The Mamas & The Papas’ classic “California Dreamin'” is a feel-good tune with a mournful folk undercurrent, something that beckons for West Coast nostalgia. In the hands of Sia, however, the song has become an epic operatic pop number that thumps with ominous waves of drums.
The cover comes from the forthcoming Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson vehicle San Andreas, a disaster film that sees California being ripped apart by massive earthquakes. Fittingly, Sia’s take features all the orchestral bombast of a movie score. It opens up on grim piano chords, a chorus of voices, and Sia’s mournful voice, but is taken to pure cinematic grandeur once the beat drops in. Take a listen below.
The trailer for the film featured a very different take on “California Dreamin'” from Robot Koch and Delhia de France, and you can hear the full take of that version via the music video below.