Hear Covert Stations’ Latest Reworking: Roxette’s ‘It Must Have Been Love’

Covert Stations, Craig Cirinelli’s ambitious project that reimagines classic pop songs, is getting visible enough that the word “covert” is now something of a misnomer.

On Friday, Cirinelli and his latest crew of cohorts unveiled the fifth “borrowed” tune in the ongoing endeavor. (He prefers “borrowed” to “cover,” as Covert Stations drastically rework the original versions of the songs they select.)

In keeping with Covert Stations’ tendency to pick non-obvious songs, Cirinelli and four musician friends tried their hand at Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love.” While the 1990 romcom Pretty Woman featured a take on the song that omitted its Christmas theme, Covert Stations’ version reincorporates holiday elements. ‘Tis the season, after all.

Give it a listen here:


Cirinelli is a post-hardcore singer of both The Atlantic Union Project and currently with (Damn) This Desert Air. Additionally, he releases music in other genres, from folk to Americana to indie, through his years of band hood.

For the Roxette rendition, he tapped his (Damn) This Desert Air bandmate Shawn Reams for keys/synths/strings and acoustic guitar; guitarist Justin Rauschkolb (Break to Broken, Cats on Cats); drummer Jason Crawford (Driftoff, Superblonde); and bassist Lysa Opfer (Overlake, Gramercy Arms).

Cirinelli took on tambourine duties while Crawford — ensuring Covert Stations imbued the song with the holiday spirit — handled sleigh bells.

“When Covert Stations approached me to collaborate on ‘It Must Have Been Love,’ the idea to twist this late ’80s ballad into more of a decades later radio rock anthem came immediately and naturally,” Crawford told the Bad Penny. “I feel like we were able to capture this exact effort all while paying homage to the essence of the original song.”

Rauschkolb chimed in: “We aligned on going for a very slow-core, dreamy approach. … After going back and forth a few times, the vibe kept pulling us further down an ethereal rabbit hole. We eventually adjusted the tempo to be slower than the original … and we landed in that reverberant sweet spot we were looking for.”

Covert Stations’ take on the Roxette hit — originally issued almost exactly 35 years ago — marks the project’s fifth outing so far. Earlier this year, Cirinelli and his revolving cast cranked out renditions of the Cult’s “She Sells Sanctuary,” R.E.M.’s “The One I Love,” the Psychedelic Furs’ “Love My Way” and Modern English’s “I Melt with You.”

Cirinelli told the Bad Penny he is blown away that Covert Stations is thriving as much as it has.

“I did hope a few singles would come to fruition, yet didn’t anticipate having five fully released,” he said. “This attests to everyone involved, each lineup’s motivation from where talk leads to action.”

Cirinelli added that Covert Stations are working on more material to be released next year. He also has a new, yet-unrevealed band up his sleeve.

“It’ll be good to take the winter break, yet thrilled to continue Covert Stations into its second year,” he said.

Go to CovertStations.com for more on the Cirinelli’s fascinating ongoing project.

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