LISTEN: Illuminati Hotties Prove “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” Is a Song About Heartbreak

The Whitney Houston single gets a somber rework by the LA rockers.

Although their 2018 debut Kiss Yr Frenemies introduced the term “tenderpunk” to the indie rock lexicon, Illuminati Hotties also proved they could write a killer ballad—and interestingly enough, that was the angle songwriter Sarah Tudzin went with when covering Whitney Houston’s unquestionably upbeat ’80s single “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”

“The sentiment behind it is so forlorn,” explained Tudzin, who recently began performing the track live before slowing it down for the recording, “while the track behind it rages on in ’80s exuberance in such a way that only a power-diva like Whitney Houston could pull off. It’s a song that has always fascinated me, so I started covering it live from the angle of heartbreak that is illustrated by the lyrics, and ultimately decided to record it to tape and slow it down even further.”

The three-and-a-half minute acoustic single is almost unfamiliar in its warm intimacy, countering the boisterous, extroverted original pop number. The band is sharing the single on the cusp of a September tour with acronymic favs PUP and AJJ, as well as an October date with Cherry Glazerr. You can listen to the cover and check the full list of dates below.

Illuminati Hotties — 2019 Tour Dates
09.05.2019 Thu Kings – Stereogum Day Party Raleigh, NC
09.05.2019 Thu Hopscotch Music Festival Raleigh, NC
09.11.2019 Wed Franklin Music Hall Philadelphia, PA*^
09.12.2019 Thu Terminal 5 New York, NY*^
09.13.2019 Fri Rams Head Live! Baltimore, MD*^
09.14.2019 Sat The National Richmond, VA*^
09.16.2019 Mon Jack Rabbits – IH Headline Jacksonville , FL*
09.17.2019 Tue The Orpheum Tampa Bay, FL*
09.18.2019 Wed Culture Room Fort Lauderdale, FL*
09.19.2019 Thu The Beacham Orlando, FL*
09.21.2019 Sat Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA*
09.22.2019 Sun Saturn Birmingham, AL*
09.23.2019 Mon Cannery Ballroom Nashville, TN*
09.24.2019 Tue Delmar Hall St. Louis, MO*
09.26.2019 Thu Deluxe @ Old National Center Indianapolis, IN*
09.27.2019 Fri Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH*
09.28.2019 Sat Headliners Music Hall Louisville, KY*
09.29.2019 Sun Elevation at the Intersection Grand Rapids, MI*
10.25.2019 Fri Arizona State University Tempe, AZ w/ Cherry Glazerr

* – w/ PUP
^ – w/ AJJ


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