If there’s any lesson to take away from Rina Sawayama‘s debut appearance on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge Tuesday (Sept. 27), it’s that breaking her heart comes with consequences.
Performing a short set on the radio program, Sawayama delivered a cover of Billie Eilish’s fan-beloved song “Happier Than Ever.” In true Sawayama fashion, the singer gave the song her own personal twist: Swapping out the song’s light acoustic opening for a set of swimmy, dream-like guitar strains, Sawayama nailed the song’s iconic transition from frustration to rage, slowly building up her voice until it finally breaks.
Diving into that almost-metal sound that defined so much of her debut album Sawayama, the singer began belting into a distorted mic, emulating Eilish’s own scorned voice as she sang “I could talk about every time/ That you showed up on time/ But I’d have an empty line, ’cause you never did.”
Sawayama also gave fans a new live version of her single “Hold the Girl,” off of her critically acclaimed album of the same name. Delivering raw live vocals next to the song’s quirky, glitching production, Sawayama nailed her performance.
The British pop singer has a busy few months ahead of her. After unveiling her sophomore album Hold the Girl earlier this month, Sawayama is heading out on her new headlining tour. Starting out with nine dates in the U.K., Sawayama will then kick off her 15-date North American leg in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Nov. 1 at the Avant Gardener, before closing it all out in Los Angeles on Nov. 23.
Check out Sawayama’s performances in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge below: