words by Chris Krovatin