In the midst of the global pandemic, Reestablishing Connection is the covers EP I never knew I needed. Sega Bodega and friends have come together to create eight iconic covers of seminal pop and dance tracks, all to aid the AIM COVID 19 Crisis fund, a charity supporting contractors and freelancers in the independent music industry. The EP racks up features from luminary giants such as Lafawndah, Dorian Electra and Eartheater, while covering ’90s and mid-’00s tracks from Dido, Wheatus, and Massive Attack to name a few.
Reestablishing Connection is a double entendre theme that is echoed throughout. Familiar Facetime jingles open the EP and are repeated intermittently. Each track is accompanied by visuals of Sega and friends singing into webcams and headphones, reflective of the underwhelming realities for most right now.
Sega reimagines these classics through the lens of lockdown. The track list is nostalgic, a smart choice from Bodega. At a time when the future’s uncertain and intangible, reminiscing is common practice. Certain tracks transport me to school dances, unrequited love and pimpled faces. I think this is the true power of reestablishing connection; the impeccable choice of tracks allows each listener to take themselves back to a different time, welcome distractions and relive memories.
Saturated pitch-corrected vocals carry the melodies of each track, evocative of Imogen Heap’s track Hide and Seek. A true testament to Sega’s impressive musicality is the curation of tracks with artists. Specifically, Lafawdah’s Teardrop is a beautiful pairing. Her unique tone shapes the track, lucidly building soft synths using their vocals as instruments. Each track follows a similar format with the absence of a formal instrumental, instead using the echoing vocals to create the backing.
A stand out from the EP is, of course, Teenage Dirtbag. The Wheatus classic from 2002 is transformed by Sega and Dorian Electra. The seminal track, undeniably soaked in teen angst and sexual frustration, is a fitting choice for reestablishing connection. The EP also showcases impressive vocals from artists such as Eartheater, Lapsley, Isamaya French, and Nuxxe signee Oklou who sings us out with Komodo. The pair reconstruct Muaro Picotto’s trance classic into a chilling anthem of hope, a perfect end to this collaborative effort.
The EP feels casual; sighs are kept in at the beginning of tracks with flutters of Facetime jingles. Overall, it feels real, relatable and triumphantly comforting. A worthwhile investment, if not for the charity then to allow yourself to cry to Dido again, just like it’s 2005.