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Watch Alexandra Stréliski transform the Strumbellas' 'Spirits' into a dreamy piano song

For her Junos 365 session, Stréliski 'wanted to do something a little bit deeper with it.'

For her Junos 365 session, Stréliski 'wanted to do something a little bit deeper with it'

Juno Awards nominee Alexandra Stréliski covers "Spirits" by the Strumbellas for our Junos 365 Sessions. This song won the 2017 award for single of the year. cbc.ca/music 4:46

"I hope the Strumbellas like it," said pianist Alexandra Stréliski upon performing her cover of "Spirits" at CBC Toronto's Studio 211. "I mean, you never know when you work around with somebody else's work."

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. The Strumbellas' "Spirits" won that award in 2017.

"It has a nice melody. Like, the end part could really be a Hans Zimmer movie soundtrack," she reflected, explaining why she was drawn to the Strumbellas' rock anthem. "I like the clash with doing a piano version."

To do an instrumental cover of a song that has lyrics, Stréliski says she pays close attention to the words. "'Guns in my head and they won't go' — this is kind of deep, and I wanted to do something a little bit deeper with it," she explained.

"I was thinking of the words, I was thinking of the mood, also of the melody, because that's pretty much what you rely on when you do a piano arrangement. I was just taking the melody, then I changed the chords a little bit, and I tried to bring another sort of meaning to the words."

Watch Stréliski's cover of "Spirits," above.

The 2020 Juno Awards will be broadcast live across Canada on March 15 at 6. p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) on CBC-TV, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, and CBC Gem, and globally on cbcmusic.ca/junos.

For all of CBC Music's coverage of the 2020 Juno Awards, go to cbcmusic.ca/junos. Listen to our Junos 365 playlist collection via CBC Listen.