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Hawksley Workman's cover of 'Echo Beach' attempts to 'out-retro' the '80s hit

The Canadian musician covers the Martha and the Muffins single for our latest Junos 365 session.

The Canadian musician covers the Martha and the Muffins single for our latest Junos 365 session

Hawksley Workman covers 'Echo Beach' by Martha and The Muffins for our Junos 365 Sessions. This song won the 1980 Juno for single of the year. 4:55

The 2020 Junos have been cancelled since this article was first published.

As part of our coverage of the 2020 Juno Awards, we're inviting some of today's hottest Canadian acts to cover a past winner in the single of the year category.

Martha and the Muffins won the Juno for single of the year in 1980 with their song, "Echo Beach," and for singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman, the idea of updating the track didn't make any sense. Instead, he doubled down on the '80s sound and went for something "deeply synthetic" as an homage to the era: he used a vocoder to amplify his vocals.  

"In a way, I think I tried to out-retro the retro of it all," Workman explained. "And also, I'm in love with the vocoder right now and I try to put it on whatever I can in a recording I'm working on." 

Hawksley Workman is a two-time Juno Award winner. For his Juno 365 session, the singer-songwriter covers the 1980 single of the year winner, Martha and the Muffins' 'Echo Beach.' (CBC)

For Workman, the '80s was "the last time of real great pop songwriting bravery, it's when the radio sounded technological but still handmade." Martha and the Muffins were among his favourite acts at the time. He even remembers running into the group in Toronto and "just sounding like a total fanboy." 

Watch Hawksley Workman's performance of "Echo Beach" above, and check out other Junos 365 sessions with Meghan Patrick, Alexandra Stréliski, Tanika Charles, Haviah Mighty, the Dead South and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine:

For all of CBC Music's coverage of the 2020 Juno Awards, go to cbcmusic.ca/junos

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