Yavin and PLBK choose collaboration over competition on their ‘Cool’ cover

Photo Credit: Kaio Cesar

What would it sound like if Gwen Stefani had swerved towards DIY dream-pop instead of bouncy bubblegum for her 2004 record Love. Angel. Music. Baby.?

Thanks to Yavin and PLBK, no one has to wonder.

The two Boston pop artists have released a velvety version of Stefani’s early aughts hit “Cool,” born from a spirit of collaboration over competition. Their cover and accompanying music video dropped last Friday (April 30), after months of tending to a blooming musical relationship.

“This collab was born out of pure fun and queer Latino solidarity,” Yavin says. “PLBK and I were both nominated for ‘Pop Artist of The Year’ at the 2020 Boston Music Awards against the likes of Clairo and Sasha Sloan. Having never spoken to each other but knowing we both had no shot at the win, we reached out to each other for a good laugh at the situation. Instantly hitting it off, we quickly made plans to collaborate, and soon our cover of ‘Cool’ was born, with me coming up with the arrangement and PLBK taking the reins on production.”

When steering the song’s sound, PLBK framed “Cool” using a strictly modern approach. The cover comes perfectly reimagined for 2021; not only is “bedroom pop” a more established term now, it’s also suddenly at the forefront of everyone’s consciousness. The COVID-19 pandemic essentially made all music “bedroom” music for a year.

“I wanted our version of ‘Cool’ to sound nothing like the original,” adds PLBK. “The original is an amazing song, but it was already done. For me, this is what ‘Cool’ would sound like if it was made in someone’s bedroom in 2021–which it kinda was.”

Catch the pair’s “Cool” cover and music video below.